Ken Power

Ken Power

Complexity Navigator

@ken_power · Ireland


Ken is a Principal Engineer with Cisco. His work and research interests include agile, lean, flow, complex adaptive systemss, and organisation effectiveness, as well as software and systems architecture, Cloud, DevOps and software engineering management. He is a frequent speaker on these topics at major international agile, lean and software engineering conferences. He has published numerous papers on agile, lean, and software engineering, including winning the IEEE Software best paper award.


An Architect's Framework for Navigating Complexity

We want our organizations and systems to be agile, to evolve with the needs of the business, and to be resilient in the face of ever changing market conditions and the external environment. This level of adaptability and responsiveness needs to be supported by the architecture of the systems we create. The complexity of the environment that architects find themselves in is increasing in recent years, with cloud, DevOps, continuous deployment, and microservices adding to the factors that architects must consider. With this growing complexity, architects need to be supported by effective decision-making approaches. To navigate all of this, architects need to be adaptive; they need the ability to dynamically shift their decision-making approach to match the complexity of the circumstances they face.

This hands-on workshop presents a framework that helps architects to navigate complexity and make better decisions. Participants will engage in several activities that build upon each other. They will learn a number of practical and accessible tools and approaches, including sense-making and the Cynefin framework, that lead to more resilient architectures, systems, and organizations.


  • Part 1
    • Introduction
    • Overview of concepts
  • Part 2
    • Architecture descriptions
    • Using narrative to understand architecture
  • Part 3:
    • Sense Making analysis of architectures and their influence on the organisation
    • Analysing the patterns that emerge from the sense making activity
  • Part 4:
    • The Cynefin Framework, and how it applies to architecture
    • Designing experiments
  • Part 5:
    • Debrief and wrap up

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Prof. David West

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Weronika Łabaj


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Debasish Ghosh

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Nick Tune

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Greg Young

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Alberto Brandolini

Inventor of “EventStorming”

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Deliberate Designer

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Nerd in a suit

Ken Power

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Yves Reynhout

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