Recap of LSSC12 Conference

By: David Hawks | May 17, 2012 |  Agile,  Article,  Kanban
Lean Software and SystemsI just returned from the Lean Software and Systems conference in Boston. There was a definite common thread around learning cultures and a focus on treating our industry as a set of scientific experiments. The heavy influence from the Lean Startup movement was prevalent. Here are some of my takeaways for those that were not able to attend.

Steven Spear

  • Greatness is achieved by increasing the pace of learning

David Anderson

  • Kanban Principles
    • Start with what you do now
    • Agree to pursue incremental evolutionary change
    • Initially respect current roles responsibilities and job titles
    • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels from individual contributor to senior management
  • Implement feedback mechanisms added
  • Steps for converting to Kanban
  • Understand sources of dissatisfaction
    • From viewpoint of internal and external
    • Source of variability that cause dissatisfaction
  • Demand and capability analysis
    • By work item type and class of service
  • Model workflow
    • Understand the knowledge discovery process by type
  • Kanban system design
  • Visualization
  • Roll out plan

Steven Denning

  • Dude’s Law – David Hussman
    • Value – Why/How
    • Focus on the Outcome
  • The only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer
    • Not create shareholder value
  • Switch your focus from Outputs to Outcomes
  • Customer Delight = Providing a continuous stream of value to customers and delivering it sooner
  • The goal is to delight the customer. Everything else is a means to getting there
  • Less is more. Aim for the simplest thing.
  • Costs will come down because you will only focus on things that delight your customer
  • Commands kill conversation
  • Money kills inspiration

Dominica DeGrandis – Kanban for IT Operations

  • Need to get visibility to dependencies because they carry risk
  • Design your SLA’s into your board. Create timeline like tick marks across your in progress column and move items each day.
  • Problems with board where there are names for swimlanes
  1. Standups are focused on individuals
  2. Perception of poor performance
  3. Limits Collaboration
  4. Focus on utilization
  5. Pigeon hole folks
  • Bring visibility to skill levels of different skills required on team
  • Make interrupts visible
  • Institute the Goalie.
    • Handles small interrupts
    • Rotates Weekly
    • Expands Knowledge base
    • Gain flexibility in team
  • Make a policy on when the team should create a ticket for something (i.e. takes more than 4 hours)

Jeff Patton

  • Focus on Value
  • Don’t focus on maximizing the output, focus on maximizing the impact of the outcomes
  • Think beyond the edges of the Kanban board

Arne Roock and Markus Andrezak

  • “Projects” are like waterfall containers that have planning, time constraints, focus, budget and purpose
  • Replace projects with epics that align to strategic goal/ outcomes. Let the team work to achieve those outcomes

Don Reinertsen

  • Compared Software to Firefighting, “You don’t just say this is a complex adaptive problem so we can’t create a plan”

Jim Benson

  • Change happens in evolutionary leaps
  • Kaizen is a status quo monster


  • Can run simulations through board
  • “Standard” is just the status quo written down

Some of the presentations:

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