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Management 3.0 - Complexity Thinking


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This presentation is part of the Management 3.0 course, developed by Jurgen Appelo

Published in: Technology, Business
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Management 3.0 - Complexity Thinking

  1. 1. Complexity Thinking<br />© Jurgen Appelo version 0.99<br />
  2. 2. story<br />
  3. 3. Once there was a software business with<br />unhappy customers<br />
  4. 4. Customer satisfaction was low because of low<br />quality and productivity<br />
  5. 5. Quality and productivity were low because there was<br />lack of skills and discipline<br />
  6. 6. Customer dissatisfaction increased<br />pressure on teams<br />
  7. 7. Stress at work meant<br />no time for<br />education<br />
  8. 8. No education meant<br />no skills and<br />no discipline<br />
  9. 9. Customer pressure led to<br />unhappy teams<br />
  10. 10. Lack of skills and unhappy customers added to<br />decreasing<br />demotivation<br />
  11. 11. Decreased<br />motivation<br />added to<br />decreasing<br />productivity<br />
  12. 12. We call this a<br />Causal Loop Diagram<br />(Some call it a<br />Diagram of Effects)<br />
  13. 13. It shows the business suffered from<br />vicious cycles<br />
  14. 14. And not just one, but<br />many<br />
  15. 15. Management saw<br />revenues declining<br />
  16. 16. They tried to support<br />improvement while<br />cutting budgets<br />
  17. 17. Meanwhile, technological pressure was increasing<br />And due to the crisis, economic pressure also went up<br />
  18. 18. Needless to say, this business was<br />DOOMED<br />
  19. 19. Needless to say, this business was<br />DOOMED<br />Then suddenly,<br />management<br />started learning...<br />
  20. 20. A software team is a complex adaptive system (CAS), because it consists of parts (people) that form a system (team), and the system shows complex behavior while it keeps adapting to a changing environment.<br />
  21. 21. It’s the same with brains, bacteria, immune systems, the Internet, countries, gardens, cities, and beehives.<br />They’re all complex adaptive systems.<br />
  22. 22. General Systems Theory<br />Study of relationships between elements<br />Ludwig von Bertalanffy<br />(biologist)<br />1901-1972<br />Autopoiesis (how a system constructs itself)<br />Identity (how a system is identifiable)<br />Homeostatis (how a system remains stable)<br />Permeability (how a system interacts with its environment)<br />
  23. 23. Cybernetics<br />Study of regulatory systems<br />Norbert Wiener<br />(mathematician)<br />1894-1964<br />Goals (the intention of achieving a desired state)<br />Acting (having an effect on the environment)<br />Sensing (checking the response of the environment)<br />Evaluating (comparing current state with system’s goal)<br />
  24. 24. Chaos Theory<br />Study of unpredictable systems<br />Edward Lorenz<br />(meteorologist)<br />1917-2008<br />Strange attractors (chaotic behavior)<br />Sensitivity to initial conditions (butterfly effect)<br />Fractals (scale-invariance)<br />
  25. 25. The Body of Knowledge of Systems<br />Complex systems theory is the study of complex systems using multiple system theories<br />
  26. 26. Management “leading” a hierarchy of “followers” is not a very useful metaphor<br />
  27. 27. Management in the System<br />Managers are just like the other people,<br />only with a few “special powers”<br />
  28. 28. Management in the Environment<br />Or... managers are part of the team’s context,<br />constraining and steering the system<br />
  29. 29. System boundaries are fuzzy, so you can choose...<br />System<br />Environment<br />or<br />This depends on the problem you want to solve<br />
  30. 30. But you are neveran independent observer.<br />Either you influence the people and relationships directly, or you influence the environment and boundary, or both.<br />Whatever you do, your presence alone will already infuence the system.<br />
  31. 31. Self-organization is the<br />default behavior <br />in complex adaptive systems<br />
  32. 32. Managers want self-organization<br />to lead to things that have<br />Value<br />
  33. 33. Anything that is not constrained<br />by management will self-organize<br />
  34. 34. Complex adaptive systems are<br />complex<br />because of<br />Reinforcing feedback loops<br />
  35. 35. Stabilizing feedback loops<br />
  36. 36. Multiple causes per effect<br />
  37. 37. Opposing effects per cause<br />
  38. 38. Time delays between cause and effect<br />
  39. 39. Complex systems are complexbecause of the many relationships, both known and unknown, that make the systems unpredictable<br />
  40. 40. Known unknowns<br />The things you know that you don’t know<br />Like... who gets the next joker when playing a card game?<br />
  41. 41. Unknown unknowns<br />The things you don’t know that you don’t know<br />Like... ehm?<br />
  42. 42. Emergence<br />Some properties and behaviors of teams cannot be traced back to individual people<br />
  43. 43. Unfortunately, emergent properties and behaviors are largely<br />unpredictable<br />
  44. 44. The structureof a system can be<br />Complicated<br />very hard to understand<br />Simple<br />easy to understand<br />
  45. 45. The behaviorof a system can be<br />Complex<br />somewhat<br />unpredictable<br />Ordered<br />fully<br />predictable<br />Chaotic<br />very<br />unpredictable<br />
  46. 46. You can try to simplifya system to make it understandable<br />But you cannot linearizethe system to make it predictable<br />
  47. 47. <ul><li>Machine Metaphor FallacyDon’t treat the organization as a machine</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Independent Observer FallacyDon’t pretend you have an objective view</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Complicated-Complex FallacyDon’t confuse complicated with complex</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Linear Behavior FallacyDon’t assume things behave in a linear way</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Reductionism-Holism FallacyDon’t think that sum of parts equals whole</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Unknown-Unknowns FallacyDon’t think you have covered all risks</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Self-Organization FallacyDon’t believe self-organization is good</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Machine Metaphor FallacyDon’t treat the organization as a machine
  48. 48. Independent Observer FallacyDon’t pretend you have an objective view
  49. 49. Complicated-Complex FallacyDon’t confuse complicated with complex
  50. 50. Linear Behavior FallacyDon’t assume things behave in a linear way
  51. 51. Reductionism-Holism FallacyDon’t think that sum of parts equals whole
  52. 52. Unknown-Unknowns FallacyDon’t think you have covered all risks
  53. 53. Self-Organization FallacyDon’t believe self-organization is good</li></li></ul><li>Agile managers work the system,<br />not the people.<br />
  54. 54. Exercise: Complexity Fallacies (1/2)<br />Review the 14 quotes<br />Map each quote to one of the fallacies (2 per fallacy)<br />15 minutes<br />
  55. 55. Exercise: Complexity Fallacies (2/2)<br />Think of one extra quote for each of the 7 fallacies<br />Write them on sticky notes numbered 1 to 7<br />Give the sticky notes to the next group<br />Let the next group guess the fallacy for each quote<br />25 minutes<br />
  56. 56. Machine Metaphor Fallacy ___Don’t treat the organization as a machine<br />Independent Observer Fallacy ___Don’t pretend you have an objective view<br />Complicated-Complex Fallacy ___Don’t confuse complicated with complex<br />Linear Behavior Fallacy ___Don’t assume things behave in a linear way<br />Reductionism-Holism Fallacy ___Don’t think that sum of parts equals whole<br />Unknown-Unknowns Fallacy ___Don’t think you have covered all risks<br />Self-Organization Fallacy ___Don’t believe self-organization is good<br />1<br />3<br />2<br />
  57. 57. Debrief<br />
  58. 58.
  59. 59. Feedback<br />