November 23, 2020

How cognitive biases and ranking fosters an ineffective architecture and design


The power of collaborative modelling comes from having a diverse group of people who, together, have a lot of wisdom and knowledge. You would expect that all this knowledge will be put to use, co-creating and designing a model.

In reality, we don’t actually listen to all the available input and perspectives due to cognitive biases and ranking. Because not everything that needs to be said has been said, we will end up with sub-optimal models and architecture. Even worse, people don’t feel part of the solution and don’t commit to it. Good architecture and design need all the insights and perceptions. If we are not aware, cognitive biases and ranking will kill those insights and wisdom and kill your models’ effectiveness!

Join us in this talk where we will explain why we need collaborative modeling, and how that changes the role of architects to a facilitator of design. We will explore how we can improve our facilitation skills by being aware of ranking, and how to let the group go around cognitive biases they will have. We will show you that making use of the full potential and knowledge of the group this way, will lead to conflicts. Conflicts that need to be solved before we can collaboratively make decisions with the power of Deep Democracy. You will leave with a lot of powerful facilitation heuristics you can use in your next collaborative meeting!


  • Deliberate Complexity Conferences / 29 June 2022 / Video & Slides
  • Developer week management / 10-11 May 2022 / Slides
  • BiL-T Modern Software Architecture / 10 February 2022 / Video – Slides
  • Jfall / 4 November 2021 / Video – Slides
  • Digital Architecture Design Day / 4 June 2021 / Slides
  • DevOpsDays Amsterdam / 29 June 2021 / Video – Slides
  • μCon: The Microservices eXchange / 13 April 2021 / Slides
  • Spa Conference / 23 March 2021 /
  • OOP Conference / 8 February 2021
  • Domain-Driven Design Europe / 4-5 February 2021
  • Flowcon france / 23 November 2020 / Video – Slides

Kenny Baas-Schwegler

As a socio-technical systems thinker, agile architect, and Domain-Driven Design expert, I work with CTOs, managers, architects, and teams to change how we design software. Through facilitating and doing collaborative modeling, I catalyze organizations, teams, and groups of people to an agile architecture approach to building sustainable quality software products.

See all my slides at