Jeff Sussna

Founder and CEO of Sussna Associates


Beyond the Designer As Auteur

2:40 PM–3:10 PM

In this age of complexity and wicked problems, unintended consequences are inescapable. It’s not possible to honestly know how our designs will behave until people use them for real. We create affordances, but can’t guarantee those affordances will keep the promises we intend. As a result, we need to go beyond the notion of the designer as an auteur.

This talk will explore design as a continuous process of making and repairing promises. It will describe the inspiration designers can take from DevOps and industrial safety about seeking out and learning from failure rather than trying to ban it. It will present the view that operations need to be an input to design and not just its output and that organizations must continuously redesign themselves as part of redesigning the services they operate


Jeff Sussna is the founder and CEO of Sussna Associates, a Minneapolis-based consulting agency that helps clients connect Agile, DevOps, and Design Thinking in order to move fast without breaking things. Jeff is an internationally recognized IT coach and design thinking practitioner. His career spans thirty years of building systems and leading organizations across the entire product development and operations spectrum. Jeff is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker. His keynote talks and workshops are in demand at design and IT conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is primarily known for introducing the global DevOps community to the importance of empathy and is the author of Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy.