Systems Thinking for Happy Staff and Elated Customers

location_city Online schedule Sep 22nd 03:00 - 03:45 PM IST place Zoom people 53 Interested

Every organisation has problems to overcome. At first glance they seem daunting: software bugs, financial issues, staff troubles, operational woes.

However: what if all these problems weren’t disconnected, but actually stemmed from the same underlying cause? What if - by tackling that underlying cause - we could make all those obstacles disappear in one go? And, what if it was surprisingly simple to find that underlying cause?

This talk draws on the Theory of Constraints and aims to provide you with the tools you need to understand and uproot the cause of complex, cross-functional problems that cause widespread pain and all too often go unaddressed.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

1. A story of Weyland Yutani and slowing software delivery.

2. Your turn at thinking in systems.

3. A story of Tyrell Corporation and unhappy staff.

Learning Outcome

Organisations are complex and interconnected, where tackling obstacles in isolation often has a low impact and a high cost. However, cause-and-effect thinking allows us to see simplicity in complexity, so that we can:
1. Find and focus efforts on underlying cause(s) to eliminate many obstacles
2. Understand why changes anywhere that isn’t an underlying cause leads only to temporary improvement
3. Accept why previous attempts to improve things may have been unsuccessful, and improve future attempts

Target Audience

All conference attendees


schedule Submitted 9 months ago

  • Jeff Gothelf

    Jeff Gothelf - Outcome-based Product Planning

    45 Mins

    Roadmapping is a flawed concept in the age of Agile. Maps, by their definition, are linear and we don't build linear products and services any more. We build continuous systems. Nevertheless, we have to be able to create and provide some plans for our teams, leaders and customers to set expectations about the ongoing improvements and future of the services we build. How do we communicate that effectively in a continuous world? How do we ensure the voice of the customer is included in these plans?

    In this talk, Jeff Gothelf will discuss the concept of outcome-based product planning. Using specific examples and detailed tools, Jeff will show how taking a customer-centric look at product strategy and creating continuously improving plans ensures the teams maintain their agility, customer-focus and ultimately, the success of their product.

  • Bart den Haak

    Bart den Haak - How to make OKRs Lean again

    45 Mins

    OKRs are a goal-setting, strategy execution tool that involves setting ambitious goals that lead to measurable results. The thing is, over the years, OKRs have gotten too complicated - they need to be put on a diet - and that’s where Lean OKRs step in. They are hyper-focused on one single OKR to rule all others. Often, OKRs are not set up for success and thus tossed aside. I can name four (and a half) common reasons why your OKRs aren’t working. Among them, the importance of finding a rhythm for making OKRs part of your way of working, leading teams with trust, and getting the foundation in place so teams aren’t running before they learn how to walk.

  • Steve Tendon
    Steve Tendon
    TameFlow Consulting Lmited
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    This talk will describe how we can enable the businesses to manage software engineering efforts at scale in a financially sound way, all the while dealing with multiple projects/products or value streams, multiple events or deadlines, multiple stakeholders and multiple teams.

    It will show how to resolve the conundrum of dependency management at scale by collapsing the combinatorial explosion of dependency networks into a simple linear queue.

    It will describe how to instrument the organization in order to raise leading signals of oncoming trouble in order to trigger intense, frequent and engaging collaboration between all players (business and engineering), leading to an environment that unleashes the organization's collective intelligence via co-creation and social learning.

    The talk will highlight techniques employed to foster intense collaboration between engineering and business, at scale.

    It has been employed, among others, in a case in the automotive industry involving an organization with 8.000 people, half of which in 120 engineering teams distributed globally across the world, dealing with on average 400 projects in process at any time, and 70,000 change requests per month. The focused approached allowed the organization to improve it's operational throughput by 40% in a matter of months after inception.

    The approach is data driven, and takes into account: Flow metrics, Buffer Burn Rate, Virtual Queue Sizes, Operational Throughput, Financial Throughput, Financial Throughput Rate.

    The techniques used are a re-elaboration of the Theory of Constraints, taking elements of Drum-Buffer-Rope scheduling and Critical-Chain Project Management, and combining them with queuing theory and Little's Law.

    The metrics and signals produced are also used to trigger collective psychological flow states leading to sustainable and optimal human experience at work.

  • Jessica Cavallaro

    Jessica Cavallaro / Roslynn Jackson - How Can Agility Transform Education to Prepare Students for the Future?

    45 Mins
    Case Study

    In this presentation Jessica and Roslynn will present how agility can transform the modern education system to purposefully teach students the skills that they will need to find success in the ever changing economy. 

       Jessica and Roslynn have brought Agile into their middle school classrooms and found incredible results. Students were able to cultivate their own agile mindset, build their own kanban boards and employ project management skills to design and process their own projects. Along the way students also built time management, leadership, organizational and communication skills, which are all highly necessary to navigate an ever evolving economy.