Highlights from USI 2010 and Lean SSC London

June and July have been busy months. I’d like to share a few highlights from other speakers in USI 2010 in Paris and the Lean Software and Systems gathering in London on which I had the honor of presenting.

Long term sustainable releases with 99% backward compatibility [USI 2010]
In "The challenges of long-term software quality in open source" Jürgen Höller  described how they worked in the Spring team to achieve 99% backward compatibility  by avoiding revolution and using evolution, even when radical new features are fit in. During the last seven years the Spring team have absorbed 4 major JDK’s and 4 generations of J2EE.  I was sure this was possible and Jürgens team shows it is. A challenge to all of us the next time we want to restart from scratch 🙂

Learning to Learn – becoming a Lean startup [Lean SSC]

In this presentation Damon Morgan shows how they as a company now have reached a level where they continuously do set based engineering of business ideas. He showed using their Quote web page how experimenting with not so obvious changes lead to a jump in business leads. I noted another experience which I have seen –  when you get flow going, estimation is redundant.

Using Kanban to get knowledge and continuously improve [Lean SSC]

Benjamin Mitchell blew me away with his presentation. I had some seriously great laughs 🙂 But there are some serious learnings as well. Benjamin has done some great efforts in experimenting with statistical process control in software. For example, he could demonstrate that a bulk part of the product portfolio wasn’t generating value to cover the complexity it brought by.  But what does help if there isn’t a thinking process in the organization capable of absorbing these learnings? I will highlights his takeaways,  which we all can improve on:

  • THINK for yourself in your context
  • Get KNOWLEDGE by studying your process as a system, end to end from the customer’s point of view
  • RUN EXPERIMENTS  to learn while you work

…  If you have the chance, go see him.:)

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