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What is Coevolution of Practice?

The concept of 'Coevolution of Practice' offers a fascinating lens through which to view the ever-evolving relationship between our methods and the changing characteristics of the tools and technologies we use.


This dynamic interplay is particularly evident in the way we adapt and redefine our practices in response to technological advancements.


A prime example of this can be seen in the automobile industry, where the maintenance of a car has undergone a dramatic transformation, shifting from the mechanical intricacies of a 1930 Ford A to the software-centric needs of modern electric vehicles.


This shift not only changes our practical approach but also redefines the very essence of what we mean by 'maintenance.'


Such examples encapsulate the essence of the coevolution of practice: an ongoing dance between evolving practices and the changing nature of their underlying components.

Why is it important?

Coevolution of Practice is an important pattern because it removes confusion, especially if the change of characteristics is subtle and when 'old' and 'new' components coexist.


The advent of cloud computing revolutionized server deployment, compressing the timeline from weeks to mere seconds. This rapid evolution rendered traditional server management methodologies, such as ITIL, increasingly obsolete, paving the way for more contemporary approaches like DevOps. This transition, while transformative, also introduced a layer of complexity. Although both ITIL and DevOps revolve around server management, they engage with fundamentally different aspects and characteristics of the process.

Similarly, the growing emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions, coupled with the rising costs of energy, is poised to fundamentally alter our approach to using home appliances. This environmental and economic shift demands a reevaluation of our usage patterns, driving innovation and more sustainable practices in household energy consumption.

The expanding influence of social media and its potential to amplify certain perspectives has sparked discussions around freedom of speech and censorship. As social media platforms enable some voices to reach a wider audience than others, our traditional understanding of these concepts is being challenged. This change is significant because it alters the previous landscape, where the reach of each individual's voice was more evenly distributed, leading to a reevaluation of how we perceive and manage the balance between free expression and responsible communication.

Conflict is on the table

The pace and impact of change are not uniform across all individuals. While some are deeply rooted in traditional methods, others are eager to embrace new approaches. The response to this shift varies widely, influenced by numerous factors such as the extent of one's investment in either the old or new methods. As a result, reactions can range from confusion to hostility, with a spectrum of responses in between, depending on these varying circumstances

Spotting Coevolution of Practice and explaining it to executive is an important consultant skill.

Coevolution of practice is one of many patterns.

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