Living Complexity
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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 https://leanpub.com/user_dashboard/library

Read the reviews of the book and add your review here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53843886-living-complexity.

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About the Author

Luca Minudel
Luca Minudel

Luca Minudel is a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer, and a Transformation lead, with 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. He worked as Head of Agility, Agile Transformation Lead, Lean/Agile Practice Lead, and as Lean/Agile Coach in companies such as Lloyds, Japan Tobacco International, BP, The AA, HSBC, and LexisNexis.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lukadotnet

Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucaminudel/

Blog: https://www.smharter.com/blog/

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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

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