Tony Wong, a project management blackbelt, enumerates some practical points on individual procutivity. This article wonders how well these apply to software development and contrasts his list with that of other lists.
As western governments struggle with difficult debt to GDP ratios, the UK is turning to innovation and agile practices to help create a more efficient and less risky IT project delivery framework.
A Friday afternoon conversation with some noted agile practitioners covering the current state and future trends of the methodological universe and how these are playing out in the real world. Sit back, pop open a beer and enjoy the banter between some of the sharpest agile coaches on the market.
Kanban systems for software, derived from the Toyota Production System, are an iterationless approach for scheduling work. Instead of using a time boxed iteration and planning meeting, the pulls stories from the backlog only when it has completed its previous work. Dave Nicolette thinks that its important to expand our repertoire beyond the basics become familiar with other tools like Kanban.
Corey Ladas has written an interesting paper titled "Scrum-ban" in which he describes how a Scrum team might introduce the lean practice of kanban. He goes on to describe an evolutionary process, which if taken far enough, replaces most of Scrum. Even for those who don't want to scrap Scrum and go lean, the paper provides a useful view into what kanban is and how it can augment Scrum.
In the beginning Agile was largely a developer-driven initiative, sometimes improving development processes only to find the real bottlenecks lay outside developer control. In his latest InfoQ article, Kenji Hiranabe analyses Lean manufacturing's "Kanban" visual tracking tool, how it differs from the Agile taskboard, and how it helps identify more far-reaching improvements.
In this talk, software thought leader Mary Poppendieck reviewed 20th century management theories, including Toyota and Deming, and went on to talk about "the matrix problem", alignment, waste cutting, planning, standards and other topics including the role of measurement: "cash flow thinking" over "balance sheet thinking". InfoQ presents video of this popular talk from the Agile2007 conference.
Lean methods employ Kaizen, or continuous improvement, to reduce waste and improve results on a regular, even daily, basis. On the leanagilescrum group, Alan asked, "Are there known techniques for facilitating kaizen activities within Lean/Agile software development?"
Agile software development and Lean Thinking go hand-in-hand for many practitioners. Six-Sigma blackbelt Mike Wroblewski has blogged some lessons learned from a recent kaizen session. People are a key variable in both manufacturing and software environments, so his lessons learned in manufacturing are also interesting for Lean Software practitioners using kaizen events for process improvement.
Kevin Rutherford blogged recently on fostering change, rather than imposing it, this latter strategy being more likely to backfire. He's provided three tools useful to get the ball rolling and keep it moving.