March 2009

Coming events: May 6-8, Miami

Lean & Kanban 2009 Conference

Quite simply the greatest ever assembled group of experts in Lean software development will be convening in Miami in May to explore the frontiers of agile and lean in software development. This is your chance to be a part of the new wave in agile development and management practices.

Speakers include: Alan Shalloway, Dean Leffingwell, Peter Middleton, James Sutton, Corey Ladas, Karl Scotland, Ami Rathore, Sterling Mortensen, Aaron Sanders, Rob Hathaway, Alisson Vale, Max Keeler, Linda Cook, Eric Landes, Eric Willeke, Chris Shinkle and David Laribee.

The final conference agenda has been released. You can download it here.
http://www.leankanbanconference.com/agenda.pdf

along with the program (draft) released yesterday
http://www.leankanbanconference.com/LeanKanbanProgram.pdf

The new conference format provides Day 1 – May 6th – as a Lean Day and Day 2 – May 7th – as a Kanban specific day. Day 3 will be open space and lightning talks.

Full Registration
After March 16th early bird registration will be $700 until April 16th after which time the full $800 price will apply.

Register now at http://www.leankanbanconference.com/

Agile Florida special rate
Members of an Agile Florida User’s Group can make use of the Super Early Bird price as a special discount until April 16th. Membership of an agile group in Florida and residency in Florida (based on Credit Card details) are required to qualify.

Register now at http://www.leankanbanconference.com/

Lean Day Only Registration – May 6th
For those who only want to attend the Lean sessions at the conference, we are offering a special one day rate that wil include the evening reception. The price for this is $335. Register now at http://www.leankanbanconference.com/

Kanban Day Only Registration – May 7th
For those who only wish to attend the Kanban case study presentations, we are offering a special one day rate of $295. Register now at http://www.leankanbanconference.com/

Please bear in mind that the numbers at the event are strictly limited. Please register early to avoid disappointment.

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Coming events: April 21, Vancouver BC

Lean Development for Lean Times

Agile Vancouver is a non-profit user group run by volunteers.

We are affiliated with the Agile Alliance and host lively regular monthly meetings to promote the state-of-the-art wherever we can.

On Tuesday April 21st, we are hosting an afternoon event on the application of Lean Principles to software development. This workshop brings together leading thinkers from Lean Production and Lean software. On the agenda, we have three interactive sessions:

  • An Introduction to Lean Product Development – Katherine Radeka
  • Scrumban: Lean Thinking for Agile Process Evolution – Corey Ladas
  • The Lean Startup: a Disciplined Approach to Imagining, Designing, and Building New Product – Eric Reis

The event will run from 2:30pm to 7:00pm at the Plaza 500 (the same venue as previous Agile Vancouver conferences). Please register to attend this event as space will be limited. There is a $25 fee to secure your registration for the event. If you have any questions about registration, please contact us at registration@agilevancouver.net.
Speaker Bios:

  • Corey Ladas is a master of applying Kanban systems to Agile projects and the editor of Lean Software Engineering blog
  • Katherine Radeka is an expert in the application in Lean principles to product development with a track record of successful products and successful product development transformations
  • Eric Ries is the former CTO of IMVU and champion of the Lean Startup

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Extreme Programming workflow simulation

I made a simulation of an XP-like process. I won’t go as far as to say it’s exactly XP, but it’s a reasonable approximation. The first one is an unconstrained workflow with a single customer. It is a PIPE2 simulation, and the file is here. Multiple customers (or nested stories) would require a colored Petri net, which PIPE2 doesn’t support.

One of the keys to understanding the model is the bidirectional edge between the customer and write a story.  The team keeps writing stories until the customer doesn’t want any more stories and accepts a final build.  Other keys are the bidirectional edge out of accept story and the inhibitor arcs into accept build.  Those things give the model most of the “iterative goodness” you’d expect.

Not surprisingly, the unconstrained workflow rarely reaches a checkpoint where the customer has nothing in process, so the deliver build transition rarely triggers. If we add a stories in process kanban limit, then there is also much more reengagement with the customer as a consequence. That model is here.

I would be interested to hear of any improvements to the model.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-09

  • Kanban regulates work, not workers.
  • Every process is a queue, not just the buffers.  Workflow buffers can be in time, space, or capacity. Each is a tool, none are “correct.”
  • Behold! The mighty Invariant. http://tinyurl.com/dyhelw
  • A Minimum Marketable Feature is the smallest unit of work that has recognizable value to the customer. If a Minimum Marketable Feature could be made any smaller, then either it wasn’t Minimum, or it no longer has value to the customer. The Minimum Marketable Feature is the most natural unit of scheduling for Lean and Evolutionary Development.  The Minimum Marketable Feature is the most valuable product of Rolling Wave Planning.  A Minimum Marketable Feature can be decomposed into User Stories, Use Cases, BDD Scenarios, etc. for detailed work scheduling.  Minimum Marketable Features can be staggered and overlapped for production leveling of skills and roles.  A Sprint Goal is a substitute for having a real business-valued goal. A Minimum Marketable Feature is the real thing.
  • The “Feature Crew” process is a kanban system for Minimum Marketable Features.  A Feature Crew system can scale up to hundreds of people.
  • Alan Shalloway on future of Lean software development: http://tinyurl.com/b3q6f5
  • In Evolutionary Design, the same requirement may be implemented more than once. This is not rework, because no mistake has been made.
  • Bottom up: A Design Parameter is “what the system does.” A Functional Requirement is “why the system does it.”  Top down: A Functional Requirement is “what the system should do.” A Design Parameter is “how the system will do it.”
  • I find greater value in the ideas of Deming, Ohno, and Goldratt. I am not the only person who feels this way.
  • One man’s good engineering practice is another man’s criminal negligence.
  • If continuous testing and continuous integration are good, then continuous planning might also be good: http://is.gd/m98c
  • My opinion of Peter Middleton and James Sutton’s book “Lean Software Strategies” only grows over time. http://is.gd/lFgb
  • The purpose of business is not to give programmers something to do.

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