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Designing Delivery by Jeff Sussna

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Chapter 10. The Mirror of Empathy

Continuous quality dissolves the mechanisms for achieving quality into the fabric of the organization pursuing it. It replaces the industrial, complicated-systems strategy of using QA as an enforcer with a complex-systems strategy more suited to post-industrial business. This new approach uses QA to facilitate the organization’s ability to see itself from a quality-centric vantage point.

Complexity challenges us to change the way we think about the relationship between unity and diversity. Coherent systems emerge from cooperation between components that are different from one another. Practices such as service design and DevOps illustrate the need to span boundaries between disciplines. Continuous design works by engaging design and operations with each other.

Systems thinking doesn’t work by mushing things together into a single amorphous blob. It defines unified wholes in terms of relationships between parts. Understanding and managing those relationships is necessary for understanding and managing the systems that arise from them.

Conversation takes place between participants that have diverse perspectives. For the conversation to be useful, the participants must be able to map their perspectives to one another. Useful conversations require empathy (the ability to see things from a viewpoint other than your own) for the very reason that their participants are not identical.

DevOps, for example, unifies development and operations into something ...

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