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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
  2. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  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
  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
  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
  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/
  7. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash Autonomy can

    be compulsive Photo by Viktor Mui on Flckr @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  8. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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

  10. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  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
  12. Photo by James Harrison on Unsplash Autonomy in code @EvelynvanKelle

    @kenny_baas No silver bullets and golden hammers
  13. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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

  15. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  16. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Business Architects Developers Tests

  17. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  18. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  19. Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash Autonomy in teams Individuals

    and interactions over processes and tools @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  20. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Like me, please. Photo by Judith

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

    on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  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
  24. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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

  26. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash Sunken

    Cost Fallacy: Why change now? We’ve already wasted so much money.
  27. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  28. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  29. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Product School on Unsplash Autonomy between

    teams The “Ivory Towers” @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  30. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  31. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  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.
  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
  34. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  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.
  36. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  37. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  38. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  39. Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash Autonomy in organizations A

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

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

    on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  42. Leadership is not Dictatorship It requires us to balance power

    and Love Photo by Tingey injury on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  43. We gave them autonomy. Why aren’t they doing anything with

    it? Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  44. When there’s autonomy everywhere, do we still need managers and

    architects? Photo by Miguel a Amutio on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  45. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  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.
  47. Autonomy, is that what we really, really want? Define and

    negotiate boundaries continuously Manage polarities @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  48. @kenny_baas #CatTax Twitter: @kenny_baas Blog: Baasie.com Slides: https://speakerdeck.com/baasie @EvelynvanKelle evelynvankelle@gmail.com

    https://www.evelynvankelle.com Leave the judging to cats.