[ANN] Systems Thinking Sheffield group: Inaugural Meeting - Wed Nov 24th

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Ashley Moran

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Nov 10, 2010, 4:56:04 PM11/10/10
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Hi all

Wed Nov 24th is the first meeting of the new group Systems Thinking Sheffield[1]. Here's a bit of intro before the details.

Systems Thinking is a way of looking at organisations as cohesive units with a goal. It lets you ask questions such as "do the departments in our company work together, or do they fight?", "do we reward the behaviour we actually want, or something else?", "how do we learn and adapt as a group to be more effective?". Alternatively, a much better explanation is a short and very entertaining video someone linked to me recently of Russell Ackoff[2] called "Beyond Continuous Improvement".

Systems Thinking encompasses a whole range of subjects, including Theory of Constraints, Lean, Action Science, Cybernetics and and many areas studying the behaviour of people in organisations. It's gaining a lot of interest in software lately, but it has been successfully applied in many diverse situations.

Enough blurb - our first meeting[3] is in two weeks, and runs from 6.30pm-8.30pm at the GIST Lab in Sheffield. As it's the first meeting, this is mainly to get to meet each other, find out everyone's interests, and plan future content. So it's a great time to get involved :)

If you're coming, please sign up on the Eventbrite page[4] so we have an idea of numbers. (You don't *have* to, but it helps us plan.)

Many thanks to the GIST Foundation[5] for providing the venue and for helping kickstart the group.

See some of you there :-)

Cheers
Ash

[1] http://www.systhinksheff.org.uk/
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqEeIG8aPPk
[3] http://www.systhinksheff.org.uk/meetings/systhinksheff-0/
[4] http://gistsysthink0.eventbrite.com/
[5] http://thegisthub.net/about/

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Ashley Moran

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Nov 22, 2010, 7:30:27 AM11/22/10
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On Nov 12, 2010, at 3:35 pm, alex wrote:

> Systems thinkers might also be interested in SCiO [1] a systems in
> organisations group which meets in Manchester. They will be interested
> in the Sheffield group; i'll forward details.

Hi Alex

Thanks for that! I'll try to get to some of the SCiO meetings/courses at some point.

It's interesting how little overlap there is between the content on the SCiO site (cybernetics, soft systems) and the systems thinking I know (Theory of Constraints, Deming). There's a lot to learn there. One of the people attending our first meeting is big into Cybernetics though, I just haven't had chance to get round to reading Beer etc's work.


> I've produced a organisational maturity model in a SCiO special
> interest group [2]. This is my first effort at software development,
> and i've done it using TiddlyWiki. I'd welcome any feedback on it, but
> would mostly appropriate contributions focusing on how the questions
> map onto the archetypes.

Actually, this sorta stuff could make great content for a meeting. It's a bit premature to say, as we haven't even had the inaugural meeting yet, but I suspect practical sessions would appeal to many. A group session going through the OMM might be a good candidate there!


> If there is enough demand there is going to be a refactoring so that
> there is database version. I am learning ASP.NET MVC for this
> purpose. If there are any geekuppers who have this skill, want an
> apprentice, and are into systems thinking then i am your man.

Aside from the GeekUp meetings, you may be interested in speaking to people from XP Manchester[1], which has a number of enthusiastic .Net developers.


Cheers
Ash


[1] http://groups.google.com/group/xp-manchester

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