Episode 126 – Agile Snotfest

Renee has been busy being sick (and Tony and Craig are sick of being busy) and thus it has been a long time between cough syrup for our Revolutionists…

TheAgileRevolution=126 (64 minutes)

Episode 123: Some Principles of Lean and Product Development Flow with Don Reinertsen

8265695783_995186c1ce_hCraig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are privileged to spend some time with Don Reinertsen, who is considered one of the leading thinkers in the field of lean product development and author of numerous books including “Principles of Product Development Flow”

  • Principles of Product Development Flow” book and why there is a waterfall on the front
  • Japanese Manufacturing Techniques was the name before it was rebranded as Lean Manufacturing
  • Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, hated math and thus preferred to sit on the factory floor and tweak processes, hence it was not a theory driven approach but rather empirically driven
  • Need to understand why things work so you can transfer it to other domains, a big shortcoming in lean manufacturing is that they don’t have much of a mathematical view on what they are doing
  • You can use magic in manufacturing because it is highly repetitive
  • People understand iterations are good to do but do not understand why
  • “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Agile software people are doing a better job at lean product development because software people have already crossed the chasm of inspect and adapt
  • There are many sources of variability other than just people, such as the Internet and the fact we are constantly doing things people have not done before
  • To get management to listen about cost of delay you need to benchmark what you are doing today
  • Agile eliminated the economic gene, hence it works well bottom-up
  • Easiest way to introduce quantitive based decision making is to find a project manager who wants an economic model (as they will be fighting for resources and the guy with the numbers will end up winning because they can communicate their needs)
  • Lifecycle pretax profit is far more useful than ROI
  • Start with Chapter 1 in the book – describes what is wrong with what we are doing today, then look for the tree that is ready to be pushed over in your organisation as there is no one way of approaching this
  • The low hanging fruit is: visual control boards, economic model, batch size reduction and WIP constraints
  • The first knob to turn is batch size reduction
  • It is 175 principles in small little batches that add value, it is not the ten commandments!
  • YOW! 2015 talk “Thriving in a Stochastic World

TheAgileRevolution-123 (38 minutes)

Episode 121: Diversity & Frugal Innovation in Africa with Betty Enyonam Kumahor

enyoCraig and Tony sit down for a conversation at YOW! Conference with Betty Enyonam Kumahor (stands for good for me, on the way there) who is a technology leader in Africa:

  • Tony and Enyo are mutual members of the Alistair Cockburn fan club
  • YOW! Conference talk “Frugal Innovation and Scaffolding Software
  • Software engineering uptake in Africa is very low, need more technologists because it is is not an industry it is an enabler
  • Lots of diversity challenges in Africa – lees than 1% of the South African IT industry is women, but also diversity in languages, education and belief systems
  • Diversity is a multi-pronged issue, need to be patient but not complacent to move the needle forward, give girls the confidence to be competent and to push the boundaries
  • Frugal innovation in Africa – building technology in a space of constraints such as inadequate power, everything happens by mobile feature phones, needs to be built fast and cheap
  • Agile in Africa – need to make communities more aware of Agile practices, share what developed world has learnt but also what needs to adjust for the context of the continent
  • Growth of techpreneurs, expensive to do business in Africa, focus on local market rather than off-shoring to Europe
  • Andela program – train to be a software engineer, become a fellow and work for offshore clients
  • Successful conversions from tech hubs to startups is below 5%
  • Biggest issue is lack of access to expertise in Agile / Lean practices as well as lack of people to adapt it for the continent
  • South Africa is a great landing point into Africa

TheAgileRevolution-121 (27 minutes)

Episode 119: Agile (Raccoon) is Dead with “Pragmatic” Dave Thomas

davethomasCraig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and get the opportunity to sit down with Dave Thomas, signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and have a great discussion about:

  • Dave’s talk “Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility)
  • Agile as a word has become meaningless, don’t follow the off-the-shelf processes, apply small corrections to move forward
  • Story of Stone Soup is like Agile consultancies, the hard work is done by the companies
  • Scrum is a good starting point due to its simplicity
  • Raccoon is a noun, so not a good replacement name for Agile, because you can buy a pound of it
  • 1,000 working on one thing can never be Agile, you have to make enterprises agile before you can run an agile project
  • The values in the Agile Manifesto hold up well, would have been nice to have had more diversity, had no expectation they were going to create something so significant
  • The Agile Manifesto was a reaction to the problems in development at the time, maybe something new is required, it would be a tragic mistake to create Agile Manifesto 2.0, we need to ask what is more relevant today to express our frustrations
  • Agile is a fundamental way of thinking about doing stuff, that’s why it’s important to understand why we are doing it
  • The Pragmatic Programmer” started as a set of field notes and somehow became a book that still sells well today despite some of the dated examples  and it invented terms like DRY (don’t repeat yourself)
  • The Pragmatic Bookshelf was accidental by saying the dreaded words “how hard could this be”, the strength is knowing nothing about publishing, everything was automated unlike traditional publishers and still runs with 2 main employees, now storyboard books like a movie as the reader is on a learning journey
  • Ruby has a future, but it needs to distinguish itself as a fantastic general purpose programming language, the community is still very friendly and innovative
  • The emphasis and dogma around testing is off-putting, the amount of effort around many tests are not moving people forward

TheAgileRevolution-119 (40 minutes)

 

 

 

Episode 118: YOW! 2015 Brisbane Vox Pop

yow_2015_conference_-stacked-pngCraig and Tony are once again roaming the lunch hall at YOW! 2015 in Brisbane, where they catch up with a number of people including:

TheAgileRevolution-118 (30 minutes)

Episode 116: The Heart of Modern Agile

heartmodernagileCraig and Tony are sipping a sarsaparilla or two on a balcony in Brisbane and start trying to dissect the state and heart of modern agility:

TheAgileRevolution-116 (46 minutes)

Episode 109 – The Art of Agile Fluency with James Shore

JamesShoreCraig and Tony at the Agile Australia conference sit down with James Shore, best known as for his work as author of “The Art of Agile Development” and co-creator of the Agile Fluency Model and talk about a wide range of Agile topics including:

  • Java Modeling in Color with UML” book mentioned Feature Driven Development (an Australian Agile method!), learnt a valuable lesson to pay attention to the financials and, no matter how much you talk to your customer, seeing is not enough (they need to use it)
  • Extreme Programming Explained“, both editions are the same problem but coming from different experiences with the benefit of seven years of experience
  • the bulk of the “Art of Agile Development” book, particularly section 2, is mostly online, the major thing that probably needs to be updated is the section on customer testing
  • Agile Australia keynote “The Reward”
  • language hunting – there are multiple levels of language proficiency and you can be fluent at any one of them – proficiency is good, but to be really good you need fluency
  • Agile Fluency whitepaper
  • the agile fluency model is not a maturity model, it is about finding the right bus stop
  • Marick’s Missing Manifesto (the things missing from the manifesto) – skill, discipline, ease and joy
  • fluency comes more from the organisational investment than the team, so if you are not seeing fluency look at the organisation first
  • one star is doing Scrum well – with dedicated effort in 2-6 weeks, two stars with mentorship in 3-9 months, three stars takes a lot longer
  • the model is aspirational, so the barriers are high
  • Gamasutra Games Outcomes Project
  • next steps for the model is to share the diagnostics with organisations to help teams compare, contrast and grow
  • “Bloody Stupid Johnson Teaches Agile” with Arlo Belshee
  • the model will work regardless of the method used, its a way of looking at where you are at and not how you do it
  • we should take anybody who fits into the values of the Agile Manifesto
  • Let’s Code JavaScript” started as a Kickstarter, now 300+ episodes
  • Quixote project allows you to test drive CSS and refactor it

TheAgileRevolution-109 (43 minutes)