Applying Some Software Engineering Concepts to Improve Our Lives
I was talking to a colleague about Conway's law, which states that organizations design systems that mirror their communication structure.
This led to a discussion about a concept in software engineering called Domain-Driven Design, which then led to a discussion about Simon Wardley's Strategy Cycle.
The strategy Cycle by Simon Wardley is an interesting concept that deserves a list on its own. It can be applied to chess (cc @JamesAltucher).
Back to the domains, take Amazon as a domain (e-commerce). You can break it down into subdomains like product catalogs, reviews, inventory, order, payment, shipping, authentication, etc. Initially, Amazon was one big system doing everything, but it was hard to scale and maintain because changing something in inventory impacts everything else. Breaking the big system into loosely coupled subsystems made the site more reliable and helped with the speed of innovation.
Similarly, we can break down our system, that is, us or our life, into domains: health, education, finance, family, faith, friends, environment, etc. Some of these domains are dependent on each other, and some are less dependent. As software systems, if we break the system into subsystems, we can improve each subsystem separately to improve the performance of the whole.
I am simply thinking out loud in NotePD. My apologies if none of this makes sense :)
Let's look at how to improve the subsystems to improve the whole, that is, us, the individuals.
The health of our finances impacts us. But how? The impact can be different from one person to the other. Significant debt can affect your health, mind, purchasing power, and even happiness.
Understanding the impact will put the domain in perspective and can help us optimize it. You can then start thinking about optimizing it, bringing visibility, tracking, etc., to help optimize it. An example is to have all your expenses in one place and track the patterns. You can also bring all investments into one dashboard, etc.
Health will impact all other domains and, therefore, must keep it at its best. How do we keep it operating at its best? First, we need to understand what it means to operate at best. There are many tools to help us collect data points about our health. A general health check can give us both a baseline and a goal. Building good habits around exercise, food, etc., can help maintain it.
A happy partner means a happy life. This too impacts other domains and needs careful care. So how do you improve or maintain a healthy family?
Spend time with them, be present, and peak experience with the partner, etc. The idea is to understand the impact, get visibility into the current state, understand what future state you want to achieve, and work on getting there.
For some, their network is actually their net worth. So for these people, maintaining their network is crucial to their well-being.
A system health check on your network can identify some toxic relationships that you can remove which in turn can improve your health and other domains.
Our environment shapes us. This also can impact other domains, like health, finances, etc.
Designing the maintaining a healthy environment that reminds us of our future can improve other domains.
You get the point :)
For some, this domain bears no impact on other domains, for others, this is the most important domain. Understanding the importance of this domain is important :)