Sustainable socio-technical systems

25-minute Talk

Technical excellence and happy people stem from sustainable socio-technical systems. We'll look at the external and internal factors that affect the health and adaptability of such systems.

Virtual Pass session


10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Wednesday 15th


Room F2 - Track 2: Talks




  • Learn how the socio-technical perspective is about joint optimization.
  • Learn how the environment affects the health of a socio-technical system.
  • Learn how agility is a function of the health of a socio-technical system.

The conditions for technical excellence and happy people

To create and evolve excellent digital products, we also need to create and evolve the organization of people that build those products. The quality of the products and the health of the organization are intertwined and mutually dependent. The socio-technical perspective tells us that we must seek joint optimization of the two. Our job, then, is to create a sustainable socio-technical system that is capable to deliver high-quality products and happy people over time.

In this talk, we'll look at some preconditions and factors that impact the health of the socio-technical system at different levels, including financing, communication, and trust. We'll also look at different kinds of changes, and how they may affect the socio-technical system. Unsurprisingly, a healthy socio-technical system is better equipped to absorb more changes than an unhealthy one. But only up to a point, and we typically don't know exactly where that point is in advance.

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