This hands-on workshop presents a framework that helps architects to navigate complexity and make better decisions. Participants will engage in several activities that build upon each other. They will learn a number of practical and accessible tools and approaches, including sense-making and the Cynefin framework, that lead to more resilient architectures, systems, and organizations.
Target Audience: architects, developers, managers, program managers, product managers, anyone working with architects
Prerequisites: Ability to sketch and describe the architecture of a system that you work on
We want our organizations and systems to be agile. We want them to evolve with the needs of the business, its customers and stakeholders, and to be resilient in the face of ever changing market conditions and the external environment. This level of adaptability and responsiveness needs to be supported by the architecture of the systems we create. The complexity of the environment that architects find themselves in is increasing in recent years, with cloud, DevOps, continuous deployment, micro services and other elements adding to the factors that architects must consider. With this growing complexity, architects need to be supported by effective decision-making approaches.
Size is also a factor. Larger systems and larger organizations have, by definition, a larger number of dependencies (internal and external) that must be managed, and a larger number of stakeholders (internal and external) whose needs must be addressed. The architecture of larger systems can involve hundreds or thousands of people, creating dozens to hundreds of products, components and subsystems that all need to work together. Maintaining the conceptual integrity of the architecture under such circumstances, and over time, presents many challenges and a greater need for coherence.
To navigate all of this, agile architects need to be adaptive; they need the ability to dynamically shift their decision-making approach to match the complexity of the circumstances they face. This session will describe how lessons from complexity science, and in particular, sense making and the Cynefin framework, can help architects to be more agile in how they work, and in turn, help them develop architectures that are more agile and adaptive to the needs of the organizations they serve.