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Seven Principles of Systems Thinking for Software Development


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Much of what we hear about Agile and Lean involves “best practices.” This can be helpful, but sometimes it is better to bump up a level to understand principles that can serve as the foundations of our practices. Principles can show “why” we do our practices.

In this talk, Daryl will provide seven principles taken from systems thinking that can help to guide our usage of Agile practices. It is fine to hold daily standups, retrospectives and sprint planning sessions, but if we’re doing them so we can control the team, for instance, they won’t work. Find out more about the Seven Principles of Systems Thinking from Daryl’s upcoming book “The Journey to Enterprise Agility: Systems Thinking and Organizational Legacy” (Springer, 2017).


Daryl Kulak is an author, speaker and consultant with Pillar Technology helping his clients move toward more value-driven software development. He uses Agile, Lean Startup, Software Craftsmanship, SAFe and systems science, among others, to help corporations, government agencies and non-profits improve their ability to provide true value through software delivery. He is very involved in the progression of systems science and hopes to popularize it and introduce audiences to its power and possibility.

Daryl has been using iterative/incremental practices since 1998. Daryl’s first book was “Use Cases: Requirements in Context (2003, Addison Wesley), Written with Eamonn Guiney, it sold 30,000 copies and was translated into Chinese and Japanese. His second book, which he co-authored with Dr. Hong Li, is called “The Journey to Enterprise Agility: Systems Thinking and Organizational Legacy” (Springer, 2017).