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#LK2009 Alan Shalloway (Closing Keynote)

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: #LK2009 Alan Shalloway (Closing Keynote)
Closing Keynote: The Case for Lean-Agile Software Development
Alan’s closing keynote is about what is next in software development.  Alan approaches this field as a scientist and starts off talking about the need to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it.  He goes on to talk about software and the critical role is plays in our society… nearly nothing would work in the absence of software.  The more important software becomes in our lives.. the more quality becomes important.  Some of these software systems are life and death.
Alan gives us a quick history of the software industry and explains our journey to maturity.  Over the years we have seen a pendulum swing from no management… or ad-hoc management… to heavy command and control processes.  Alan has a sense that agile is as much a reaction to something as it has been a solution.  On a personal note… it was refereshing to hear Alan say this becuase that has been my feeling for a long time.  I know agile works… but in large part it was a reaction to really bad middle-managemen t… really bad project management.
Alan suggested that we need to get past the either or nature of the manifesto (a comment I did not fully agree with, don’t believe it is either or) and create a balance between management discipline and software craftsmanship.  Business cannot be run with a ‘you’ll get it when you get it’ attitude.  It just doesn’t work that way.  You cannot just ask a manager to stand back and trust that the team won’t crash and burn.  We need to have the right management controls that allow the team to be empowered and the manager to effectively manage the team.  
Alan’s take is that practices are more widespread than principles and that we are suffering from not having the proper management view and a lack of professionalism in our industry.  Very often we see teams that love agile… they love the practices… but the business is not getting the value they hoped for from their agile implementation.  They have high practice adoption but low agility.  Alan goes into the management paradigms we have available to us from industry:  Craft.. interchangeable parts… and interchageable people.  Lean gives us a fourth alternative…
Lean gives us the opportunity to manage.. .without being command and contrlol.  The business decides why our work is valuable.  The manager decides the best way to deliver that value.  The team decides how we achieve that value.
This pretty much took us through the first hour or so.  Alan wrapped up his part of the talk and handed the mic to Alan Chedalawada.  The second Alan got more tactical and showed us how to put all of this together.  All in all a really good talk and a nice way to close out the conference…. at least the formal part of the conference.  The day is going to continue with a few hours of open space lead by Jean Tabaka.  I’m going to stick around for the first few minutes but need to get to the airport and head home.  
There’s not really a good way for one person to document open space sessions in real time but I am hoping that some folks will take pictures or notes during the individual sessions and get them up on a wiki somewhere.  If that happens… I will do a quick post to let everyone know where they land.  Totally rockin conference… really glad I was able to make it down.
Conference out… Mike
Next Lean or Kanban or Agile

Comment (1)

  1. Kevin E. Schlabach

    Mike… you seemed to lead the Twitter chatter and the blogging from the conference. It clearly inspired others to do the same.

    Thanks for helping make this conference a value to everyone at large elsewhere in the world. I’ve take quite a few gems away even though I’m sitting 6 hrs north (by plane).


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