The Viable Systems Model, and where my team fits

A viable system continues to function in a changing environment. We want our companies—and some teams—to be sustainable this way. How does your team contribute? Does your team have all the components of a viable system… and should it? Stafford Beer (1926-2002) coined the Viable Systems Model to describe what it takes. A Viable System …

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Five Measurements You Should Make and Then Ignore (Plus One to Watch Intently)

Are we succeeding as a software team?Well, if our job were feature delivery, we could look at the parade of JIRA tickets in our “complete” column. That is only part of our job, though.The purpose of a software team is to provide valued capabilities to customers, internal or external. To do that, our software has …

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Starter Elm app that deploys on Netlify

It also works with VSCode devcontainers and on GitPod. Because Step 1 in any new project is a reproducible development environment, and Step 2 is get it in production. Step 3 is implement something. Copy this code: systemsthinking-dev/poker-in-elm at starter (github.com) This is my accomplishment for the day, so I’m here to share it with …

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Software development pushes us to get better as people

Have you ever been on a really good software team? There’s this feeling of connectedness, of shared purpose. We know what we’re building, and we are skilled at building it together. This kind of team can grow some amazing software. When we work at making our team great like this, we look for new ways …

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Product teams own capabilities, not (only) code.

As a software engineer, what is your job? and what is your value? On many teams, the work is “add features to this codebase.” We congratulate teams for moving JIRA tickets from “defined” to “delivered.” Meanwhile, the value to the business depends on value to the customers, or to people or software who in turn …

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Better coordination, or better software?

TL;DR: When different parts of an organization need to coordinate, it seems like a good idea to help them coordinate smoothly and frequently. Don’t. Help them coordinate less — more explicitly, less often. Software systems get big, and they have lots of parts, and those parts need to talk to each other. Maybe we’re building …

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