Promise Theory

One of my new interests is Promise Theory. It was proposed 10 years ago by Jan Bergstra and Mark Burgess as a model of voluntary cooperation. Being good scientists, their theory is an explanation of how things work rather than a solution to a problem.

That being said, I think understanding how things work is a solution. And more, we can use understanding to solve some problems. Right now, Mark’s primary focus is on using this within software systems (see: CFEngine) and a few folks are looking to extend the theory beyond there.


What is Promise Theory?

  1. Promise Theory: An Introduction (book) by Jan Bergstra and Mark Burgess
  2. Promise Theory, Wikipedia entry
  3. Introduction to Promise Theory by Mark Burgess



What are people saying about Promise Theory?

  1. Stop Writing Checks Others Can’t Cash (an example of PT in the workplace) by Kent McDonald
  2. Four part series by Jeff Sussna
    1. Turning Requirements into Promises
    2. Scaling Agile Projects Using Promises
    3. Promise Theory, DevOps, and Design
    4. Promising Quality Service Experiences
  3. Promise Theory for Dummies (video) and slides by John Willis
  4. The Promise of System Configuration (video) by Mark Burgess
  5. Business Alignment Viewed Through the Eyeglass of Promises (Business Driven IT Management) by Mark Burgess



Is your favorite article, video, or blog post missing from this list? If so, then shoot me a note with your favorite link.

 Last Update: Jan 23, 2014