Escape the trap! Avoiding traps in software development with systems thinking

The trap room

Policy Resistance

The E Bomb
  • Is the stereotypical pointy haired manager who cares little about technical debt and autonomy inherently evil?
  • Is the auditor who wants to insert a million checks and balances into your workflow doing this just to slow you down?

Tragedy of the commons

Why does my pursuit of doughnuts result in me getting fat?

Drift to low performance


War….Huh…What is it good for?

Success to the successful

Punish the fail whale?

I write my first unit test and in good ole’ TDD fashion I run it before I write the implementation code. It fails. Career over. The end.

Shifting the burden to the intervenor

  • Patching bugs rather than the underlying causes?
  • Working overtime (more passion!) to meet deadlines rather than working to achieve a sustainable pace?
  • Hiring more staff to chase resource efficiency rather than addressing flow efficiency?
  • Using command and control rather than trusting and nurturing autonomy?

Rule Beating

Seeking the wrong goal

The L Bomb


The silver bullet. This doesn’t exist.



Software, hardware and wetware enthusiast. Comments mine alone. @smrimell on twitter.

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