image: © Richard Vignola (CC BY-NC-ND)

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:


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