Thank you for your reply Nathan Curtis. I’m a bit flattered. EightShapes was the first blog I followed as part of my ongoing education when I first entered the software world in 2008.
Thanks for the detail on the history — I didn’t even want to touch it as I wouldn’t provide as much detail as others can. As I wrote my thoughts, I felt necessary to provide some background through my own lens, albeit a skimpy history at that.
I’d love to understand more about the companies you work with. I have been on both sides but since assuming establishing my agency, my work is centered on designing and marketing products. Previously, I worked with a mix of functioning and dysfunctional product teams with mixed passion for design. As a result, I have a perspective more skewed towards companies focusing on innovation and market fit. “Massive” may be a bit of an overgeneralization but I still can’t imagine most mature companies have the cohesion in place to adopt and maintain that governance for a sustained period of time.
In any case, my point wasn’t that growing companies don’t run into this — on the contrary, part of my team’s deliverables as we end a long-term engagement is to hand off some form of a design system. Instead, I was speaking with the context that I find few articles advising designers on what this truly means to embark on this journey.