So, Now You're An Agilist, What's Next?

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Doing projects better doesn't stop at agile. In this presentation I attempt to distill new advances in software development from the field of complexity science.

Complexity science is the study of complex systems, like ecosystems, biological systems, economic systems, etc. "Complexity science" is the scientific approach to "systems thinking". It can be used to understand and explain why complex systems behave the way they do. Ken Schwaber, Jim Highsmith and other experts have explained in their books that a lot of agile concepts have been copied from the study of complex systems. However, agile software development has not covered all there is to learn.

I will show why practices must be agile (self-organized) *and* formal (controlled), why any software development method is doomed to fail, why managing scope is a too simplistic interpretation of the principle of “embracing change”, why most process improvement initiatives are linear and wrong, and why some sets of practices will be show chaotic behavior when combined.

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So, Now You're An Agilist, What's Next?

  1. So, Now You’re an Agilist... So, Now You’re an Agilist... What’s Next? Jurgen Appelo jurgen@noop.nl version 3
  2. Jurgen Appelo writer, speaker, entrepreneur... www.jurgenappelo.com
  3. A. psychological profiles B. leaders vs. rulers C. organization types D. organizational structures E. risk management F. organizational optimization G. adaptive methods H. non-linear improvement J. tuning process dependencies K. classification of methods Agile... what’s next? My ideas, taken from complexity science
  4. photo by blumpy disclaimer: this is a... (I sometimes change my opinion)
  5. photo by Randy Son of Robert complexity what is it?
  6. complex systems are self-organized photo by judepics
  7. photo by ClintJCL complex systems show emergent behavior
  8. photo by DavidHR complex systems behave in a non-linear way
  9. photo by Noël Zia Lee (many) complex systems are adaptive
  10. “For example, an ant colony, the brain, the immune system, a Scrum team, and New York City, are self-organizing systems.” - Ken Schwaber Agile Software Development with Scrum “At the heart of complex adaptive systems theory’s relevance to software development is the concept of emergence, and the factors leading to emergent results.” - Jim Highsmith Adaptive Software Development
  11. some books I read…
  12. The 12 Laws of Software Development Reduce Risk Measure Performance Evaluate Feedback Acquire Knowledge Manage Uncertainty Evolve Practices Motivate People Empower Teams Align Results Optimize Communication Enforce Discipline Restrain Growth which led me to “discover”…
  13. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : a complex system ? : Agents Connections Rules
  14. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #1: the agents must be active
  15. photo by MikeBlogs
  16. The 1st Law of Software Development Motivate People
  17. diversity brings robustness and flexibilityphoto by woodleywonderworks
  18. what motivates one demotivates another
  19. Don’t agree? There exists a selection of practices for which the sum of people’s motivational balances is optimal. therefore... “In a software project the optimal method is a function of the psychological profiles of its team members.” Agreed? A
  20. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #2: the system controls itself
  21. photo by Andrew Mason
  22. The 2nd Law of Software Development Empower Teamsphoto by Elvire.R.
  23. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #3: the system is unaligned ? ? ? ?
  24. unaligned self-organizationphoto by aviplot
  25. aligned self-organizationphoto by john w
  26. The 3rd Lawof Software Development Align Resultsphoto by The Wandering Angel
  27. self-organization this was the result of… photo by hive
  28. photo by Mike Licht and this too…
  29. ordered complex chaotic empowerment alignment ordered organizations need empowerment chaotic organizations need alignment The Edge of Chaos
  30. Don’t agree?Agreed? “How to implement agile depends on whether you come from an ordered or a chaotic situation.” C
  31. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #4: the agents communicate
  32. photo by woodleywonderworks
  33. Optimize Communication The 4th Law of Software Development photo by foxypar4
  34. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #5: the agents stick to rules 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. -----1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. -----
  35. photo by anna pearson
  36. The 5th Law of Software Development Enforce Disciplinephoto by kaibara87
  37. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #6: the system tends to grow ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? :
  38. photo by **Maurice**
  39. The 6th Law of Software Development Restrain Growthphoto by mountainamoeba
  40. photo by daisybush Parkinson’s Law organizations tend to get bigger
  41. Cope’s Rule species tend to get biggerimage by Bogdanov
  42. Prevent systems from growing... 1. Limit input and output (keep it simple) 2. Make resources scarce (small budgets) 3. Reduce complexity (remove waste) 4. Clean up regularly (refactoring)
  43. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #7: the system is exposed to risk
  44. photo by Aaron Escobar
  45. The 7th Law of Software Development Reduce Riskphoto by rednuht
  46. Self-Organized Criticality a critical state of high riskphoto by lrargerich
  47. Don’t agree?Agreed? Someone needs to try and reduce the system’s exposure to risk... “Risk management (mitigating potential impediments) can best be done by stepping outside the system.” E
  48. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #8: the system must know how it’s doing +/+ -/-
  49. The 8th Law of Software Development Measure Performancephoto by xmatt
  50. The Tragedy of the Commons: using shared resources photo by ojbyrne
  51. optimize the whole
  52. optimize the whole = manage shared resources
  53. Don’t agree?Agreed? “Optimize the whole means to optimize to the largest possible span of control, which can mean: don’t optimize the individual software projects.” F
  54. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #9: the system responds to the input +/- -/+
  55. The 9th Law of Software Development Evaluate Feedbackphoto by JasonRogers
  56. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #10: the system needs ways to learn !
  57. The 10th Law of Software Development Aquire Knowledgephoto by procsilas
  58. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #11: the system must cope with uncertainty
  59. Adaptation to change…
  60. The 11th Law of Software Development Manage Uncertaintyphoto by rednuht
  61. The Butterfly Effect small variations, big impactphoto by Hamed Saber
  62. ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : #12: the system figures out how to change 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 3. --- 4. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. -----1. ----- 4. --- 5. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. ----- 4. ----- 5. --- 6. ----- 2. ----- 3. --- 5. ----- 1. ----- 2. --- 3. -----
  63. photo by Sukanto Debnath genotype (genes) phenotype (body)
  64. The 12th Law of Software Development Evolve Practicesphoto by Hulagway
  65. fixed practices = not complex at all
  66. Don’t agree?Agreed? Adaptive phenotype... changing requirements Adaptive genotype... changing environment “Not just the project, but the method itself must be adaptable too.” G
  67. Fitness Landscapes evaluating performancephoto by Hulagway
  68. “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” - Louis Carroll Through the Looking Glass The Red Queen Effect
  69. PDCA QIP AIM Pr2imer CPI-7 1. Determine Problems Plan Understand Assess Analysis Managing 2. Set Goals Set Goals Analyze Target Targets 3. Define Metrics Plan 4. Identify Improvements Act Choose Improve Analyzing 5. Implement Improvements Pilot Improving 6. Execute Processes (implicit) Do Execute -- -- -- 7. Check Measurements Check Analyze Metricate -- Managing process improvement
  70. ? linear improvement stuck on local optimum or walk through the valley (things get worse before they get better)
  71. Crossover photo by Kevin N. Murphy mixing practices from two sources
  72. non-linear improvement find higher peaks by averaging prior high performers
  73. Don’t agree?Agreed? “Linear improvement works up to a point, but to find the optimal development process you need a non-linear approach.” H
  74. moderately connected system (several optimums) sparsely connected system (one optimum) intensively connected system (no real optimum)
  75. Don’t agree?Agreed? “Methods are strong when it’s easy to replace individual practices.” J
  76. sudden burst of solutionsimage by Karl J. Niklas Punctuated Equilibrium
  77. Attractors convergence of formsphoto by Okko Pyykkö
  78. Don’t agree?Agreed? “We now experience a burst of methods and tools, due to environmental change. This could converge into a few main forms with many small variations.” K
  79. The 12 Laws of Software Development Reduce Risk Measure Performance Evaluate Feedback Acquire Knowledge Manage Uncertainty Evolve Practices Motivate People Empower Teams Align Results Optimize Communication Enforce Discipline Restrain Growth ANY creative team project
  80. A. psychological profiles B. leaders vs. rulers C. organization types D. organizational structures E. risk management F. organizational optimization G. adaptive methods H. non-linear improvement J. tuning process dependencies K. classification of methods Agile... what’s next? Don’t agree?Agreed?
  81. m30.me/happiness
  82. @jurgenappelo slideshare.net/jurgenappelo noop.nl linkedin.com/in/jurgenappelo jurgen@noop.nl
  83. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ This presentation was inspired by the works of many people, and I cannot possibly list them all. Though I did my very best to attribute all authors of texts and images, and to recognize any copyrights, if you think that anything in this presentation should be changed, added or removed, please contact me at jurgen@noop.nl.

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