As they say, nothing is more dangerous than using yesterday’s logic for today’s problems, yet we are still working in our organisations with mental models that were inspired by manufacturing. You can see artefacts of it even in the language we use: people are resources and they work in development factories. If we are surprised why our transformations are not progressing as fast as we hoped when Agile took the stage, then looking to these old mental models provides part of the answer.

In this talk I will explain from practical experience in my work, how the old models still influence us every day and how we can break away from them and learn new models. I will give positive and negative examples from real projects to show that it is normal to experience failures and how to course correct from the lessons such failures teach us.

I will also provide pragmatic steps that everyone can take in their own organisations that don’t rely on buying new tools or following specific methods. Charting your own course starts with understanding where the problem is and understanding where our mental models let us down is part of that journey.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

Part 1 (10 min)

Comparison of the old manufacturing mental model and the new IT model to show the difference

Part 2 (20 min)

Lessons from that change in mental models and what it means for:

  1. a) The organisation ecosystem (vendors, application architecture, etc.)
  2. b) the people involved and the organisational structure
  3. c) the technical practices to support the new mental model

Part 3 (5 min)

Summary and practical next steps everyone can take

10 min left for Q&A

Learning Outcome

The most significant outcome should be that we are still using a mental model that is not appropriate anymore and why recent trends required a change to those mental models.

I will then provide example across three dimensions to bring this to life:

Ecosystem (vendors and applications/tools)

People (knowledge workers, org structures and management)

Technology (tech practices and architecture)

As pragmatic takeaways I will provide activities anyone can run in their organisations to gain insights and take the next step.

Target Audience

Anyone who is interested in getting some guidance on how to start/progress their transformation

Prerequisites for Attendees

Some basic understanding of DevOps and Agile and ideally some practical experiences with the challenges that come with adopting DevOps.


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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