During the startup and initiation of a project, you need to assess the complexity of the project. The first area to be considered is the complexity of the product. Is there enough understanding of the final product? How will it be used and how to get the benefits from using the product? The second area of complexity is the project environment. Where are the teams located, what cultures are involved and what experience do the teams have with this type of project?
The Cynefin framework was created by David Snowden. It is a decision-making framework that has been designed to help with understanding and determining what level of complexity exists in a given situation or environment.
In the context of PRINCE2 Agile this can be used to help understand the level of complexity facing a project or potential project.
Cynefin is a Welsh word, which as a noun means “haunt, usual abode” or “habitat” and as an adjective “customary, habitual, familiar, usual, ordinary”. The name serves as a reminder that all human interactions are strongly influenced and frequently determined by our experiences, both through the direct influence of personal experience, as well as through collective experience, such as stories or music.
At Å we help get your team become more aware of understanding the level of complexity in any given situation in your line of work. Understanding complexity theory can be difficult. It can also be easy.
Both myself and Geir Isene have led many teams through interactive workshops where understanding of complexity theory is discovered through group exercises.
Cynefin is a sense-making framework. Be prepared of the fact that even on the same team there will be different opinions. And that is definitely food for discussion.
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