Simon will be presenting the following session
  • Simon Copsey

    Simon Copsey - Systems Thinking for Happy Staff and Elated Customers

    45 Mins

    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.

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

As a developer I started to find myself more fascinated with how teams organised themselves around problems software I was engineering. That led me to want to help teams and organisations help create conditions for their staff to succeed and thrive when tackling complex problems.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

I believe we are all conditioned to tackle complex problems analytically - we often break a complex problem into smaller problems and solve each one in isolation. When tackling complex problems, where no one person understands the whole, this approach can make things worse - I have fallen foul of this too many times!

3. What do you think are the most exciting developments in software product engineering today?

Those movements that force us to confront old assumptions, such as Agile and DevOps.

4. Why did you choose the topic(s) you will be speaking about at the conference?

Systems thinking has radically changed how I approach problems, and I hope it can also be a useful tool for others.

5. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s) at Agile India?

In complex organisations, tackling obstacles in isolation (analysis) often has low impact and high cost.

Cause-and-effect thinking (synthesis) can help us:

  • Find and focus efforts on underlying cause(s) to eliminate many obstacles
  • Understand why changes anywhere that isn’t an underlying cause leads only to temporary improvement
  • Accept why previous attempts to improve things may have been unsuccessful, and improve future attempt
6. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?

Steve Tendon's session on TameFlow.

7. Any personal remarks/message you want to share with the software community?

Stay curious, keep asking "why"!