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Software Development Team Dynamics Revisited

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how teams interact and particularly where they fall down and why. What follows is a model that illustrates how I’ve observed high-performing teams interrelate when producing software, as well as causes for different kinds of intra-team dysfunction.  The outer circle represents the constraints a given team has accepted at […]

Software Testing

Tension and Negotiation Between Disciplines

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My thinking in this area are evolving and so I expect I’ll be updating this in future posts, but I think there’s enough utility here that is worth sharing. There’s a natural tension that exists (and should exist) between product folks and development folks. For a long time I’ve explained it to people like this: Product […]

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Cynefin and Software Testing – The Complex Domain

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Cynefin - The Complex Domain

The Complex domain seems to be where all the fun happens for software development. It also seems to be the point where we most often get into trouble. In the complex domain, there are many variables that we simply do not understand until after we have interacted with them. If the Obvious and Complicated domains […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – Chaos

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If you are in the domain of Chaos, then action and consequence appear to be completely disassociated. If there were rules that were working for you, they’re useless to you now (and more likely detrimental if you’re still clinging to them). There are those that thrive in chaos. Often, they are dictators and despots as this […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – Disorder

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The odd shape in the middle of the Cynefin framework is the domain of disorder. Despite not looking a whole lot like the others, it is a domain in its own right and arguably the most interesting of the domains as it is (I find) less straightforward to understand than the others. At its most […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – The Complicated Domain

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At the top right of the Cynefin sensemaking framework is the domain of the Complicated. Like the Obvious domain it describes an ordered system, in that cause and effect can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy. The major distinction here is that understanding the rules and relationships that make up a Complicated system […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – The Obvious

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Cynefin is a sensemaking framework comprised of five distinct domains – Obvious, Complicated, Complex, Chaos and Disorder. The term framework is deliberately chosen and is important. It is not a categorisation model, though I have used it as one to good effect on multiple occasions. Rather, each domain provides you a distinct lens through which […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing

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In July of 2016 I attended a 4-day workshop with Dave Snowden on complexity and the Cynefin sensemaking framework. For me, Cynefin was something that had floated around the periphery of my interest for a number of years, but whilst it seemed like a nice concept, I didn’t see how it was applicable to my […]