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Towards sustainable learning, designing, and decision-making

Towards sustainable learning, designing, and decision-making

This keynote talk articulates many threads of thinking and also work I am doing with different clients, trying to position and define how to help organizations genuinely advance on their journey towards sustainable learning, designing, and decision-making (which, in my view, is fundamental to achieve a sustainable fast flow of change). I discuss challenges and common pitfalls and then share some concrete things that seem to help advance in that journey (using several examples).

📽️ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2281OTB-Ds8
✍🏻 article: https://esilva.net/articles/agile-tour-vienna-2023-keynote

Eduardo da Silva

September 15, 2023
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  1. Towards sustainable learning,
    designing, and decision-making
    Eduardo da Silva, PhD
    (esilva.net | modernarch.consulting | @emgsilva | [email protected])
    Agile Tour Vienna 2023, 14/09/2023

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  2. 2
    Sustainable Fast Flow of Change

    Sustainable Learning, Designing and Decision-making
    Photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira on Unsplash
    2

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  3. Organizations that are not enabling sustainable
    Learning, designing and decision-making will struggle
    to respond to their environment
    3
    Photo by Cole Patrick on Unsplash
    3

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  4. 5
    “Learning is a process that
    leads to change, which
    occurs as a result of
    experience and increases
    the potential for improved
    performance and future
    learning”
    Ambrose et al., 2010

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  5. 6
    ⚠ It is not just about
    learning, but how to
    leverage that learning to
    drive designs & decisions

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  6. 7
    bol.com 1999 - 2019
    Things sold
    Services
    Significant events

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  7. 8
    bol.com 1999 - 2019
    ℹ bol.com had no clue of their journey…
    They experimented & learned what works (and not)

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  8. 9
    Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash
    9

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  9. 10
    Image & Credits: https://thecynefin.co/about-us/about-cynefin-framework

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  10. 11
    Image & Credits: https://thecynefin.co/about-us/about-cynefin-framework
    Most modern orgs have a
    lot of activities here…
    “Best practices” and
    expert knowledge is not
    enough! We need to
    “probe > sense > respond”

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  11. 12
    Image & Credits: https://thecynefin.co/about-us/about-cynefin-framework
    Most modern orgs have a
    lot of activities here…
    “Best practices” and
    expert knowledge is not
    enough! We need to
    “probe > sense > respond”
    ⚠many organizations
    are using practices from
    these domains to work
    on their “Complex
    Domains”...

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  12. 13
    Image & Credits: https://thecynefin.co/about-us/about-cynefin-framework
    Most modern orgs are
    here…
    Unpredictable but “all is
    inter-connected”
    “Best practices” and
    expert knowledge is not
    enough! We need to
    “probe > sense > respond”
    ⚠many organizations
    are using practices from
    these domains to work
    on their “Complex
    Domains”...
    ⚠classic “controlling operating models” and “Ivory
    Tower Architects” do not work well on Complex
    Domains!

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  13. 14
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  14. 15
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  15. 16
    stretching our teams/org & creating
    complex processes => increasingly
    messier social and technical systems
    (⚠Conway’s Law)
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  16. 17
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  17. 18
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  18. 19
    Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash
    Outcome: continuously “fight” against the environment
    (external & internal)...

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  19. 🏭🤖 These mechanistic org structures & Controlling
    Operating models limit the dynamics & agility that
    modern orgs need (& create lot of waste!)
    20
    Photo by Cole Patrick on Unsplash
    20

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  20. 21
    Inspired by: Reflections: Sociotechnical Systems Design and Organization Change

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  21. 22
    💡Creating org cultures & structures that nurture
    sustainable learning, designing and decision-making
    Photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira on Unsplash
    22

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  22. 🎯 Sustainable Fast Flow of Change Operating Models 🌳
    23
    Sociotechnical Systems Evolution & Architecture, Eduardo da Silva

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  23. 🎯 Sustainable Fast Flow of Change Operating Models 🌳
    24
    Sociotechnical Systems Evolution & Architecture, Eduardo da Silva
    How to get there?

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  24. 25
    🔬Learning: minimal and
    made in isolation
    📝Designing: outside teams
    (by Architects and
    controlled Managers)
    🤝Decision-making: outside
    teams (by Architects and
    Managers (“boss”))
    🔬Learning: maximized
    across the org (no
    silos)
    📝Designing: in teams &
    with teams involvement
    🤝Decision-making: in
    teams close to problems

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  25. 26
    bol.com 1999 - 2019

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  26. 27
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    bol.com 1999 - 2019 (SocioTechnical Architecture evolution)
    Arch.

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  27. 28
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall
    Phase 1 (1999 - ~2010): Starting, waterfall & monoliths
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects)

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  28. 29
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall
    Phase 1 (1999 - ~2010): Starting, waterfall & monoliths
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects)

    “need for scaling”

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  29. 30
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall Agile DevOps Teams
    (Micro)services
    ~30
    ~10
    Phase 2 (~2010 - ~2017): Autonomous Teams
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects) Teams + Archs
    “need for scaling”

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  30. 31
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall Agile DevOps Teams
    (Micro)services
    ~30
    ~10
    Phase 2 (~2010 - ~2017): Autonomous Teams
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects) Teams + Archs
    “need for scaling”

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  31. 🟠 Many organizations stop here:
    ● Many “autonomous teams” owning different parts
    ● “Architects & Managers” managing things around
    them”
    ● Product & Tech Silos
    32

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  32. ⚠ Some Issues:
    ● Blind focus on adding “little scopes” of work (to
    manage teams cognitive load)
    ● ad-hoc connected islands - with product sending
    “messages in a bottle”
    …this does not help to maximize Learning “What is
    important”
    33

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  33. 🟢 What to do?
    ● Listen to the Awkward Interactions
    ● Get Architects & Managers (& Coaches) - and other
    people around the teams, to help addressing those
    awkward interactions…
    34

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  34. 35
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall Agile DevOps Teams
    (Micro)services
    ~30
    ~100
    ~10 ~600
    Phase 2 (~2010 - ~2017): Autonomous Teams
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects) Teams + Architects (anything around teams)




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  35. 36
    Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
    🕸 org is a network of teams and scopes. Looking at
    “team scope” in isolation is not enough!

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  36. 37
    Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
    🎯 enable Learning across all the org “Scopes” so
    teams & org can better achieve their purpose & goals and
    respond to their environment

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  37. “A system is more than the
    sum of its parts… It loses
    its essential properties
    when it is taken apart…“
    Russell Ackoff
    38
    On Systems Thinking, Russell Ackoff

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  38. 39
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Products
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall Agile
    Product Teams
    DevOps Teams
    (Micro)services
    ~30
    ~100
    ~10 ~600 ~50
    Phase 3 (~2017 - ??): Product organization
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects) Teams + Architects (anything around teams)
    Teams (+ Enabling Product Architects)
    “need for
    sustainable fast
    flow of change”

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  39. Re-adjusting Organization Structure
    ● Team scope has all
    disciplines needed
    (including “product” and
    “tech”)
    ● Product scope groups teams
    working on related value
    streams
    ● Product Group scope tends
    to be a way to scale
    related product (scopes) -
    less common
    40
    Product Taxonomy, Ross Clanton, Amy Walters, Jason Zubrick, Pat Birkeland, Mik Kersten, Alan Nance, and Anders Wallgren

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  40. ● “Product Leadership” team
    (e.g., Engineering Manager
    + Product Manager + Tech
    Lead) works as an Enabling
    Team
    41
    Product Taxonomy, Ross Clanton, Amy Walters, Jason Zubrick, Pat Birkeland, Mik Kersten, Alan Nance, and Anders Wallgren
    Re-adjusting Organization Structures

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  41. 🟢 Semi-Autonomous Teams with clearer Alignment
    ✅ Team is involved into the important discussions to
    maximize learning
    ✅ Architects (& Managers) become “Enabling
    Architects” - “how can I help teams learn more, design
    and decide better and sooner?”
    42

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  42. 43
    Tech
    Arch
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Prod
    Monoliths
    Products
    Tech
    Org
    (&
    Way
    of
    Work)
    Waterfall Agile
    Product Teams
    DevOps Teams
    (Micro)services
    ~30
    ~100
    ~10 ~600 ~50
    bol.com 1999 - 2019
    Arch. Centralized (by Architects) Teams + Architects (anything around teams)
    Teams (+ Enabling Product Architects)
    “need for scaling” “sustainable fast
    flow of change”

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  43. ⚠ Mind this middle…
    the “transformation”
    this seems to be the
    place where most orgs
    stop!
    What can we do?
    44

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  44. Team topologies, Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais
    45

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  45. 46
    Architecture Topologies & Architecture as Enabling Team, Eduardo da Silva
    Architecture
    & LEadership
    as Enabling
    Team

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  46. Architecture Organization Topologies (AOTs)
    47
    Architecture Organization Topologies, Eduardo da Silva

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  47. Architecture Modernization, Nick Tune
    48

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  48. 49
    Kickstarting Modernization

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  49. Architecture Modernization “Enabling Team” (AMET)
    50
    Architecture Modernization Enabling Team (AMET), Eduardo da Silva & Nick Tune

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  50. My Take home message:
    ⚠ Change & Uncertainty will not stop
    ✅ Embrace it, and thinking models and practices that
    help you notice it, learn & decide to sustainably
    navigate it
    52

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  51. Thank you!
    Eduardo da Silva, PhD
    Independent consultant - Sustainable Fast Flow of Change
    Team Topologies Valued Practitioner (TTVP)
    # @emgsilva | esilva.net | modernarch.consulting | [email protected]
    53

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