Living Complexity
Minimum price
Suggested price

Living Complexity

Practical applications of Human Complexity in software and digital products development

About the Book

Human Complexity is the branch of Complexity science relevant to teams and modern organisations. Together with Lean and Agile Software Development, Human Complexity is one of the pillars of modern ways of working. With the constantly accelerating rate of change in technology and the markets, and with users, customers and competitors that are hyperconnected, understanding Human Complexity today is useful more than ever.

This book describes 15 practical applications of Human Complexity in the context of software and digital products development. And it also suggests a new strategy for introducing teams and organisations to Human Complexity, based on the principle of acting your way into the new Complexity thinking.

The 15 practices help to skip over the most common misunderstandings on Complexity that are still widespread nowadays. The strategy for introducing Complexity comes from the author's experience working with various senior leaders, managers, teams, and organisations. And it builds on the lessons learned the hard way from failures and from what ultimately proved to work well.

Finally, the book connects the dots among all the practices presented and offers a glimpse into the modern organisations able to cope with and exploit Complexity, their traits and characteristics.

The book is for modern leaders, managers, facilitators, change agents (Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches), and team members.

The practices in this book are inspired by the work of Joseph Pelrine, David S. Alberts, Ralph Stacey, and Dave Snowden. This book also includes original contributions from Dean Latchana and Liz Keogh.

This book has been improved thanks to the precious feedback from Joseph Pelrine, Sunil Mundra, Dave Snowden, Brett Ansley, Ilias Bartolini, Carlo Beschi, Maurizio Pedriale, Peter Fessel, Bülent Duagi, Tom Northwood, Antonia Greensides, David Legge, Katya Kolmogorova, Greg Franklin, Corrado De Sanctis, Michael Park, Vicenç García Altés, Simon Reindl, Carlo Volpi.

Note to this third edition of the book (available for free to everyone who bought a previous edition): This third edition of the book comes with more stories and practical tips that make the book easier to read and more enjoyable. It describes a new strategy for introducing Complexity thinking to teams and the organisation. It has more insightful conclusions. The naming of some practices and concepts has also evolved thanks to the additional clarity emerged over time. Check here to download the latest edition when it becomes available

Read the reviews of the book and add your review here:

  • Share this book

  • Categories

    • Agile
    • Product Management
    • Leadership
    • Lean
    • Social Sciences
    • Sciences
    • Organizational Psychology
    • Teamwork
    • Agile Enterprise
    • Business and IT Alignment
  • Feedback

    You must own a copy of this Book to access the forums.

    Email the Author(s)

About the Author

Luca Minudel
Luca Minudel

Luca Minudel is a Consultant, Advisor and Mentor in Agile, Lean, and Complexity, serving teams, managers, senior leaders, and executives. He has over 20 years of experience in professional software delivery and digital product development, most of them with Lean and Agile.

He is passionate about agility, lean, complexity science, and co-creation.

He contributed to the adoption of lean and agile practices by Ferrari's F1 racing team. For ThoughtWorks, he delivered training, coaching, assessments and organisational transformations in top-tier organisations in Europe and the United States.

Companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Japan Tobacco International, BP energy company, The AA, HSBC, and LexisNexis, are among his clients.

Luca is the founder and CEO of, a company that helps organisations turn their way of working into their competitive advantage.






Bundles that include this book

Bought separately
Bundle Price

Reader Testimonials

Maurizio Pedriale
Maurizio Pedriale

This book is a methodical work, that fills a gap in the extensive - and sometimes difficult to navigate - body of work around complexity, and how different approaches and ideas blend and interact with the world of Agile. I believe its conciseness and structure make it a good companion for Agile coaches, and can be read both cover to cover, as well as by referring to specific parts.

Greg Franklin
Greg Franklin

This book can help leaders and managers through organisational change. It supplies the tools they may need to make sense of a complex environment and provides a vocabulary to communicate it. It is a very useful book which leaders will want to reach for as a reference to better understand the theory and then put it into practice.

Antonia Greensides
Antonia Greensides

This catalogue of practices presents and interprets the work of several thought leaders, past and present, in an accessible and concise style whilst demonstrating practical applications of complexity sciences. There is much here to excite agile practitioners, there being an assumption of experience and skill in group practice. I will refer back to this book multiple times and recommend it enthusiastically to those working in the agile sphere.

Katya Kolmogorova
Katya Kolmogorova

I went through the first version of the book and really loved those ideas. It was the first time I saw a merger of complex systems and agile teams and it was eye-opening. I loved how it catalogued individual concepts and their applicability. Plus, a great read for nerds in leadership positions.

Bülent Duagi
Bülent Duagi

Good curation of some models and techniques to help Product teams deal better with the complexity in their work.

Simon Reindl
Simon Reindl

This is a great book to read and reference time and again. In a clearly structured way, it explores some models around managing complexity and self-organisation in teams and then explores practices to understand your situation and context. It is clearly written, and well-indexed to help you quickly find that nugget that you want to use. It is a great foundation of Complexity and provides a practical approach that is framework agnostic - which makes it even more useful on your reference shelf.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
    • Why I curated this catalogue
    • Who is this catalogue for
  • Introduction
  • Two radically new ideas
    • The practical approach
    • The human Complexity
  • The landscape
  • The key concepts
  • Region 1
    • Human self-organisation
    • The Basic model (by Joseph Pelrine)
    • The Heat model (by Joseph Pelrine)
    • The Flow model (by Joseph Pelrine)
    • The ABIDE model (by Dave Snowden)
    • Conclusions
  • Region 2
    • Assessing the degree of Complexity
    • Sensing Complexity (by Luca Minudel)
    • Assessing Complexity (by Liz Keogh, documented by Liz Keogh)
    • Delivery initiative Complexity assessment (by Luca Minudel)
    • Four points method (by Dave Snowden)
    • Adapting to the degree of Complexity
    • RUDE estimation (by Dean Latchana, documented by Dean Latchana)
    • Cynefin for decision making (by Dave Snowden)
    • C2 Approach Space (by David Alberts)
    • Cone of Complexity (by Luca Minudel)
    • Conclusions
  • Region 3
    • Co-cretion, collaborating in Complexity
    • Red Team technique (by Dean Latchana, documented by Dean Latchana)
    • Culture affinity assessment (by Luca Minudel)
    • Lean Inception (by ThoughtWorks)
    • Conclusions
  • A glimpse at modern Orgs
  • How to introduce Complexity
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix
    • Appendix A: Introduction to Complexity, resources
    • Appendix B: Who is who
      • Dean Latchana (Co-author)
      • Liz Keogh (Co-author)
      • Dave Snowden
      • David Alberts
      • Joseph Pelrine
      • Ralph Douglas Stacey
      • Others mentioned in the book
    • Appendix C: Mapping the Fearless Change patterns to ABIDE, exercise
  • About the Author
  • Notes

The Leanpub 60 Day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 60 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

Now, this is technically risky for us, since you'll have the book or course files either way. But we're so confident in our products and services, and in our authors and readers, that we're happy to offer a full money back guarantee for everything we sell.

You can only find out how good something is by trying it, and because of our 100% money back guarantee there's literally no risk to do so!

So, there's no reason not to click the Add to Cart button, is there?

See full terms...

80% Royalties. Earn $16 on a $20 book.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book or course for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

(Yes, some authors have already earned much more than that on Leanpub.)

In fact, authors have earnedover $13 millionwriting, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers) and EPUB (for phones, tablets and Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF and/or EPUB files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub