Sunday, May 31, 2009

Poppendiecks: Designing a Lean Development Process

The Poppendiecks have a new advanced course (all welcome, but people already experienced in Lean-Agile will get more from it).

Designing a Lean Development Process.
Mnpls, June 9-10

Based on their new book (about to be released).
More info: See here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

AgileBusiness - new yahoo group

Quick notice that we just started a Yahoo group called Agile Business.
See here.

Key words might include: Agile, Business, Business Value, Agile Project Management, Product Owner, business analyst, Lean, Product Management, Marketing, Executive, Manager, Agile for non-SW projects, etc, etc.

Come and share your questions and your comments.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do we know we have a good idea?

I was reading the new book by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman recently. Recommended.

In the beginning of the book, they give lots of ideas about "how to think". At first, I found this curious, although the suggestions were very good.

Only today did I connect it to what I think is our biggest problem.

This is how Yogi Berra (and Nancy V) put it:
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is?"

Or -- how do we know any idea is really any good?

We could assume, but as we know, that can have bad consequences.

In other words. In my mind, my ideas (and your's and your's) are always perfect. But only in reality do we find out they are always less than perfect.

So, how do we discover the stupidness in every idea? More quickly.

So, this applies each Sprint.
And this applies in changing from waterfall to Scrum. (Yes, Virginia, even Scrum will be a little rough around the edges when applied in real life.)

So, Vodde and Larman, at a high level, are helping you discover all the stupid "truths" you currently think are right. And helping give you a means to gently convince others that their strongly held truths are just plain wrong.

A respected colleagues says: Assume half of what you "know" is wrong. Seems good advice.

I think: There will never come a day when we are finished rooting out stupidity. In ourselves (so be a bit compassionate), in any one person, and certainly in the whole team and the larger firm culture. Toyota has gone further: they are rooting out stupidity in the flow of value from one firm to another.

Taiichi Ohno started implementing Lean at Toyota in the 1940's. He was not finished when he retired in the 1980's. I am thinking with Agile, while we can be a bit impatient, we also need to take a longer view. But maybe I'm wrong.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yahoo Groups - 4 easy lessons

Apologies to those used to Yahoo groups. This is for beginners.

First, why should you care? Because lots of really smart people use Yahoo groups (and ScrumDev in particular).

Second, why should you worry? Because lots of people hear stupid things or get into flame wars on Yahoo groups (and similar). You must Think For Yourself.

1. How to get there.

Go to
In the search box, type in Scrum (one example)
Click on Scrum Development

2. How to join

At the home page, click on Join This Group!
You will be asked to Sign In or Sign Up (become a "member" of's free)

3. How to read

From the home page, click on Messages (upper left)
In your Edit Membership (or when you join a group), you can say if you want single or daily emails when posts happen. I like Daily.

4. How to Post

One way: Under Messages, click on Post. That gives you a window to make a post.
Or you can send an email.
Or you can reply to someone's post.

OK. Now change the mindstream.