Thursday, 25 April 2024

Here is how we run this company, introducing the kommitOS

As a company matures, some things become mandatory. One is the need to structure an operating model, i.e., a way to run things effectively. Failing to do so will inevitably lead the company to a chaotic situation. A few years ago, I found a fantastic term for describing such a scenario: "Clusterfog."[1].

The whole matter revolves around entropy, a concept born in physics but used in business management to metaphorically describe a company's degradation—or loss of order and efficiency—over time.


Entropy is a universal law, meaning no system can escape it. There is no way to avoid it. The course of action, then, is to accept it and deal with it as a reality. If we look at each company as a system, companies will have to deal with entropy, too, as any other system in the universe.

It has not been different for us at kommit. We have been dealing with entropy for 15 years. However, in early 2023, we had reached a point where operations needed to be rethought. Although the company was not at a Clusterfog level yet, it indicated the first signs of going in that direction. It was the time to make fundamental changes.

The first step was to turn inside to see if we had someone to co-lead the project of designing and implementing a custom operational blueprint. I found someone. I proposed to Laura Villada, today's Head of Operations, that she halt her duties as an intern Software Engineer and instead join her vast experience in maths to "fix" our operations. She accepted, and the ride started. Twelve months later, we have implemented a way of operating the company that has proven effective in dealing with entropy, keeping us from falling into “Clusterfog.”

Today, we announce that we have finally reached a version of such an operational blueprint that fulfills our initial vision. Technically, it describes a system to run the company, which is why we name it the "kommit Operative System," aka. kommitOS.[2].

The results so far have been exceptional and promising. Everything at kommit has a place and is easy to find and update. We now have a company that is completely mapped out and under control. All employees have embraced and understood how it works. The kommitOS has become our number one weapon for fighting entropy. No doubt, it is one of our competitive advantages.

When starting, we knew the path would be tough, so one of the first steps while creating the kommitOS was to define and stand on some design goals. We needed an operative system with the following characteristics:



The first goal was to embrace simplicity. A complex design would be impossible to master and communicate. Companies have all sorts of skill levels and specializations; anything meant to be understood by everyone leaves no alternative than pursuing the more straightforward design. The kommitOS—like most systems—has only two components: Elements and Interactions. Elements map "concrete" working concepts. Interactions express how the elements relate between them. Believe it or not, all of kommit runs on the shoulders of these few definitions.


Another goal was to make the design tool-agnostic. We didn't want the implementation to depend on a specific platform or service. We aimed for flexibility in changing tools whenever we decide on a better alternative. We use several platforms daily, but all serve the kommitOS, not the opposite.


A crucial goal was easy maintenance. We are big advocates of maintenance as a core capability for any business; keeping what we have in perfect condition is the stepping stone for improvement. Such an idea has had to be embedded in our operations. The latest version of kommitOS enables a maintenance culture across the company—including the kommitOS itself. We move forward but take care of our achievements.


Another goal was for the design to support adaptability. Companies operate in a permanently changing context; to survive, they must be able to adapt. The same is true for their operative models. The kommitOS allows the company to evolve as the surrounding conditions demand it.


The final goal was to sustain scalability. If the company scales, the system must support it. Even more, the kommitOS indicates when the company requires more capacity. It not only supports growth but also drives it.

High-level Overview

The kommitOS has six core elements: Person, Domain, Project, Activity, Document, and Work Item. It also has ten interactions between those elements.

The kommitOS has six core elements person, domain, project, activity, document, and work item— and ten interactions between those elements.

Every element has a definition, and every interaction between two elements has an explanation, too.

The system's details are compiled in the following easy-to-digest slide deck. We hope it helps as a reference and thought-provoking perspective for company leaders in their journeys to operational excellence.

Finally, please let us know your thoughts on the kommitOS; any feedback is highly appreciated. You can reach out to us here, via DM on LinkedIn, or email me at [email protected].

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Feel free to share, redistribute, or adapt this material, but please provide appropriate attribution.

  1. Robert I. Sutton and Hayagreeva Rao, Scaling Up Excellence (2014). This fantastic book was the leading textbook in a business scaling program I attended at Standford in 2022.
  2. Although somewhat equivalent, do not confuse "kommitOS" with operative systems that make hardware usable, such as Windows, Linux, or macOS. The kommitOS runs a company rather than hardware.

Written by: Luis Hurtado, Founder @ kommit

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