Sunday, July 28, 2013

Complexity theory at 30,000 Ft

Here is the complexity theory article published on  Techwell.   This is at 30,000 Ft Level.

Most of our view about the world is based on cause and effect, which in turn is a linear way of thinking. However, the world works in a non-linear fashion with multiple agents acting in parallel. System thinking addresses this non-linearity by considering different parts of the system, their relationships with one another, and the entire system itself to solve a problem or create a future state. Some of the tenets include holism and reductionism.

The complexity theory, based on the premise of non-linearity, is the study of complex systems. Complex science embraces life as unpredictable, adaptable, and evolving. The key difference to systems thinking is that the complexity theory tends to solve a problem or build the future state with the assumption of uncertainty. Patterns and abstractions are used to understand complex systems.

Another key concept discussed focused on innovation. Chaos and randomness are the foundations for all innovations. It is proven that a detailed plan with a highly structured process won’t help in building a radical, innovative product.

Constraints emerge from the system to manage chaos and randomness, and the right level of constraint leads to self-organization. However, an over- or under-constrained system is not good for agility. There seems to be myth for agile teams regarding self-organization. Many professionals believe that just allowing the team to function on its own will lead to self-organization. In reality this is partially true; the leaders need to guide and ensure that there is the appropriate level of constraint emerging from the system.

and remaining part of this article is available here

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