Systems Thinking, Making Sense of IT

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Tijdsduur
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Beschrijving

In our work, we have noticed that changing your software development method changes your organisation. We have run into questions like:

  • Why can't the customer keep up with the development team and what can be done about it?
  • Why is it so hard to introduce agile or Scrum in some organizations?
  • What are common failure modes of agile transitions and what can we do to work around these?
  • How can we get a team to start unit testing (or any other good technical practice)? Is lack of unit testing really the biggest problem?
  • What are the underlying dynamics of adding people to a project and how can we use these to increase project velocity?

While several development methodologies describe a …

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In our work, we have noticed that changing your software development method changes your organisation. We have run into questions like:

  • Why can't the customer keep up with the development team and what can be done about it?
  • Why is it so hard to introduce agile or Scrum in some organizations?
  • What are common failure modes of agile transitions and what can we do to work around these?
  • How can we get a team to start unit testing (or any other good technical practice)? Is lack of unit testing really the biggest problem?
  • What are the underlying dynamics of adding people to a project and how can we use these to increase project velocity?

While several development methodologies describe a recipe for practices that worked in a specific context, the exact same recipe is not guaranteed to work in all circumstances.

Along our journey we have discovered and mastered a number of useful thinking and doing tools that help us become better reflective practitioners and find answers to the above questions, tools that we have found useful in making sense of what's happening in our organizations.

Benefits

This course helps you to effect substantial change in small, controllable steps, and prevent local (sub)optimization. Understanding why your process works the way it works helps you see the extent to which a practice is effective in its context. It also helps your organization grow its own way of developing software.

After participating in this course you will:

  • view software organizations from a different, systemic perspective
  • find root causes for all kinds of persistent, messy team problems
  • understand why different software organization work and can work and why they sometimes stop working effectively
  • adapt your change initiatives to the specific organizational context
  • understand how change happens in individuals and organizations, and what this means for steering a change process

Prerequisites

This course is meant for managers, project leaders, IT customers, scrum masters, and coaches. We expect participants to have experience working with software projects, as a manager, customer, developer, or other stakeholder.

Topics

  • Introduction to systems thinking, with hands-on exercises using issues the participants bring in
  • Value stream mapping
  • Cynefin sensemaking framework
  • Cultural patterns of software development organizations

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