Lean Agile Scotland 2013 – Day 1

Wow – what an inspiring day. Congratulations to @chrisvmcd and the team @LeanAgileScotland for a great conference day 1 – and thank you for trusting me with my first ever conference presentation! Hope I didn’t get too many red cards…

Impressions from the day…

Started with keynote from Jim Benson, Personal Kanban, talking about how processes start as ideas, grow as they are shared, until they become so big they ossify and need to be replaced by the new up-and-coming process which can be tailored to the situation. That’s why personal kanban just has 2 rules – so you have to tailor it to your own situation. In fact, that seemed to be a bit of a theme of the day.

Håkan Forss used Lego to illustrate the cost of switching and delays in The Red Brick Cancer (similar to Clarke Ching‘s Cash-Flow-Driven development from last year), and to show how optimising Resource usage is less satisfying and often slightly more expensive than optimising Flow.

I spoke about taking 100% responsibility for solving problems and getting things done, using the Responsibility Process framework for awareness to help move away from quick pain relief towards Responsibility – a theme which also came up in several other presentations today, particularly Francis Fish‘s presentation on how Lean is not lean (back to the theme of blindly applying process doesn’t work for YOUR situation).

Apologies Paul Wilson and Alan Gardner – I didn’t really take in much of your session on Distributed Agile Antipatterns, except to recognise a lot of them from my experience of leading a distributed team. Still coming down from the adrenaline rush of presenting. Also missed Larry Maccherone‘s presentation on Quantifying the Impact of Lean, Kanban and Agile practices – from the tweets coming out it sounded inspirational and enlightening, so looking forward to when the video is available.

Fortunately lunch came along at that point, allowing me to calm down and recover. Managed to find and chat with Larry then, along with several other friends and new acquaintances. What is it with SkyScanner? It’s suddenly everywhere.

Chris Matts‘ closing keynote on Real Options was thought-provoking. Options have value. Options expire. Never commit early unless you know why. But people would rather make a decision than live in uncertainty, even if it turns out to be wrong, so to keep them comfortable decide when to decide rather than deciding what the answer will be. And sometimes there is value in paying more to keep your options open.

And we get to do it all again tomorrow. Particularly looking forward to Clarke Ching’s “Soup from Rocks”. I recognise the fable, but look forward to seeing his modern-day application of it.

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