Tackling Socio-technical complexity in the heart of your team @ Flowcon

Tackling Socio-technical complexity in the heart of your team @ Flowcon

As a software engineering team, we want to solve complex business problems in the most efficient way possible. We invest a lot in technology to improve our team flow and try to make our technology process sustainable. We’ve got quite compulsive about automation and autonomy in achieving this. However, we are still tribal creatures that require tribal safety. Which means that if we want to make our technology process sustainable, we must also invest in people. For that, we need to tackle social-technical complexity in the heart of our team.

In this session, Evelyn and Kenny will introduce you to the concept of social-technical systems. We will explain what social-technical complexity we are facing when building software to improve our team flow. How you can get a sense of the type of complexity you’re dealing with by using the Cynefin framework. Cynefin can aid your decision making process by helping you make less biased decisions on how to approach your software development flow with your team. Finally, we’ll show you how visual collaboration tools like EventStorming and many others that can help you visualise complexity. You will leave this session knowing how to start tackling social-technical complexity in your team. Making sure you create a sustainable technology process for your team flow!


Kenny Baas-Schwegler

December 12, 2019


  1. Tackling Socio-Technical Complexity in the heart of your team @EvelynvanKelle

  2. Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  3. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

  4. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

  5. 5 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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

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

  8. 8 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Autonomy has become compulsive, we need to

    remember we are still tribal creatures that require tribale safety. -Danielle Braun
  9. Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash Investments in technology are

    also investments in people, and these investments will make our technology process more sustainable Nicole Forsgren @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  10. Socio-technical systems Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash Complex organizational

    approach that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in workplaces @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  11. Shifting the burden to the intervenor Photo by Wil Stewart

    on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  12. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

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  14. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  15. Cargo Cult @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  16. Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash You should certainly take

    universally useful principles (...) you need to also be mindful of how your culture will react / respond. Simon Wardley “ @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  17. Culture resides between people. “The way we do things around

    here.” @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  18. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Open office space to improve communication @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  19. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas “You can copy a model but you cannot

    paste it.” My Precious @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  20. Socio-technical Complexity Result in losing: The big picture, the sense,

    a shared understanding, vision & mobilization Photo by NASA on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas https://www.lix.polytechnique.fr/~golden/sociotechnical.html
  21. Photo by NASA on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Socio-technical complexity is

    the result of ➔ Technical aspects ➔ Cognitive aspects ➔ Social aspects ➔ The interrelations of the three
  22. Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash Technical aspect @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  23. resource: Agile42 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  24. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  25. 25 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  26. Cognitive bias Cognitive aspect @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  27. 27 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  28. Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash The Magical Number Seven,

    Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information George A. Miller “ @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  29. 29 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  30. 30 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  31. 31 How many beans? @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  32. 32 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  33. 33 How many beans? @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  34. 34 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  35. 35 How many beans? @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  36. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  37. 37 Visual collaboration tools @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  38. Creating a shared sense of reality Photo by Matt Noble

    on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  39. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  40. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas foto: Hideta Nagai) credit: Corporate tribe book by

    Danielle Braun, Jitske Kramer @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Social aspect
  41. Fundamental Attribution Error @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  42. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash credit: Corporate

    Tribe by Danielle Braun, Jitske Kramer Meetings as campfires
  43. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas credit: human dimensions

  44. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Jay Wen on Unsplash Check-in /

  45. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash Weather reports

  46. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas credit: human dimensions

  47. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash Amplify and

  48. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas credit: Ruth Malan

  49. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas credit: Danielle Braun

  50. When you start judging, you stop listening and learning. Photo

    by Jeff Qian on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  51. Tackling socio-technical complexity ➔ Use the Cynefin framework as a

    sense-making device to aid decision-making. ➔ Be aware of cognitive bias and visualise complexity to maintain a shared understanding. ➔ Have meetings as campfires to increase understanding and lower assumptions. @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas
  52. Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas

  53. @kenny_baas #CatTax @kenny_baas Baasie.com xebia.com/blog/author/kbaas/ https://speakerdeck.com/baasie @EvelynvanKelle evelynvankelle@gmail.com https://www.evelynvankelle.com

  54. 54 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas What makes you say that? What do

    you mean? Who recognises this?
  55. 55 @EvelynvanKelle @kenny_baas