Tag Archives: LSSC11

LSSC11 – My impressions/takeaways

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Impressions

Keynotes – The Keynote by Chet Richards was AMAZING. He is a great speaker, and his content was just right for opening the LSSC conference. He had tough competition with David Snowden talking about Complexity, so instead of chosing the best keynote, I’m mainly glad we could enjoy both. Snowden’s keynote was tougher to digest, and I think it will take me time to really bring myself to the level of consciously applying ideas from Snowden’s Cynefin in my day-to-day work.

From LSSC11

 

Choosing sessions was very difficult. More often than not I had to skip sessions I really wanted to hear. I guess its a sign of the quality of the topics/tracks/speakers. Talks of cloning, transparent walls, and other sci-fi solutions to the problem were abound on twitter. We had to suffice with a constant stream of tweets from the various sessions. Mostly that only increased the frustration for not enjoying the other session as well 🙂

With this in mind, I made a conscious decision to spend some serious time outside the Kanban tracks, to try and open my mind to other things. I attended some talks from almost every track.

This year I also tried to spend more time talking to people outside the sessions. It’s hard as the content was great, but the conversations are even better.

 

These are my highlights:

  • Both talks by Benjamin Mitchell. I was looking forward to hearing Benjamin for a while now, and wasn’t disappointed. He is a great story-teller, and if you mix in his passion for Argyris, people, and system thinking you get winning talks. He also mixes in a lot of self-awareness and introspection, so you really get a feeling of being along for the ride, and learning what to do if you are in a similar situation, as well as how to apply learning to any situation.
  • I also had a couple of corridor discussions with Benjamin – about CFDs, Control Charts among other things – which I found challenging and inspiring. Benjamin is the kind of guy you want as a mentor, too bad he’s in London not Tel Aviv 🙂
  • The new kanban board game from Russell Healy (that’s Brickell award winner Russell for you guys…) – I’m a big fan of the getkanban game for those who aren’t aware of it, and the new version adds some cool things. The cubes are out (good riddance), and it also conveys the effects of batch sizes and cadence very clearly. I didn’t have the time to play through the whole game, but got a sneak peak at all the features as an insider… The new kanban tool Russell is working on is also interesting, and he has some interesting thoughts what to do with it which I like.
  • I leave praise for my colleague Inbar’s talk about Who’s afraid of the big bad wall – Gemba Walks and Visualizations to others who are less subjective than me… suffice to say it felt great to see people coming over and telling him how much they liked it, and seeing the tweets about it. Well-deserved as it was a well-thought-out and executed talk about an important subject.
From LSSC11
  • Sufficient Design by Joshua Kerievsky was another favorite. His pragmatic views about Design, Context-specific behaviour, levers for indicating required levels of different qualities of solutions, and other aspects were all interesting and well-delivered. I’m now left with some reading and thinking to do about how to apply all of this. It was also interesting to note that Joshua spoke parallel to Siddharta Govindaraj who talked about Using Class of Service for Managing Risk in Innovative New Product Development, and there were several parallels and synergies between those talks, that we explored on the twitosphere in real time, which was amazing.
  • Outside the tracks, I had some interesting discussions with Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry about Personal Kanban and their unique approach to consulting. Don’t know how much of it makes sense to me yet, but its thought-provoking for sure..
  • Lean Coffees – While I’m doing similar personal kanban-driven sessions, the use of Lean Coffee to drive communities and organizations forward has more depth to it than I realized. I’m going to try and experiment with it, both for the Israeli Lean Software community, as well as client work. At the minimum, seems like a must have at any conference/gathering of people…
  • Had some great discussions with Dennis Stevens about Scrum, PMI, and the universe, and am looking forward to collaborating with Dennis on things related to PMI and Project Management in general.
From LSSC11

General Thoughts and Takeaways

  • As suspected, I have lots of learning to do, especially around System Thinking, Argyris, Cynefin, Risk. Thats great, no boredom for me.
  • The LSSC conferences are really aimed at intermediate/advanced practitioners looking to stay ahead of the curve. I don’t think we currently have a formula for Beginners/Executives, but I had some interesting discussions with David (Anderson) about this yesterday. We should keep the conferences more or less the same way in my oppinion. For the current Value Proposition they are great. Some tweaks can always help, but bottom line, the format works.
  • We can become more effective as a community if we find higher bandwidth and more intimate ways to interact outside the conference. Had some interesting talks about virtual coaching katas, debriefs, mentoring, etc.
  • Can’t wait to see the presentations and movies from the conference, Word on the street is that they will be available late June, for LSSC members.

 

Reasons to come early to conferences, or at least to LSSC Lean Software and Systems Conferences

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Its early wednesday, I’m at Long Beach for LSSC11 – the main US conference for the Lean Software Systems Consortium also at LimitedWIPSociety.org – the community practicing and leading Lean and Kanban in software development.

The main conference starts this morning and my talk is this afternoon, but so much has happened already, I’m really glad I arrived early.

So what are the reasons to arrive early to LSSC conferences?

Breaking Bread

Socializing with other participants – Starting monday afternoon and into the night, already had the opportunity to catch up with friends, meet twitter friends f2f, and meet new interesting people. This makes the discussions and collaboration that happens later on much smoother than arriving just in time for the first session. And of course had the opportunity to try some beers, and have great dinner.

Yard House meetup for LSSC Early Arrivers

Discussions

The slack time before the conference allows great discussions to take place. One typical discussion was  commitments, estimates, what various teams are doing about it. Had this discussion with Liz Keogh, Ted Young, Larry Maccherone. We discussed the various contexts where estimates make sense and don’t, the difference between estimates and commitments at the team level and the customer/business level, and how to combine them. The pragmatic context-driven discussion appreciating the need to take the principles we agree on and apply them differently based on the scenario is very typical of the discussions the Lean/Kanban community has, and why I’m so proud to be an active member of it.

I had a chat with Dennis Stevens about PMI, Scrum Alliance, some of the directions we think our community should take, and the opportunity that is there to affect a much wider portion of the business world than we currently are. Looking forward to discussing the PMI angle specifically for Israel and AgileSparks some more with Dennis once Inbar Oren joins us today.

Also had a chat with Rowan Bunning from Australia about styles of coaching and exchange some experiences in general.

That was monday. After a short and jetlagged night, it was time for…

TAB – Technical Advisory Board

LSSC11 TAB Technical Advisory Board

Well, you can see in the picture we had an interactive session. What was it about? Identifying the Challenges, Opportunities and Actions we want to focus on as a community, and setup the baseline for a Community Participation Program that will drive the LSSC community forward.

There were a couple of threads and I will not go into all of them since its becoming almost time for breakfast and to leave some suspense for later. But I was mainly focused on the challenge of educating the world out there about Lean/Kanban for IT/Technology environments, essentially establishing and promoting our “Brand”, and the opportunity we have as a community to make it happen. Ryan Martens suggested we do a Business Model Canvas taken from Business Model Generation which seems to be a book I should look at. Karl Scotland, Jason Yip, Eric Willeke and myself had some great ideas on how to evolve the business model of the LSSC. We identified various constituencies that the LSSC can cater to, and focused on Corporate members and Vendors. For me, the Vendors discussion is where we shined. We have some practical ideas on how to make the LSSC more viable as well as more effective in promoting the brand. We are hoping to generate discussion around these ideas with the vendors here in LSSC this week, as well as with the LSSC Board, and see how things move on.

After the TAB finished, I had the chance to have a long and interesting discussion with Don Reinertsen, about Transition Styles, What he typically sees in Mixed HW/SW environments, how to make his approach and ideas more palatable for non-Engineering folks (e.g. MBAs …). We also discussed some ways to collaborate in the future.

Then it was time for the welcome reception. Free Food, Drinks, Riot Games – a sponsor which knows how long (or short) to talk at such an occation, and mainly more discussions and meeting even more people. I had the chance to sit down with the LeanKitKanban team for a chat about Agile Israel 2011, Talk to Allison Vale and Rodrigo Yoshima about Scaling Kanban to the entire business and how the israeli and brazilian lean/kanban/agile communities look like, as well as talked to Hillel Glazer about some interesting things we want to do together and learned some more details about his work with the Cutter Consortium. Turns out Israel generated some traffic after I directed some people towards one of their new Kanban papers written by David Anderson and Arne Roock.

And one could not avoid larger than life posters of certain LSSC Brickell award nominees… and the promise of a great banquet coming up on Thursday…

 

Tired from a long day and jetlagged, I retired to grab a quick bite and to sleep. Needless to add, still jetlagged, but very excited about starting the actual conference today, and my talk. Off to the showers, breakfast, see you on twitter on hashtag #LSSC11!

Webinar LSSC11: Session 4 – Intro to Lean Product Development Flow

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute

I’ve been asked to deliver a pre-LSSC11 webinar on the topic of Lean Product Development flow. I’m going to introduce an approach to mixing Lean and Agile in order to achieve end to end agility. This is a major focus of my work in the recent 2 years with AgileSparks clients.

Register for the Webinar at Webinar LSSC11: Session 4 – Intro to Lean Product Development Flow

This is also the topic I will talk about in my Agile Israel 2011 session Techniques and experiences for managing end to end Releases/Projects/Programs using Kanban and Flow”

In my Using flow approaches to effectively manage agile testing at the enterprise level talk at LSSC11 I’m focusing on an aspect of this approach – how to use it to address challenges in quality assurance/testing approaches when dealing with agile projects.