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Is	your	system viable?	An	introduction	to	the	
Viable	Systems	Model (VSM)
Robert	Lamb
rlamb@pmi-aus.com.au
PMI
2017 LAST C...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMI
2017 LAST Conference 
Session Leader Handbook 
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017
Swinburne University (Hawthorn Camp...
PMIRobert	Lamb
rlamb@pmi-aus.com.au
0419	368	734
Process Management International
22
Please	contact	the	author	with	any
qu...
An Introduction to the Viable Systems Model
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An Introduction to the Viable Systems Model

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This is an annotated copy of a short presentation on the Viable System Model given at the LAST conference in Melbourne in June 2017. Please feel free to send any feedback to the author's email (on first and last pages).

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An Introduction to the Viable Systems Model

  1. 1. Is your system viable? An introduction to the Viable Systems Model (VSM) Robert Lamb rlamb@pmi-aus.com.au PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in thi supercede those in previous registration confirmation ema The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). R both days opens 8:00am.
  2. 2. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  The Viable* Systems Model (VSM) 3 What is the VSM? What are its origins? How can it help me? How do I use it? Systems thinking: “thinking about the network of relationships rather than the things themselves” (Beer 1990) © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 This is an annotated version of a presentation given at LAST Melbourne 2017 and as such is positioned as an introductory overview rather than an definitive exposition. Please contact the author regarding any questions, comments or corrections... *Viable: 1. able to live or exist, esp. in a particular place or climate… 2. workable, practicable; feasible, esp. economically or financially.
  3. 3. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Where does the VSM fit in the toolkit ? 4 Strategy frameworks Business Model CanvasLean six sigma Agile / Scrum People-y stuff VSM © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 There are many tools and techniques to support strategy development and process execution – but not so many for organization design. The VSM can fill that gap! Insight Strategy Organization Execution
  4. 4. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Stafford Beer (1926 – 2002) 5 Organisation man… … and sage The VSM is the brainchild of one man – Stafford Beer. Beer was a polymath, eccentric and iconoclastic. He started off working in operations research in the 1940s. He developed an interest in the new field of cybernetics, and spent thirty years developing and refining the VSM as a way to analyse and design organisations using cybernetic principles. Beer applied the VSM to many organisations, both commercial and political. He famously used the VSM to model the entire economy of Chile under the leadership of President Allende in 1970, a venture that was only brought to an end by the summary intervention of a CIA supported military coup. © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2
  5. 5. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  VSM Trilogy Books by Beer 6 Stafford Beer’s books are well written (and often humorous) but they are dense, discursive, and by no means easy reading. “Heart” contains the fullest exposition, and “Diagnosing” is a portable guide. © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2
  6. 6. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Source: Stafford Beer “Diagnosing the System for organizations” Wiley, 1995 Beer’s VSM © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 7 Here’s Stafford’s canonical model, showing the structure of the VSM at two levels of recursion (nesting). Refer to “Heart” or “Diagnosing” for specifics regarding the structure. The following presentation depicts a simplified version that shows only one level of recursion and glosses over some of the inter-connections. Stafford’s principles of cybernetics include the assertion that all viable systems contain viable systems and are themselves contained in viable systems. Another way of looking at this is to say that viable systems are fractal – they have a similar structure at whatever level of detail you drill down to.
  7. 7. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  A Viable Diagram (single recursion) 8© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 Here is the simplified representation, which we will build up system by system. System in Focus environment System 3* Audit System 1 System 2 Co-ordination System 3 Collec,ve Opera,ons Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment System 4 Planning & development System 4 Environment System 5 Governance
  8. 8. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System-in-focus (recursion level) 9 By product By customer By function MLA Business Systems Time sharing bureau Tour operating systems Membership records systems Personal computers Tour operating systems Laker Skytrain Blue Sky Greenalls Laker Skytrain Design Programming Support © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 The VSM is capable of depicting organisational function at any level of recursion (nesting). The level of recursion for any particular model is called the “system-in-focus”, and can be specified using various criteria. The break-out should align with the organisation’s operating model to give the cleanest division of responsibilities. This example, from a company I worked for in the 1980s, shows three different criteria. Note that the VSM does not imply “one role – one position” – it describes what has to be done to assure viability, not who does it. Product / Service Type Function / Process
  9. 9. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Breaking out the System 1 Elements 10© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 The System 1 elements do the customer-facing work that realises the purpose of the System-in-focus. In Lean terms, they encompass the Customer Value Adding functions. Laker Skytrain Design Programming Support System-in-focus System 1 elements (of the system in focus)
  10. 10. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 1 Element – Viable Operations 11 amplify attenuate (filter) Suppliers Customers Inputs Outputs Environment Process © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 There is always more raw complexity in the environment than the process can handle. Therefore we have to attenuate (filter) the inputs to the process, e.g. via standard communication channels for accepting change requests, and amplify the outputs, e.g. by release notes (or videos) describing the effects of what has been changed.
  11. 11. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Managing Operational Processes 12 Local Environment Processes Mgt Local Environment Processes Manage- ment © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 There is always more complexity in the environment than the process can handle – and there is also more complexity in the process than local management can handle. Management uses communication tools such as training, SOPs, policies, KPIs, standardised reports, and Agile / Scrum events to attempt to match management variety to process complexity.
  12. 12. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 1 Element Interactions 13© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 To simplify the diagram, we replace each pair of arrows with a single double ended connector, symbolising the two-way information channels. In practice, several system 1 elements work in parallel, each having its own environment, processes and local management. Operations (processes) may have overlapping environments – they use the same technology and / or serve the same customers. Actions taken by one operation can impact the effect of actions taken by another operation. For example if one operation upsets a common customer, that may have ripple effects for other operations. As well as interaction with common environments, operations may have direct interdependencies – for example functionality developed by one team may be needed as an input to the process of another team. One team might make a change to database structure that impacts the coding of a customer query. That’s what the wavy lines show. System 1 Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment
  13. 13. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 3 – Collective Operations 14© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 The unity between the system 1 elements is provided by a system 3 – called here “collective operations”. System 3 has some sort of resource agreements with each system 1 element, in which system 3 agrees resourcing in terms of people and budget in exchange for the commitment to deliver certain outcomes. These are formal management agreements, either in writing or agreed in conversations, and are usually pretty high level – certainly not at a transactional level. They may get reviewed periodically – anything from weekly to annually – but they do not give the system 3 enough bandwidth (that is to say variety) to control how the system 1 works beyond the agreements, and they are not a license for the system 3 to look over the shoulder of the system 1 or to take decisions on its behalf. System 1 System 3 Collec&ve Opera&ons Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment
  14. 14. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 2 - Co-ordination 15© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 System 2 co-ordinates between the system 1 elements to handle the direct interdependencies, the environmental overlaps, and fair use of collective resources. Part of the agreement between system 3 and system 1 specifies the system 2 protocols and processes that apply. E.g: you will communicate with Slack, you will format your reports in standard format X, you will hire staff using corporate HR and so on. System 2 specifies shared services to the system 1s. Within the system 1 eleements, subsets of the system 2 are used to communicate between the local management and its operations. The system 1 elements may add their own functions to the system 2 – provided they do not compromise its effectiveness in co-ordinating between them. System 1 System 2 Co-ordination System 3 Collec&ve Opera&ons Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment
  15. 15. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 3* - Reality Check 16© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 There needs to be some cross- check that bypasses the system 1 management and gives system 3 a direct insight into the workings of the processes. This is often referred to as the audit function. It is circumscribed and occasional - it is not an axis for the direct intervention of senior management into the system 1 operations. Some audits may be formal – e.g. checking expenses or occupational health and safety audits. Informally, system 3* also includes “management by walking around” and “going to Gemba”. System 3* Audit System 1 System 2 Co-ordination System 3 Collec&ve Opera&ons Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment
  16. 16. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 4 – Planning 17 System 3 Collec&ve Opera&ons System 4 Planning & development System 4 Environment © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 Systems 1, 2 and 3 are concerned with the ongoing balancing and response of the system 1 operations to their respective environments, in other words, “Business as Usual”. But of course environments change – customer requirements, available technologies, new competitors, economic growth or contraction. The system 1-2-3 arrangement does not have the capability to deal with these changes. System 4’s role is to anticipate changes in the wider environment and position the 1-2-3 to operate in this new environment. System 4 thus needs to be able to predict, plan, and simulate future states and to design and implement changes to the 1-2-3 based on its forecasts. System 4 deals with additional environmental factors than 1-2-3 – we show it has having its own environment, which is of course in addition to its interactions with system 3.
  17. 17. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  System 5 – Governance 18 System 3 Collec&ve Opera&ons System 4 Planning & development System 4 Environment System 5 Governance © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 System 5 rounds out this single- recursion VSM by providing governance functions. It is responsible for the purpose and values of the system, and for monitoring the balance between ongoing operations (system 3-2-1) and planning (system 4) as an imbalance between these can prove fatal. The System 5 also monitors the effectiveness of the whole system in meeting its objectives. “Leadership” includes the functions of system 3, 4 and 5. Because the VSM is recursive, each system 1 element should include its own system 3-4-5 structure, having the appropriate scope and timeframe for its own governance and planning.
  18. 18. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  The Algedonic Signal 19© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2 The VSM includes one additional feature – the facility for problems to be escalated to the system 5 without being filtered through the intermediate systems, like the emergency cord on a train. Beer calls this the “Algedonic” signal, being to do with pain and pleasure. Perhaps this is the proper use of a “red” signal on a R-A-G report… System in Focus environment System 3* Audit System 1 System 2 Co-ordination System 3 Collec,ve Opera,ons Element 1 Local Environment Element 1 Processes Element 1 Manage- ment Element 3 Local Environment Element 2 Local Environment Element 2 Processes Element 3 Processes Element 2 Manage- ment Element 3 Manage- ment System 4 Planning & development System 4 Environment System 5 Governance
  19. 19. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  How can the VSM help? – Some lenses • Alignment of System 1s to the operating model (overview) • Agreement of resources, expectations & autonomy for System 1s (S3) • Co-ordination and support of System 1 elements (S2) • Adequacy of reality checks – does management know what’s really happening? (S3*) • Organisation and resourcing of planning and development (S4) • Management balance of operations and planning (S3 – 4) • Clarity of mission, values and organisational norms (S5) • Fulfilment of purpose (S3 – 4 – 5 interaction) • Effectiveness of emergency escalation (Algedonic signal) 20© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2
  20. 20. PMI 2017 LAST Conference  Session Leader Handbook  Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2017 Swinburne University (Hawthorn Campus) ATC Building and EN Building Please read the following info carefully. The timings in this handbook supercede those in previous registration confirmation emails. The most important stuff Check in on both days is in the foyer of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC). Registration on both days opens 8:00am. On Thursday, there will be an Opening Session in ATC101 at 8:50. We have a special, new experiment that we are trying (not lightning talks), for the morning session. After morning break we will disperse to various rooms. On Friday, after check in, there will be another group session in ATC101 before dispersal to other sessions.On both days, the end of day drinks will be held at the Hawthorn Hotel, 481 Burwood Road (TBC) Follow these links…please!!! ● If you haven’t already. ​Register as a Session Leader​ or else we can’t feed you. ​DO IT  NOW!   Note - you are welcome to ​register​ for both days or a single day.  ● Double check ​the schedule on ConfEngine​, so you know when and where you are on.  You should make sure your photo is uploaded and that your session’s description is  detailed, as people won’t choose you if they don’t know what it’s about!  ● There is also a ​Schedule Grid​ as a Google Spreadsheet.  ● Talk to us ​on Slack​ (check your email for an invite)  ● Please add ​this slide​ to the start of your  slide deck  ● Read the ​Participant Handbook​ (2017 version is coming soon) esp. The Principles and  Code of Conduct  ● Follow us on ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook      Updated on 19 June 2017  1  Resources 21© Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2
  21. 21. PMIRobert Lamb rlamb@pmi-aus.com.au 0419 368 734 Process Management International 22 Please contact the author with any questions and comments. © Robert Lamb 2017 LAST Melbourne 2017: Is your system viable? v0.2

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