EventStorming as a cultural assessment

15 Dec, 2020

We are on a quest…

As consultants, we are not only challenged by the technical challenges our customers face, but also how it affects the organisational structures and the culture. Based on our experiences, EventStorming is a great technique to expose the underlying cultural aspects of an organisation, while focusing on the value streams and technology. In this post, we are sharing what we have learned, by giving examples from our experiences that hopefully inspire you to use EventStorming as a cultural assessment.

But before that, a bit of theory (yeah, we know, can be boring, but we promise that it’s short)…

Sociotechnical systems

We operate in sociotechnical systems, where the social practices, our cognitive processes, and technology are at play. The definition used in this post is from Jabe Bloom:

Sociotechnical architecture by Jabe Bloom

A sociotechnical system can be summarised as the collision space between the social practices and cognitive processes with the technology, and how we (humans) perceive and use it. Think about smartphones (and their predecessors): what started as a mobile device to make calls on the go, evolved to have more capabilities, to a point where we are able to do most of our shopping on the device. There are even regions around the globe where the usage of smartphones is higher than computers. The use cases for the usage of a smartphone increased, and it shaped how we (society) operate: from making a call on the go, to being able to book a table in your restaurant of choice in a few clicks.

Looking from a distance, we can see our behaviour changing, and the value creation based on technological advancements. As our behaviour as humans change, the culture also changes. Culture lives between us, and, most of the time, we are not aware of it. It is the unwritten set of protocols and expected behaviours, and all of this knowledge is implicit. It becomes visible when a person doesn’t use the expected protocol when communicating with others.

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