Long before the Agile revolution for software development began, industry had learned that efficient production of goods required intense attention to quality, teamwork, and continuous improvement. These themes of Lean Manufacturing (which was further refined into the Toyota Production System) were never part of the original formulation of the Agile Manifesto, and are rarely mentioned as part of the traditional Agile/Scrum recipe for teams transforming to the new “Agile” mindset.

The reality is that the traditional Agile/Scrum recipe is actually a “dumbed down” version of the Toyota Production System, and makes it easier for organisations to grasp and start from. However, if organisations really want to achieve the goal of producing the software they need in a fashion that leads to High Performance Teams and Sustainable Engineering, they will need to understand the principles of Lean so they can incorporate them into their unique process. This session teaches the basics of Lean, and demonstrates how they apply to Agile development.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

The deck as assembled now contains the following sections:

  • Definition of the problem, both in terms of understanding that development efforts are only one part of the organization's issues (the business of the company is not making software, but creating value for customers, etc.)  [this section takes about 10 minutes to go through comfortably - in SDD2014, the questions started early and this probably took around 15 minutes.  This time around, I think I could trim a couple of minutes, be more presentational (less "and what are your issues in this area?" and do it in 8 minutes]
  • Definition of where Agile adoption is in terms of Moore Chasm crossing, with most organizations that are not "Agile" being in the late majority to laggard space.  How to embrace those harder to reach organizations by a return to Lean principles of the Toyota Production System. [this section is rather quick - around 10 minutes - at SDD2014, I told a bunch of stories and probably took around 20 minutes through this section, but the audience was comfortable jousting with me.  However, this time around, if I adopt a similar "present, but refrain from teaching" approach, I can forcast 8 minutes]
  • Discussion of the seven deadly wastes of Lean  [this is the section where the greatest amount of audience engagement in terms of questions and discussion occurs, and what distinguishes this session from a standard presentation]  [this is the meat of the presentation, and takes around 30 minutes - at SDD2014, we had a lot of side discussions and spent 40 minutes in the section.  This time around, I want to take the 4 sections of each waste and make the first two into just quick reviews.  I think that can get through each waste in 3 minutes, making the total time 20 minutes.  The Vasa story will go.]
    • What the waste is and why it is bad
    • Where the waste occurs in software development
    • How Agile/Scrum attacks the waste
    • What Agile/Scrum misses and what we have to consider to make it work in the audience's organizations
  • Concluding and final remarks [this section takes about 10 minutes to go through - however, at SDD2014, I told around 3 stories behind the slides and engaged heavily in Q&A, which took us about 15 minutes (just finishing within the alloted 90 minute slot at SDD2014).  This time around, I can stay at 10 minutes.]

Learning Outcome

  • Agile/Scrum is having difficulty in reaching late adopters and laggards, and a return to Lean Toyota Production waste reduction princples helps.
  • Agile/Scrum addresses some, but not all of the wastes seen in software development.  Understanding where the missed areas are helps organizations that are currently using Agile/Scrum but are "hitting the wall" with ideas for how to continuously improve
  • Team (and silo) efficiency is good, but organizational effectiveness is better.  Organizational effectiveness is also necessary to reach the business's goals.

Target Audience

Organizations that are having problems making Scrum and other "easy to digest" pre-canned processes work, as well as any organization interested in improving will benefit from understanding the values and principles discussed in this session.


schedule Submitted 6 years ago

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