Contextual Business Concepts

How do you explain a large complex system that is under constant rework to pursue an evolving business reality?

Founded in 2007 by José Neves for the love of fashion, and launched in 2008, Farfetch began as an e-commerce marketplace for luxury boutiques worldwide. The marketplace became the leading global platform for the luxury fashion industry, connecting creators, curators, and consumers.

As you might expect in a growing company, different teams struggle to build different systems and evolve different parts of the business, using different skills, often while training junior team members. These teams develop and evolve their own mental models. Over time, models from different teams become subtly incompatible with each other, leading to inconsistencies in products and processes. The largest inconsistencies appear between business and technical people and between different technical teams. And thus, we reach the situation where describing the whole business at an adequate level of detail in a way that everyone at Farfetch may use, is no longer a trivial endeavour.

The challenge is to propose a systematic business description that is useful to the different teams and that can be maintained collaboratively.

Originally published in ISTC Communicator, Summer 2023.

Republished in Farfetch Tech Blog, 31-Jul-2023.


Contextual Business Concepts
Local copy of the article as PDF.