Adaptive Capacity Labs, LLC is a research and development company focused on helping technology-reliant organizations capture critical knowledge and learnings from unexpected events and incidents, such as outages, degradations, and privacy breaches.

Our work goes beyond traditional template-driven “postmortem” analyses – we bring both methods and expertise from the fields of Human Factors, Cognitive Systems Engineering, and Resilience Engineering to the study of software-rich environments.

We draw on techniques of knowledge elicitation, cognitive task analysis, accident investigation, and critical incident methods to unpack and characterize the factors that shape, limit, and enable the creation and resolution of these situations.

The most valuable part of our work is when clients learn how to direct this deep-level analysis themselves, and build an internal community of debriefing facilitators and analysts.

Examples of bringing a cognitive process tracing approach to software-rich environments include:

  • Trade-Offs Under Pressure: Heuristics and Observations of Teams Resolving Internet Service Outages (Allspaw, 2015)
  • The Stella Report: Report from the SNAFUcatchers Workshop on Coping With Complexity (Woods, 2017)