Analysis is not enough

Most of us have been taught that analysis is the way to deal with complexity, breaking the problem up into small manageable parts and treat them in isolation. Systems thinking puts a different spin on this, showing that synthesis is equally important to fully understand a system, especially in order to get a grasp of the emergent behaviour that are not explainable based on the parts alone.

In this talk we will take a look at these two paradigms and investigate how holism can provide important insights and knowledge to handle the complexity in domains where people are involved, be it user stories, microservices, and architecture. We will take a look at why reductionism is dominating in the natural sciences, while social sciences is mostly explained using holism and see what these professions can teach us about how to approach software as part of a sociotechnical system.

This is an introduction to systems thinking and its importance when dealing with complexity.

Trond Hjorteland

Senior IT Consultant and sociotechnical practitioner.

Oslo, Norway

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