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Autonomy, is that what we really want? @ Flowcon 2022

Autonomy, is that what we really want? @ Flowcon 2022

There has been a focus on autonomy in information technology; From autonomy in code, to autonomy while coding, autonomous systems with microservices to autonomous high-performing teams. When you read Daniel Pink’s research in the book Drive, it makes sense; autonomy is one of the three things that motivate us; it is the ability of the person to make his or her own decisions. However, often autonomy can lead to isolation and disconnect from the rest of the code, team, or organisation. So how can we balance the individual needs while staying connected to the team/organisation to stay autonomous?

In this talk, we will go through all the levels we deal with in IT, from code to organisation collaboration. We will go into autonomy at each level and explain how we often confuse autonomy with individual needs. These individual needs can turn into isolation and disconnect from the code, team and organisation. Through examples, we will show how our compulsiveness towards autonomy gives us both downsides of being isolated and coupled in the code, within the team and organisation. You will leave the talk knowing how polarity management can help you manage this paradox between the individual and the team/organisation and get the benefits from the whole and the individual to be balanced.

Kenny Baas-Schwegler

October 18, 2022
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  1. Autonomy, is that what we really want?
    What we really really want?
    Kenny Baas-Schwegler (& Evelyn van Kelle)
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  2. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  3. Autonomy, as described by Mr. Pink, is the urge to
    direct one's own life. Without the ability to control
    what, when, and how we work, and who we work
    with, we'll never be completely motivated to
    complete a task
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  4. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    “Man is born free, but one of the first things he learns is to do as he is told
    and he spends the rest of his life doing that. Thus his first enslavement is to
    his parents. He follows their instructions forevermore, retaining only in some
    cases, the right to choose his own methods and consoling himself with an
    illusion of autonomy.”
    - Eric Berne

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  5. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Definition of autonomy
    1. The quality or state of being self-governing especially : the right of self-government The territory was
    granted autonomy.
    2. Self-directing freedom and especially moral independence personal autonomy
    3. A self-governing state
    Autonomy Has Origins in Law
    Since nomos is Greek for "law", something autonomous makes its own laws. The amount of autonomy enjoyed by
    French-speaking Quebec, or of Palestinians in certain towns in Israel, or of independent-minded regions of Russia,
    have become major issues. The autonomy of individual states in the United States has posed serious
    constitutional questions for two centuries. The autonomy of children is almost always limited by their parents. But
    when those parents are elderly and begin driving poorly and getting confused about their finances, their children
    may see the need to limit their autonomy in much the same way.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autonomy

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  6. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    “I hate the word autonomy. ... I think autonomy is individuating. ... The way I hear
    the word and I think other people hear it – and I might be wrong and other people
    hear it differently – but the way I hear it is “I have the right to make my own
    decisions. I have the right to make my own rules.”
    - Jabe Bloom
    http://ueberproduct.de/ep-22-jabe-bloom-marc-burgauer-designing-systems-pt-ii/

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  7. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
    Autonomy can be compulsive
    Photo by Viktor Mui on Flckr
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  8. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  9. 9
    Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  10. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  11. Photo by Martin Rancourt on Unsplash
    Autonomy on several levels
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    1. Code level
    2. Team level
    3. Teams level
    4. Organisation level

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  12. Photo by James Harrison on Unsplash
    Autonomy in code
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    No silver bullets and golden hammers

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  13. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  14. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    https://martinfowler.com/articles/2021-test-shapes.html

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  15. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  16. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Business
    Architects
    Developers Tests

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  17. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  18. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  19. Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash
    Autonomy in teams
    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  20. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Like me, please.
    Photo by Judith Prins on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  21. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Be sure to keep vetting and
    revisiting decisions that deal with
    polarity problems
    Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  22. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Autonomy IS NOT dictatorship
    Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  23. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Autonomy is not an excuse to hold
    something against someone
    Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  24. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  25. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Continuous Integration and Feature Branching- https://www.davefarley.net/?p=247
    Main/trunk

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  26. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash
    Sunken Cost Fallacy:
    Why change now?
    We’ve already wasted so much money.

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  27. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  28. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  29. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Photo by Product School on Unsplash
    Autonomy between teams
    The “Ivory Towers”
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  30. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  31. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  32. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    We should be thinking about limiting the size of
    software, services, and products to the cognitive load
    that the team can handle.

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  33. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
    https://github.com/ddd-crew/context-mapping
    Credits: Eric Evans

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  34. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  35. Photo by Ismael Bashiri on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Enabling teams actively avoid becoming
    “ivory towers”of knowledge,
    dictating technical choices for other teams to follow.

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  36. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  37. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  38. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  39. Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash
    Autonomy in organizations
    A continuous negotiation
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  40. Vision, boundaries, or both?
    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  41. So, who calls the shots now?
    Photo by Tingey injury on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  42. Leadership is not Dictatorship
    It requires us to balance
    power and Love
    Photo by Tingey injury on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  43. We gave them autonomy.
    Why aren’t they doing anything with it?
    Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  44. When there’s autonomy everywhere,
    do we still need managers and
    architects?
    Photo by Miguel a Amutio on Unsplash
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  45. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  46. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
    Photo by Martin Rancourt on Unsplash
    Patterns of autonomy and isolation are fractal.
    If you find one at one layer,
    you can bet you can find the same
    at other layers as well.

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  47. Autonomy, is that what we really, really want?
    Define and negotiate boundaries continuously
    Manage polarities
    @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  48. @kenny_baas #CatTax
    Twitter: @kenny_baas
    Blog: Baasie.com
    Slides:
    https://speakerdeck.com/baasie
    @EvelynvanKelle
    [email protected]
    https://www.evelynvankelle.com
    Leave the judging to cats.

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