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Systems Thinking 2019

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Systems do what they have been designed to do, not what we meant them to! Learn how to identify common system archetypes and apply systems thinking.

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Systems Thinking 2019

  1. 1. Systems Thinking How systems are all around us Presented by Lorraine Steyn www.krs.co.za @lor_krs
  2. 2. Intuitive understanding of complex systems vs rational analysis of small pieces of a problem
  3. 3. Companies lose market share through their own policies. Competitors scoop up the advantage.
  4. 4. MODELS ALIGNED WITH THE REAL WORLD MODELS ALIGNED WITH THE REAL WORLD MODELS ALIGNED WITH THE REAL WORLD MODELS ALIGNED WITH THE REAL WORLD MODELS ALIGNED WITH THE REAL WORLD MODELS ELEMENTS Easy to identify parts of a system INTERCONNECTIONS Physical flows, information flows PURPOSE Observe how the system behaves over time
  5. 5. Software systems exist within social systems. We solve people problems.
  6. 6. Boundaries, Stocks and Flows
  7. 7. Dam/Reservoir runs dry - Is it an inflow problem, or an outflow? - You can increase a stock by less outflow, as well as by more Dam/Reservoir overflows - Maybe the outflow cloud needs to be examined (why are we not - Inflow problem? More rain, or river flow changed?
  8. 8. Can you think of any human decision that occurs without a feedback loop?
  9. 9. Draw a diagram of the factors involved in a sales system Case Study Select any Sales Process:  Define your stock  Show the inflows and outflows  Add feedback loops
  10. 10. Car Sales Example  Stock = Cars  Inflow = Deliveries from  Outflow = Sales  Feedback = Increases in sales, delays in
  11. 11. Renewable resources are flow limited Renewable resources are flow limited If extracted faster than their regeneration rate they become non-renewable
  12. 12. A decision based on the feedback can’t change the behaviour of the system that drove that feedback; the decisions will affect only future behaviour
  13. 13. Shows the influences on the R and B loops Case Study You’ve just designed the viral game of  Define your stock  Show the inflows and outflows  Add reinforcing feedback loops
  14. 14.  The ability to bounce back into shape after being pressed or stretch  Tends to have rich feedback loops Placing a system in a straitjacket of constancy can cause fragility to evolve CS Holling Resilience:
  15. 15.  Feedback loops that can restore or rebuild feedback loops are meta- resilient.  Systems that can do this are self organizing or learning systems
  16. 16. Hierarchy Subsystem goals should not dominate the total system goal
  17. 17. Case Study Let us apply Systems Agile Teams:  What is our “stock”?  What are the inflows outflows?  Goal: Working Draw a diagram of the factors that affect a team’s productivity
  18. 18. Conway's law: Organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are communication structures of these organizations. Organization
  19. 19. The Mythical Man-Month Brooks Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later Fred Brooks
  20. 20. System archetypes
  21. 21. Policy Resistance: actors in the system have their own goals
  22. 22. Tragedy of the Commons: abuse of a shared resource DAY ZERO
  23. 23. Drift to Low Performance not holding standards absolute
  24. 24. Success to the Successful: the rich get richer
  25. 25. Shifting the Burden to the Intervenor: addressing the symptoms not the problem. The self-maintaining then erodes.
  26. 26. Rule Beating: obeying the rules, but not the intent
  27. 27. Seeking the Wrong Goal: confusing effort with results
  28. 28. Trump’s Border Wall $33 Billion Could the money be better spent?
  29. 29. Intuition vs Analysis Boundaries constrain the problem
  30. 30. Systems always behave exactly as they are designed, just not always as they are intended. Be creative and courageous about systems redesign. Lorraine Steyn @lor_krs

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