Lean Software and Systems Conference 2010 #lssc10

The Lean Software and Systems Consortium just finished their first annual conference here in Atlanta (http://atlanta2010.leanssc.org). It was a great conference. I walked out with a lot of energy for this cimagecommunity. Some of my favorite people in the community got stuck in Europe due to the Iceland volcano. Still, I got to spend time with some familiar colleagues like David Anderson, Daniel Vacanti, Mike Cottmeyer, Jean Tabaka, Siraj Sirajuddin, Eric Willeke, Chris Shinkle, and Eric Landes. I also got meet some new people like Gordon Pask winner Arlo Belshee, Pascale Pinck, Joshua Kerievsky, Alan Shalloway and dozens of others. Across the board the energy was good, there were great new ideas, and there was a lot of pragmatic experience with Kanban and Lean.

Highlights included Alisson Vale winning the inaugural Brickell Key award for contributions to the Kanban community. Both Bob Charette and Don Reinertsen gave great keynote speeches emphasizing where the Lean community is heading. Other highlights for me were Chris Shinkle’s presentation showing innovations he has developed using Kanban in a contracting environment and the entire Leaning Over the Edge track.

Three Big Ideas from this years conference…

  1. Software development is not the end game anymore – it is a means to an ends. Both Charette and Reinertsen talked about businesses becoming constantly evolving that operate like Boyd’s OODA loop.
  2. Lean and people mix well. In practice, organizations using Lean and Kanban to develop a mature development environment are seeing improvements in individual learning and the growth of the individuals on the teams. Richard Hensley, Alisson Vale, and Siraj Sirajuddin all spoke about this. Eric Willeke presented a model for decomposing work based on the learning required as opposed to along functional areas.
  3. Lean is an effective way to scale agile across the enterprise. Alan Chedalawada, and Yuval Yeret and Erez Katzav presented case studies.

Three Big Ideas that are coming…

Will continue to improve in the three big ideas from this years conference – but we also got some insight into where this is heading next.

  1. We will get better at the sensing what the market wants and acting on it rapidly.
  2. We will see broader application of mature economic models in support of decision making.
  3. We will see companies that are aligning the entire organization with business value – using agile technology as an enabler.

Finally…

We presented our approach to connecting strategy to execution on the business side in our Case Study – “Shifting to Kanban” as well as the product development side in “Feeding the Agile Beast”. Both presentation were well received. The software development organizations are looking for ways to better align with the business and improve the level of value delivered. I am looking forward to Agile 2010 in Nashville where we will be presenting our organizational transformation case study again as well as giving a workshop on Feeding the Agile Beast. I hope to see you there.

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