Whole Work: Sociotechnicity & DevOps

Autonomy is a psychological frame about how individuals feel — it is inherently individualistic. And if we want to take an approach informed by sociotechnical theory, then instead of the individualistic we want the sociological.

Autonomy is the ability to choose which action to take. Agency, however, is the ability to choose an action and observe the results in the system. In a sociotechnical system, agency adds a feedback loop — the ability to see the results of the action. The feedback loop facilitates communion with the system, enabling intent-based choices that benefit the whole.

Teams can also have agency, finding communion with the larger organizational system through intentional action that aligns with the strategy of the whole. This interaction can break down, however, if the strategy fails to translate across timespans or if the feedback loop is delayed for too long.

In this talk, Jabe describes the intricacies of these dynamics and shares a transition-based approach to enabling whole work in sociotechnical systems.