Episode 123: Some Principles of Lean and Product Development Flow with Don Reinertsen

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The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are privileged to spend some time with Don Reinertsen, who is considered one of the leading thinkers in the field of lean product development and author of numerous books including “Principles of Product Development Flow”

  • Principles of Product Development Flow” book and why there is a waterfall on the front
  • Japanese Manufacturing Techniques was the name before it was rebranded as Lean Manufacturing
  • Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, hated math and thus preferred to sit on the factory floor and tweak processes, hence it was not a theory driven approach but rather empirically driven
  • Need to understand why things work so you can transfer it to other domains, a big shortcoming in lean manufacturing is that they don’t have much of a mathematical view on what they are doing
  • You can use magic in manufacturing because it is highly repetitive
  • People understand iterations are good to do but do not understand why
  • “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Agile software people are doing a better job at lean product development because software people have already crossed the chasm of inspect and adapt

Continue reading “Episode 123: Some Principles of Lean and Product Development Flow with Don Reinertsen”

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Episode 121: Diversity & Frugal Innovation in Africa with Betty Enyonam Kumahor

The Agile Revolution Podcast

enyoCraig and Tony sit down for a conversation at YOW! Conference with Betty Enyonam Kumahor (stands for good for me, on the way there) who is a technology leader in Africa:

  • Tony and Enyo are mutual members of the Alistair Cockburn fan club
  • YOW! Conference talk “Frugal Innovation and Scaffolding Software
  • Software engineering uptake in Africa is very low, need more technologists because it is is not an industry it is an enabler
  • Lots of diversity challenges in Africa – lees than 1% of the South African IT industry is women, but also diversity in languages, education and belief systems
  • Diversity is a multi-pronged issue, need to be patient but not complacent to move the needle forward, give girls the confidence to be competent and to push the boundaries
  • Frugal innovation in Africa – building technology in a space of constraints such as inadequate power, everything happens by mobile…

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Episode 119: Agile (Raccoon) is Dead with “Pragmatic” Dave Thomas

The Agile Revolution Podcast

davethomasCraig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and get the opportunity to sit down with Dave Thomas, signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and have a great discussion about:

  • Dave’s talk “Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility)
  • Agile as a word has become meaningless, don’t follow the off-the-shelf processes, apply small corrections to move forward
  • Story of Stone Soup is like Agile consultancies, the hard work is done by the companies
  • Scrum is a good starting point due to its simplicity
  • Raccoon is a noun, so not a good replacement name for Agile, because you can buy a pound of it
  • 1,000 working on one thing can never be Agile, you have to make enterprises agile before you can run an agile project
  • The values in the Agile Manifesto hold up well, would have been nice to have had more diversity, had no expectation they were…

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Episode 118: YOW! 2015 Brisbane Vox Pop

The Agile Revolution Podcast

yow_2015_conference_-stacked-pngCraig and Tony are once again roaming the lunch hall at YOW! 2015 in Brisbane, where they catch up with a number of people including:

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Episode 117: The Changing Role of a Tester with Mark Pedersen

The Agile Revolution Podcast

mpCraig is at the YOW! Connected conference and talks to Mark Pedersen, the CTO at KJR, and they talk all things quality and testing:

  • the changing role of a tester in an Agile environment, it clarifies the role rather than making it blurrier
  • in an Agile environment it does not make sense to have a Test Manager role anymore
  • the number of dedicated testing roles are decreasing, but becoming more important and valuable
  • most organisations say that they use both waterfall and agile frequently
  • build your skills in either a quasi analysis / product owner / acceptance criteria role or get up to speed with sensible technical automation tools for your tech stack
  • TDD – good idea but not many organsations practicing it in a dedicated way, unit testing in most industries is a luxury
  • BDD – does not make TDD obsolete, defining acceptance criteria upfront helps understand…

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Episode 116: The Heart of Modern Agile

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are sipping a sarsaparilla or two on a balcony in Brisbane and start trying to dissect the state and heart of modern agility: 

  • You can trust the team if you listen to them
  • Keys to transformation is LLL – leadership, leadership, leadership
  • If you have Agile leaders maybe you don’t need Agile coaches

Continue reading “Episode 116: The Heart of Modern Agile”

‘A Rose by any other name?’

That’s not Agile!

You haven’t dotted the I’s, crossed the T’s and conformed to this checklist! You’re not following dot point 27 of document three! Agile is only for software development! Every time I hear statements like this it perturbs me greatly, they are usually repeated with such conviction that I know I have to set about demystifying these rumours lest they continue to grow.

Agile is not an ISO standard or a check list to be followed blindly for the sake of it.

It’s simply a framework, if you like an umbrella term for a set of values and principles that have been shown to improve efficiency, productivity, and quality. Agile is not just a software development methodology though, it’s a way of working that builds on a set of values and principles to deliver business value and manage risks.

 

Agile methods are adaptive; they have frequent checkpoints and feedback loops that are used to manage and reduce risk. It’s pragmatic; if something doesn’t work it can and should be adapted.

Agile can be used for all sorts of teams and environments as well as being able to be used at the governance level for portfolio management and at the project level for delivery.Its’ strengths lie in the core values and principles and we should take time to remember them. Continue reading “‘A Rose by any other name?’”