20201102 - FlowConFR2020 - Turbulence: Thinking Flow Again, Jabe Bloom

by Thierry de Pauw on


Turbulence: Thinking Flow Again, Jabe Bloom, @cyetain

Thinking about flow from some new perspectives.
Find opportunities to think about flow.
Talk about turbulence: how flow is both good and bad.

What is Normal?

The track is called new normal.
Normal is kind of a weird idea.

Difference between complexity and unnecessary complexity.
Certain type of complexity is natural and certain are not.

When we try to create a flow system is trying to keep that system inside certain tolerances.

Standard deviation => bell curve => control

Variation: the unintended creation of difference in output
Flow => reducing this of kind of change

Variety: the intentional creation of difference in outcome
variety is not a bad thing, it is a good thing
=> Toyota system

The relation between the two is what we want to achieve in a Flow system

  • @agabrillagues: Do not confuse variation and variety when creating a #flow system : we want to induce variety and limit variations #flowcon https://t.co/EHXaAbr7F7

Toyota: 1 flow line but a variety of car models to produce

=> intend of Flow system: In control of a stable quality output

How are normal related to Flow?

What is Flow?

Different definitions of Flow:

Flow: Material or information that enters or leaves a stock over a period of time, -- Meadows

The mark of a person who is in control of consciousness is the ability to focus attention at will, to be oblivious to distractions, to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal, and not longer. And the person who can do this usually enjoys the normal course of everyday life. -- ??

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find ... -- Bruce Lee

It is not only physical flow, it is also information.

When we look at a transitional value stream map we see these flows.

A flow-based process delivers information on a regular cadence in small batches. -- Don Reinertsen
=> close the loop, removing cycle time from the loop

Holding Cost: the cost of the "Stock" or the cost of withholding information
Transition Cost: the cost of "Flowing" or the cost of moving the information from one point to another point

=> shift the total cost to the left by allowing to move the information out of the holding base

If we are examining a particular device designed by the engineer to perform specific tasks under a rather narrow range of predictable external conditions, we are likely to be more concerned with consistent nonvariable performance in which slight departures from the performance goal are immediately counteracted. -- CS Holding

  • @agabrillagues: Another important point of the #flow thinking is to understand what the system should be doing - #flowcon https://t.co/jtIG552VDD

Some different ways of thinking

How are Hierarchy and Stability related?

context-sensitive constraints ... take a system far from independence. Complexity happens when previously independent entities or events interact or are otherwise correlated. Catalysts are examples of context-sensitive constraints; given their presence, other things ... -- Alicia Juarrero

  • @agabrillagues: #complexity starts when a system begins to be dependant on itself, or on its parts - #flowcon https://t.co/LP4kRNNCCL

Systems are about Relationships
- part vs whole: bottom up relationship
- whole vs part: top down relationship
- whole part vs whole part: peerwise relationship

I'm a person, I'm a whole person. But I am also a member of Redhat which makes me a part of another whole system.

self-organization first requires the closed loop of feedback and catalytic processes, but once constraint closure takes place and the systemic network emerges, mereological recursion then loops between levels, between components and coherent whole. -- Alicia Juarrero

Whole-to-part or top down constraints ... are restrictive; no longer independent and isolated particles become components of a coherent unity and are thus restricted so as to not only maintain but (re)generate the whole. Part-to-whole (bottom up) ... -- Alicia Juarrero

=> we can now see a kind of Hierarchy, a layering of sub-systems: part being part of a whole which in turn is part of another whole

2 aspects to a system: human and technical aspect
=> Socio-Technical System
Socio: people, teams, organizational structures
Techno: technical

we are moving away from an HCI/Ergonomics system to a Social interactions mediated by Technology

  • @somesheep: The view is changing from observation of the flow of materials through a system to the flow of information created by the interactions in the system. @cyetain at #FlowCon https://t.co/LldzG6YmP7

=> we are not moving information from one place to another, we are creating information by interacting between people

  • @agabrillagues: In a #flow system we are not moving information from a person to another, we are creating new information using the interactions between people #flowcon

... it is not possible to define the conditions under which an open system achieves a steady state unless the "system constants" include mediating boundary conditions. ...

=> SocioTechnical Architecture

the reason why we allow for 6-sigma is that all systems are in constant failure => Continuous Partial Failure
it is the humans that re-establish flow through reconnection of systems => Skillful Coping

Resilience is irrevocably entwined with "Skillful Coping" ... this coping ... in order to "enable the performance" of the system, can result in a ssense of learned helplessness.
My very ability to cope, negatively impacts the likelihood of change.

  • @agabrillagues: Coping can be bad and good #flowcon https://t.co/nSyo9yzOVB

  • @agabrillagues: By removing wastes we are not making the system more efficient, we are making the system able to better respond to change in the future #flowSystem #flowcon

  • @somesheep: Because the system is constantly fluctuating, we develop the capability of skilfully coping with unexpected outcomes of the fluctuation. By reducing such toil via improving the system, we make the system more capable of coping with the unexpected. @cyetain at #FlowCon https://t.co/tVffjy1qvn

All this stuff has clearly something to do with Complexity

Systems Theory: Systems tend to move towards certain types of complexity. And they don't have a lot of options regarding this.

as an organisation, but also as a team

at its smallest sizes teams can react to this

  • @agabrillagues: Observe the environment as a way to discover the value. There is good hunting grounds for the teams, starting with the strategy - #flowcon https://t.co/RdgLl1LEaJ

  • @agabrillagues: And of course your teams need to know how to hunt ! Your competitors actions are changing your hunting grounds, and instead of competing so yuor organization should move to a shared purpose relationship with competitors. #flowcon

  • @ComSaraDufour: Continuous transition makes a system more resilient. The system must be stable and flexible enough. The balance plays itself out in time. #flowcon https://t.co/rQLSjzRFFu

Emergent Constraints
when and how stocks are released?

a constraint could be a machine, a policy, information, in The Phoenix project it is Brent

the reason we do continuous integration is because the longer we wait to integrate the bigger the holding cost becomes of the sub system that is not yet integrated
=> this results in releasing a big chunk of information at once
=> the system is not designed to cope with that amount of information

=> 3 kinds of cost:
the cost of the risk of integration
the cost of doing the integration
the cost of the duration to fix the integration

  • @somesheep: When we see a system perform above their ability to ingest information, we will observe a vortical organisational environment. We should not try to reduce complexity, but enable the system to cope with more complexity. @cyetain at #FlowCon https://t.co/wxK85uJZ9m

Vortical Organizational Environment
- dogmatisme: only one way to do it and it is my way
- polarization:
- stalemate: because people have different ways to see the world, they can not integrate with each other

When an organization tries to ingest too much complexity at once
=> two forces: disintegration and delamination


We should not talk about New Normal but about New Normals

We are not looking for Equilibrium but for Equilibria

Existence is not an individual affair. -- Karen Barad
it is a group sport.

  • @ComSaraDufour: Interactions.With your team, organisation, others. "This is how meaning arises." @cyetain #FlowCon #management #collaboration #change #TransfoNum https://t.co/BxiVOWIPP4


How do you design SocioArchitecture?

Architecture is not what an architect does, it is something that a system does. @cyetain

Architecture is a set of skills that need to be embraced by software engineers, ops engineers, product managers, ... All of these people need to understand the consequences in order to architecture to arise. @cyetain

Architecture is about policies and interactions and not about technology. @cyetain