DDD Europe 2022 - Program

Facilitating collaborative design decisions


Kenny Baas-Schwegler, Gien Verschatse and Evelyn Van Kelle

Kenny Baas-SchweglerGien VerschatseEvelyn Van Kelle

(This is a hands-on lab with limited capacity)

If we want to make sustainable design decisions for our architecture that are embraced by everyone, the most effective way is to do this collaboratively. Everyone can feel a part of the decision, and can potentially give the input they have. The group is aligned and knows what is to be expected onward. On paper this sounds great, but in reality we know it is hard to do because we need to deal with all sorts of group dynamics. Dynamics like cultural differences, conflicts of opinions, cognitive biases, and polarities that the group are part of. These dynamics cause people to stop sharing what they want, which ends up in resistance behaviour from sarcastic jokes, to stopped communication or leaving the session. No wonder a lot of people resort to a more autocratic form of decision making, where the architect analyzes and makes the decision. So how can we make collaborative decision decisions better?

Join Gien, Evelyn and Kenny in this hands-on workshop where we explore different models of decision making that can help facilitate collaborative design decisions. We will dive into a variety of facilitation techniques such as:

Working with climate reports to trigger hidden group conflicts Visualising trade-offs of different models with the pro-con-fix list Taking group decisions with full buy in with Deep Democracy

About Kenny Baas-Schwegler

Facilitating design & architecture by the people!Twitter

A lot of knowledge is lost when designing and building software — lost because of hand-overs in a telephone game, confusing communication by not having a shared language, discussing complexity without visualisation and by not leveraging the full potential and wisdom of the diversity of the people. That lost knowledge while creating software impacts the sustainability, quality and value of the software product. Kenny Baas-Schwegler is a strategic software delivery consultant and software architect with a focus on socio-technical systems. He blends IT approaches like Domain-Driven Design and Continuous Delivery and facilitates change with Deep Democracy by using visual and collaborative modelling practices like Eventstorming, Wardley mapping, context mapping and many more. Kenny empowers and collaboratively enables organisations, teams and groups of people in designing, architecting and building sustainable quality software products.

One of Kenny's core principles is sharing knowledge. He does that by writing a blog on his website baasie.com and helping curate the Leanpub book visual collaboration tool. Besides writing, he also shares experience in the Domain-Driven Design community as an organiser of Virtual Domain-Driven Design (virtualddd.com) and Domain Driven Design Nederland. He enjoys being a public speaker by giving talks and hands-on workshops at conferences and meetups.

About Gien Verschatse


Gien Verschatse, a software developer with 10 years of experience, mainly in a .NET environment, who likes to start her day with coffee. She specialises in bridging the gap between users and developers by practicing domain driven design. Besides that she loves to learn how teams can improve the way they make decisions both on a technical and organisational level.

She is a strong believer of continuously learning by deliberate practice and knowledge sharing, which is why she dedicates a lot of her free time speaking at conferences or user groups. She also helps to organise an F# conference in the US, Open FSharp.

When she is not busy with all of the above, you will find her on the sofa, reading a book (yes, with coffee).

About Evelyn Van Kelle

Trying to make sense of the socio-technical mashup that is called software developmentTwitterLinkedInBlogCompany Website

Evelyn van Kelle is a strategic software delivery consultant, with experience in coaching, advising and guiding organisations and teams in designing socio-technical systems. Her Master’s degree in social sciences brings new and valuable perspectives when it comes to optimizing both delivery- and team processes.

Being a firm believer of context shaping meaning, she is focused on understanding company- and team culture before anything else. Finding the actual problem to solve and adding business value are starting points in her work. Evelyn is convinced that we need a shared sense of reality including shared values, goals and language in order to perform best as a team. She is curious, driven and pragmatic. “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” describes her line of reasoning.

Besides her daily work, she has a predilection for books and linguistics, and highly appreciates good food.