Monday, September 19, 2011

Presentation: Maneuver Warfare and Other Badass Habits of a Lean Product Developer at Tampere Goes Agile

Here are the slides for a presentation I gave in Tampere Agile Days.

The feedback I got:
29 green, 3 yellow, 3 reds.

What went well:
"It is great someone is emphasizing the customer side - at last"
"Completely new learnings"
"Excellent summaries of the things I already know"
"Excellent concrete examples without going too deep to them."
"This gives me new items on my to-learn backlog."
"One of the best presentations lately"
"Best slides of the day"
"Excellent structure."
"I really liked the way you described the inventory - it opened my eyes."
"Very good real-life examples."

To improve:
"I would hope to get even more concrete stuff."
"You could have spend more time explaining 5whys and A3."
"Maybe too analytic."
"Consider not using the word 'lean' at all."
"Your delivery was a bit static."
"Talk without slides or read all your slides" (My note: I missed this one as I had to read&point out some things from the slides.. maybe the feedback was about something else..)
"Several topics mentioned twice." (My note: True, but in different context - measurement and learning is different thing - maybe I was not clear on that..)

Few things I noticed by myself:
Always make sure the slides are front of you so that you do not loose the connection with the audience.
Pay attention where you stand - closer the audience the better.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What everybody should know about systems thinking

I thought I would share few vids about systems thinking and complexity theory that I think everybody should watch.

Russ Ackoff on" Beyond Continuous Improvement"

How to organise a Children's Party (Dave Snowden)

Dr. Deming - The 5 Deadly Diseases 1984

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Challenges with "We sell agile teams"

I recently chatted with some rather talented programmers who are considering entrepreneurship. Their business model would be to provide agile software development team to whomever who wants to get their software done. The value proposition is rather bound to agile software deliveries.

I wrote them an email that consisted the following points:

Some challenges:

  1. Customers do not know what agile means or they have no method to make agile RFQs. It is hard to get to make a value proposition as the "get the team to do it" is rather late in the purchase process. The RFQs have already been made and they usually are not considering agile delivery model.
  2. Say that the customer would be willing and would have the knowledge how to make an agile bid. The challenge is still the surrounding ecosystem that will affect to the delivery (contracts, organizational boundaries, multi-vendor projects where some are applying waterfall, merging the team into the project organization..)
  3. Product Owner issues that block the successful delivery of the proposed value: PO cannot make the decisions or does not know what should be get done and why. The code might be clear but the implementation would not serve the purpose.

Small software development companies are forced to be rather opportunistic. They often end up selling "resources" (= individual programmers) to projects via larger company (either another subcontractor or pure resource renting house). Selling projects requires some mass and commercial investments. Small subcontractor is seen as risky business from the customers point of view - no matter how skillful or agile they might be.

However we need the enthusiasm that has created such a great companies like energizedwork and Reaktor - so be brave and go for it! :)

Something to checkout for anybody considering to become an entrepreneur (by Steve Blank):

photo credits: soldiersmediacenter