I’ll be recapping the International Conference on Lean Enterprise Software and Systems. I plan to post updates during the conference.
Panel: Why Agile? Why Lean?
Host David Anderson (author of the Kanban book)
Kati Vilkki, Alan Shalloway, David Joyce, David F. Rico, Ken Power (panelists)
1. question: Basic position statement (scaling agile and lean)
Ken Power (KP):
- Lean and agile are related but different.
- Agile: individual, team
- Lean: Organization level
David Rico (DR):
- Lean is the what
- Agile is the how
- Lean brings theory, science
Kati Vilkki (KV):
- Agile is part of Lean software dev.
- LSD is the wider concept (my own abbrev 🙂 )
- agile does not address management
- they are aligned, common practices, but different
David Joyce (DJ):
- Agile are team practices
- Lean from organization perspective
- Scaling agile to organization functions in some cases
Alan Shalloway (AS):
- Agile is very people-centred
- admirable but not efficient
- Lean is systems thinking
- yet still about people
- people improve the system
- so, a different focus
2. question: Is scaling the right approach
- it is not
- we want enterprise agility but that is not reached by starting small and scaling
- Scaling agile (small to big) is not want you want. You want to work at the organisation level, optimising the whole
- scaling up agile you need something outside agile
- agile doesn’t deliver business agility (pitched by the host)
- agile and lean do not address product decisions
- Agile addresses enterprise scale organizations
- maybe not that well
- We need to scale these into organizational levels
- It’s not a toolset
- you need to change the thinking
- the question is flawed
- the question is more about perspective
- agile and lean bring different perspectives
3. question: Audience (Duarte Vasco): Agile is developed as a way of thinking, lean is being developed as a set of tools (argument?)
- lean books are about tools
- The Magic Behind Lean (the book? didnt find on Google)
- Many more thinking models in Lean.
- Agile community not interested in defining a thinking model
- Agile and lean do different things
- Choice of perspective: system or the mindset that created it
- In Agile no principles to e found
- In lean we value models
- If you don’t look for the mindset and rules, you can get lost
- If people don’t have a model or an experience they don’t change (they need both)
4. question: Audience (?): How do you move out of waterfall methodology? Lean or agile? (hypothetical)
- The question is: What does the customer want?
- Any methodology goes
- Very painfully and very slowly
- Different frameworks for talking with diff. people
- Agile for developers
- Agile not for business managers
5. question: Audience (?): Is transformation a continuous process? How do we create a kaizen culture?
- It is not a one-off thing, it’s continuous improvement
- with a model of continuous stakeholder process
- Visibility from development to value created
- Visibility from business to development
- Visibility of processes used
- Biggest difference between kanban and agile is in that in kanban all the processes are explicit
- teams are complex systems, you need kanban
- kanban goes viral
- people outside dev. organization see the process and start to question it
- if people want to improve kaizen state becomes a reality
6. question (Jurgen Appelo): Shareholder movement in the 80s failed, now customer orientation, but customers don’t care about ethical things, how does Lean or Agile solve this sub-optimization?
- How do you do agile or lean in an ethical way?
- There are more stakeholders than customers, how to solve that sub-optimization
- SouthWest Airlines: low-cost transportation
- Values employees too
- Lean does some of this, but it comes back to the value system (if these factors are there)
- Toyota: For a long time their business was about providing value to the customers
- The key thing in lean thinking is that you shouldn’t focus on just one company
- It’s about whole value chains
- From raw materials, so saving the ecosystem too
- It’s not about short-term profits
- Observation: Shortening the cycle time helps all of the stakeholders.
- Lean and agile do not address this
- They can help to do very unethical things efficiently
- Stakeholder management addresses this
- Corporate social responsibility statements address this
7. question (?): How to do an agile / lean transformation?
- You need to see where you are.
- Agile assumes you want to do a pilot project.
- But maybe your problems are elsewhere, for example in the customer needs identification.
- Lean is better because it gives you the complete picture.
- Why we are doing it is the most important question.
- What’s in it for me.
- Bottom-up doesn’t necessarily work.
- Top-down doesn’t necessarily work either.
How to overcome resistance?
- The way you describe the change needs to correspond with the desired end product.
- It doesn’t matter where you start but everyone must be invited eventually.
- Managers have to give up control.
- Bottom-up: how the developers can affect managers.
- Apply agile thinking to the change process.
- Naive answer: training and coaching.
Question 8: How do we make clear that we need a different model of development in SW than in manufacturing?
- We need to make clear that there are different kinds of systems
- Only through understanding this does every problem stop looking like a nail
- Focus on how do we start learning where we are now
- Focus on continuous improvement in small increments
- There are some things that make your life easier if you just understand them
- for example living in another country not knowing the language
- A risk at looking at the wrong problems can complicate the people problem
- Learning is not equal to training
- You need people to want to pull learning
9. question: How you justify several mentors? Like 500 in 15000 people organizations?
- You have to give the first shot free, meaning the first coaching session
- Then they are hooked
- Then they can decide if they like more training or coaching
- Other way is to divide it to smaller chunks
- Agile transitions are coaching-heavy
- 1 coach per team full time
- Kanban transitions require less
- managers need to take responsibility
- eventually everyone in the organization should take responsibility
- Who takes responsibility of paying for coaching is a very difficult question
10. question: Are some principles or values missing from agile or lean?
- many things
- lack of emphasis on flexible technologies
- Too much focus on use scrum on everything
- A whole lot of stuff missing
- product development
- how to make good technical solutions
- Psychology around change and learning is missing
- Not just shouting “This is mine and it is better!”
- The idea of why we are doing this
- The idea is not to be agile or lean
- What are Lean ethics?