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Myths of Control

Grand Ballroom
Average rating: ***..
(3.48, 27 ratings)

We often hear, in large and small organizations, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Everyday, companies are attempting to manage the delivery of software to their customers. Whereas this used to be a fairly deterministic process with clear boundaries between functions and processes, we have all learnt that a less silo’d and more iterative approach yields better design and better performance in the wild. Most importantly, it both enables and requires high velocity. This has resulted in engineers having to make decisions about how to implement still-evolving requirements with little oversight.

When this applies to compliance and regulation we may seem to be in a double bind: slow down the flow and risk the consequences of reduced accountability in the software team, or keep it flowing and risk the consequences of unmanaged policy implementation. This talk discusses this balance and how control in high velocity environments is a myth. Drawing on examples from cybernetics and complexity theory we discuss how to manage quality and not merely measure its supposed results.

Photo of Justin  Arbuckle

Justin Arbuckle


Justin has been working in financial services for over 20 years. He is a passionate proponent of the value of architectural thinking generally and the transformative role of architects in particular. In addition to his experience as a banking chief architect on three continents he has also had roles ranging from product development, venture capital investment, consulting and mobile banking. His current area of focus is DevOps, cloud API architectures and applying agile and lean startup practices to large enterprises.