Living Complexity
Living Complexity
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Living Complexity

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Last updated on 2020-09-08

About the Book

Complexity sciences with Lean and Agile Software Development are the three pillars of modern ways of working.

Complexity is considered by many to be the single most important scientific development since general relativity. Complexity Sciences study systems like weather systems, cities, organisations, and teams. With users, customers and competitors that are hyperconnected, and with the rate of change of the markets and the technology that is constantly accelerating, understanding Complexity today is more useful than ever.

While Complexity science literature is very theoretic, this book explores its practical applications in the context of software and digital products development. These practices give you the means to navigate everyday Complexity and to dance with complex systems. This book is for everyone working in software and digital products development, and more specifically for leaders, managers, facilitators, and team members.

The practices in this book constitute a practical introduction to Complexity thinking and are a stepstone to the theory of Complexity. For those already familiar with the theory of Complexity, the practices in this book suggest ways to put Complexity in action and to live Complexity.

The practices in Part 1 explore ways to orient self-organisation toward positive outcomes. The practices in Part 2 explore ways to sense and assess the degree of Complexity and ways to adapt accordingly. All the remaining practices are in Part 3, and they focus on groups larger than the single team, up to the whole organisation.

The practices in this book are inspired by the work of Joseph Pelrine, David S. Alberts, Ralph Stacey, and Dave Snowden. This book also contains original contributions from Dean Latchana, Liz Keogh, and the author himself, Luca Minudel. This book also aspires to be an example that inspires other Complexity practitioners to share other practices that could potentially be added to this book.

Note to this 5th incremental version of the ebook, published at the beginning of September 2020.

This fifth version of the catalogue adds the last 2 remaining practices of Part 2. It also adds some more blurbs to Part 1 and Part 2, highlighting the key concepts. Part 1 has been refreshed to clarify the distinction between self-organisation as intended in Complexity Sciences and "self-organising teams" as intended in the Manifesto for the Agile Software Development.

About the Author

Luca Minudel
Luca Minudel

Luca Minudel is a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer, and a Transformation lead, with 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 HSBC, Lloyds, LexisNexis.

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




Reader Testimonials

Dean Latchana
Dean Latchana

Business Agility Consultant

This book provides approaches to those wanting to employ complexity thinking without needing to become complexity theorists. It is also relevant to complexity theorists interested in accessible practices to apply their thinking. I thank Luca for addressing a gap in offering to support those wishing to recognise and work with complexity. I would invite you to make use of and reflect upon these practices. With this resource at our side, together we can support others to live with complexity.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    • Why I curated this catalogue
    • Who is this catalogue for
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Managing self-organisation and teams
    • The Basic model (by Joseph Pelrine, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • The Heat model (by Joseph Pelrine, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • The Flow model (by Joseph Pelrine, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • The ABIDE Model (by Dave Snowden, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • C2 Approach space (by David Alberts, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • Cynefin as a framework for decision making (by Dave Snowden, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • Conclusions
  • Part 2: Assessing and adapting to Complexity
    • Sensing Complexity with the Stacey Diagram (by Luca Minudel)
    • Estimating Complexity (by Liz Keogh)
    • RUDE estimation (by Dean Latchana)
    • Complexity Estimation for a delivery initiative (by Luca Minudel)
    • Four points method to make sense of the complexity of requirements (by Dave Snowden, documented by Luca Minudel)
    • Estimates Accuracy with the Cone of uncertainty (by Luca Minudel)
    • Conclusions
  • Part 3: Other practices
    • Red Team technique (by Dean Latchana)
  • Appendix
    • Introduction to Complexity, resources
    • Who is who
      • Dave Snowden
      • David Alberts
      • Dean Latchana
      • Joseph Pelrine
      • Liz Keogh
      • Ralph Douglas Stacey
  • About the Author

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