This post is serving two purposes today. The first is to thank all the experts who reached out to me on Twitter to help point me toward some important tools, research, and talks related to my request for help. A few days ago I reached out to the twitter community with a request:
I’m on a journey to learn how to take clients from desired business outcomes to an abstract socio-technical architecture through workshops and conversations.— Shawn Deggans (@SDeggans) October 23, 2022
DDD, Design Thinking, Wardley Maps, and Theory of Constraints are on my radar.
Anything else I should consider?
I received a flood of great advice and resources that I’ll go through in this post.
My second purpose for this post is to announce that I’m working on some of my own workshops. Workshops were one of the few meeting types I enjoyed while working at a consulting firm. Done correctly, they’re a wonderful way to work collaboratively with clients and partners. I was fortunate enough to attend and participate in many successful workshops. I also had the opportunity to run and create workshops.
The firm did have their own in-house developed approaches. Many of these were either based on Microsoft’s recommended technical workshops, like the Cloud Adoption Framework, or Human Centered Design approaches.
There’s nothing wrong with these workshops, but I always struggled with connecting the workshops directly with the client’s needs. If you know me, I’m never happy going along with something that doesn’t feel like it’s quite the right fit.
I’ve been on a type of journey, where I’m taking many of the things I’ve learned from Eric Evan’s Domain-Driven Design, from the burgeoning Sociotechnical Systems Theory, and a handful of other disciplines to create something that’s uniquely mine. My approach won’t be too far off from what’s regularly practiced in DDD modeling sessions, but I am using what I learn from these other disciplines to inform my own.
My goal isn’t to recreate the wheel. I see these as a handful of tools that help with a continuing conversation. The conversation explores ideas about systems design, operations, development, workplace improvement, processes that create results. I want to help clients go from desired outcomes to working systems. The best way I’ve discovered to do this is through directed conversations. I believe, great, collaborative conversations and workshops help achieve that goal.
If you’re interested in this same type of journey, I’ll share the resources that were shared with me on Twitter.
I came across this video that looks like a good start: https://t.co/pRCzRFg8IY from @emgsilva— Shawn Deggans (@SDeggans) October 24, 2022
Here’s the video mentioned in my Tweet:
@ruthmalan tweets, workshops and her workshop book are a huge source of materials and synthesis of ideas that are extremely rich on these topics of sociotechnical systems design, leadership and architecture.— Eduardo da Silva (@emgsilva) October 24, 2022
Ruth Malan has a small mountain of information I’ll need to work through. I can’t wait. You can find Ruth’s work here: https://www.ruthmalan.com/
(Free) ebook on Decisions and Technical Leadershiphttps://t.co/fXuqgpv8km— VisArch (@ruthmalan) August 21, 2019
Eduardo da Silva provided additional information on his works, as well.
All my writings and talks on Sociotechnical Systems Evolution & Architecture can be found here 👇🏼… And there are more to come ☺️https://t.co/m1AnofTsOi— Eduardo da Silva (@emgsilva) October 24, 2022
For Eduardo’s consulting services on these topics, you can find more information on his webpage here: https://esilva.net/consulting/
@al94781 synthesis to approaching distributed decision making using ideas such as advice process are opening doors to have more scalable and robust ways to approach architecturehttps://t.co/kfaxC8Hd8F— Eduardo da Silva (@emgsilva) October 24, 2022
Additionally, Krisztina left some excellent links to Domain-Driven Design resources. DDD is one of the disciplines that has continued to grow. For its age, it’s really held up, and it provide a great set of tools for building common understanding about systems from those who build the systems and those who derive value from those systems.
and if you are done with everything Eduardo suggested you, you can start picking staff on https://t.co/4iHwZdjHSs 😀— Krisztina 🇪🇺 🌎 (@YellowBrickC) October 24, 2022
Eduardo also introduced me to the work of Trond Hjorteland. Trond and I apparently have the same appreciation for post-punk/gothic rock and we share a birthday – I mean, the exact birthday, which is always a little weird.
@trondhjort insights on the rich literature from open systems theory are also bringing up excellent points for approaching the design of sociotechnical system!— Eduardo da Silva (@emgsilva) October 24, 2022
To close things out:
@suksr work and materials (incl. upcoming book) are also great at connecting many dots in these topics, including Wardley Mapping, DDD and @TeamTopologies— Eduardo da Silva (@emgsilva) October 24, 2022
I have read the Team Topologies book and I love it. Thoughts and concepts from this book will definitely find a place in my processes. From what I can see, DDD modeling has already pointed out where it fits nicely when exploring Bounded Context. I’ve pre-ordered Susanne Kaiser’s book Adaptive Systems With Domain-Driven Design, Wardley Mapping, and Team Topologies: Architecture for Flow (Addison-Wesley Signature Vernon). I can’t wait to read it.
Here’s a clip where Susanne discusses the subject of her book:
More to come…
There’s a lot more to this collection of disciplines. I didn’t even touch on Gene Kim, DevOps, Dr. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, and so much more.
However, much of what I’m seeing here is that my love for DDD isn’t misplaced. It’s a great foundation to continue to build from. So I’ll likely reread my big blue book soon, follow up on all this material, and find better ways to delivery amazing systems to generate value for their users.