We’re working on our Architecture Principles

Group of colleagues from across the business gathered around a white board and chatting about new architecture principles

I’m part of the architecture community of colleagues across the Co-op who set technology direction. We’re responsible for overseeing the design and build of new services for our colleagues, members and customers. Just before Christmas we started thinking about how to renew the Architecture Principles that govern how we make technology choices and how we work.

Times are changing

Our existing principles have served us well over the years but technology is changing quickly. It’s important our principles take the pace of change into account so they can help our colleagues make good technology decisions that reflect our ethical leadership too.

We’ve formed a team from across the Co-op Group that includes colleagues from Retail, Consumer Services and Digital. Together we’ll create and then iterate the principles. We’re using Co-op values and principles as our starting point. These values and principles such as democracy, equity and equality are the fundamentals of ‘being Co-op’, and will help us to focus on how we do things, as well as what we do.

Testing with colleagues

We’ll create a pilot group of colleagues who’ll test the principles we create and feed back on how clear, simple and usable they are in practice.

One of our guiding thoughts on this work is that we need to be radically open and transparent, and we’re starting with this blog post. We’ll share our progress and publish the principles in alpha during the spring.

Michael Paulson
Chief Technology Officer

3 thoughts on “We’re working on our Architecture Principles

  1. BARBARA January 11, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    Sounds really interesting , responsible, and refreshing to hear you reference our Coop values and principles.
    Can I ask what is the gender balance of the team, and will you consider that when forming the pilot group of colleagues ?
    I m sure the answer will be yes and yes – in which case can I just ask that any photos reflect this too?
    thanks .


  2. Luke Blakey January 11, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    What are you wasting staffing budgets on now???

    I’m sorry Mr Paulson, but please name one corporate ‘architecture’ technology that has anyway changed since Digital was inaugurated or in the last 2 years? The specs for distributed 5g haven’t even been decided yet and organisations as small as the Co-operative group can barely afford to rent a few hours of AI capacity atm. Yes pocketbook sized personal computing -Intels Computer Card- are on the way, but name one thing that really has transformed? Amazon web services? UK ‘High Speed’ internet ‘2020’? Do we have our own, newly christened in house server farm? (again quite a gamble for such a small venture in my view) I am sorry but the core digital leadership team made a global and lasting impact at the GDS, but a half decade later what has actually changed they weren’t alreadyat the avant-garde of? Besides which, )what about the corporate changes i just listed are specifically co-operative? (Some?, All?, None? )

    It may be a new year, which is the stellar calendar event i’m putting your new zeal for ripping up and starting again down to, but why reorganize again, Gaius Patronius 201 BCE style. The UK co-op movement and tCG members desperately need progress at one of the larger co-op societies, not the illusion of progress. I am not sure what part of that your department has that it hasn’t already got into the full steam ahead of playing.

    Unless you can work out a way to build a healthy and actual Co-op, able to fund its/our collective and democratically agreed working capital and capital investments requirements out of a growing, inwardly reinforcing and development orientated member share capital proposition and therefore get us on a course towards escaping our parasitic relationship reliant on successes from early part of the last century (retained earnings,freeholds,etc) and our banking ‘partners’ (£191 debt per active member card), like proper co-ops across the developed world do, what architecture are you truly aiming to transform??? British Style Co-operatism (Ie CWS style co-ops) has been in retreat since the war, can we finally make a transformation break back to our past and away our present (the last seventy years or so), or will we always just focus on shifting deckchairs on a ever smaller sized deck?

    A Member under 30. Needs better grasp of proper compound sentences.


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