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Reimagining ALM

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Sam Guckenheimer proposes in his recent keynote at ALM Summit 3 to reimagine the application lifecycle management (ALM) to enable continuous feedback on software projects with a metric based on how long it takes to drive an experiment and obtain validated learning from it.

Guckenheimer, Group Product Planner of the Microsoft Visual Studio product line and author of several books on application lifecycle management, in order to incorporate continuous business improvement to our improvement cycle proposes to add the measurement to what he exposes as the two basic metrics for continuous flow in application lifecycle management:

  • Cycle time, as the time one feature takes to arrive from product backlog to production
  • And Mean time to repair, the time it takes to resolve an issue at production from when it was detected until it’s fixed.

On his keynote, Guckenheimer discuss how the underlying idea ‘Stop doing Product Development, start doing Customer Development’ on books like ‘The Four Steps to Epiphany’ by Steve Blank, and specially the publication of ‘The Lean Startup’ book by Eric Ries, changed the way we talk about Lean. According to author previously we used to talk Lean as the Toyota tradition started by Taiichi Ono, and nowadays we define Lean in a whole different way, as the Lean Startup business practices based on ‘Build. Measure. Learn’.

Starting from what he calls the Agile Consensus - trustworthy transparency, reduction of waste and focus on the flow of value - as the way to teach companies better product development, he provides six simple steps that will allow organisations to incorporate ‘Build. Measure. Learn.’ on their projects:

  1. Make business hypothesis a testable experiment
  2. Define experiment as Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  3. Build measurement into MVP
  4. Measure the results
  5. Gain validated learning
  6. Persevere or pilot.

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