How to use

The cards feature high-level patterns for mapping your company’s technical and strategic transformation. Put together, the patterns cards guide decision making to help you plot the optimal course of action, accelerating time to value while reducing risk. The patterns cards are intended to spark discussion among developers, managers, and executives as they learn and apply Cloud Native concepts. For first-time users we recommend playing The WealthGrid Game, where you will apply patterns to a fictional company undergoing a typical Cloud Native transformation initiative.

Cloud Native Maturity Matrix

A short version can be played using only the Strategy patterns cards from the deck; this takes about an hour. Or you can use the full deck to explore most, even all, of the 72 patterns along the full course of WealthGrid’s Cloud Native journey. Hint: not all cards will be used. Either approach is a fun, engaging and collaborative way to jump-start learning how to work with patterns.

Helpful tips:

It is a good idea to choose someone to act as facilitator. They hand out materials, keep track of time, and moderate the conversation portions of the game. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ solutions (and therefore no way to win or lose the game). The first purpose of playing is to help people gain a common language (patterns). Patterns help us to express our ideas in easier and more consistent ways.The second purpose of playing with the patterns cards is to trigger conversation within the domain of Cloud Native transformation while exploring the many different paths a CN transformation might take.

To play the WealthGrid Game, first read about this fictional company:

The WealthGrid Story:

WealthGrid is a successful mid-size financial company that is mostly taking a traditional Waterfall approach, with hierarchical structure and long release cycles for tightly coupled products. It has, however, adopted some Agile practices, like Scrum sprints.

There are still pretty long cycles of planning and a lot of documentation. While teams are partially independent and even somewhat cross-functional, delivery to production is always done in full coordination. Product owners and enterprise architects are mostly in charge of deciding on technical direction and telling the teams what to deliver and how to do it.

Software is produced as one single monolith, or perhaps a monolith split into a few very large pieces. There is some automation of infrastructure and delivery, but it is done with Puppet/Chef and still requires a lot of manual steps. There is Jenkins doing some builds and running some tests, but a dedicated QA team still must perform manual tests before any release to production.

WealthGrid’s leaders are aware that the technology is going to disrupt their market, and so they want to adopt Cloud Native technologies to be more competitive. To truly succeed, they will also need to evolve their processes, team structures, and other aspects of the company’s organisation and culture—so its engineers can work with their brand new tech in a brand new way.

Instead of working in a hierarchy with highly specialised teams, WealthGrid will need to move to a Cloud Native system. But Cloud Native, though, is very new, and no one in WealthGrid has experience implementing, much less working with such systems. Patterns are the key to creating a collective understanding of the challenge the company faces, the better to build the fastest and most effective path to becoming a new Cloud Native enterprise.

Instructions for the WealthGrid Game:

Note: These instructions are a work in progress. If you have questions (or suggestions for improving/clarifying them), please email us.

Once you’ve practiced placing and ordering the patterns to build a transformation design path for WealthGrid to follow, you are ready for the next step: using the cards to map out your own real-world scenario!

More Guidance for Your Journey

Container Solutions’ deck of cards features many of the patterns you’ll find in our forthcoming book, ‘Cloud Native Transformation: Practical Patterns for Innovation’, published by O’Reilly. The book contains a patterns library with full versions of the patterns (expanded from the short versions on the cards) that explain in detail how companies can use them to map their own Cloud Native project.

To learn more about how patterns work, check out this video of our chief technology officer, Pini Reznik, applying them to a case study at the Cloud Native Warsaw conference from September.