In a short series of posts I’ll try to illustrate system dynamics in the software development process using interactive causal loop diagrams. Below is an example of a simple causal loop diagram, relating a team’s happiness to the value it delivers and the impact it has.
I found it incredibly insightful to use causal loop diagrams with my software teams to visualize how different aspects of our process interact. We usually do this together on a big whiteboard. Without exception this tool has generated valuable discussion and insight.
The diagrams in this series are created using loopy. With loopy, the static models from the whiteboard come to life, which allows for quick simulation and experimentation. What always stuns me is the timing of our actions - often the effects of our actions are only observed later, by which time our system is raging out of control. This becomes obvious by playing with the loopy models.
All causal loop diagrams are models and thus they’re wrong and useful at the same time. You can remix a model to make it more closely represent your context. Please share your remixed model with the world!
List of posts
These are the posts in the series:
August 1, 2017 » Defects released to production -
June 30, 2017 » Long Release Cycles (part 2 of 2) visualized - Release sooner, not later
June 28, 2017 » Customer satisfaction and developer stress visualized - It is manageable!
June 26, 2017 » Loopy Tips and Tricks - Complex dynamic systems visualized
June 26, 2017 » Using interactive causal loop diagrams - Complex dynamic systems visualized
June 25, 2017 » Long Release Cycles (part 1 of 2) visualized - Release sooner, not later
June 20, 2017 » On Adding New People - Brooks’s Law visualized - The Mythical Man-Month; on how to deliver a baby in one month
March 20, 2017 » On Quality and Speed - visualized - Speed is the absence of waste
You might be interested in …
- loopy - a tool to visualize causal loop diagrams
- causal loop diagrams article on Wikipedia
- Weinberg, 2014’s “How Software is built” has a great explanation of using causal loop diagrams as well as the dynamics occurring in software development
- how to read causal loop diagrams