At AgileNorth last week I was asked at the last minute to fill a vacancy left by a speaker who couldn’t make it. I cobbled together a session about “flow”, one of the underlying principles of Lean Thinking, and therefore also of agile software development. Here are a few links to materials and references I should have given at the time:
- My slides are now up on slideshare. Sorry, there are no notes.
- I talked a lot about The Goal by Eli Goldratt; this book is pure genius, and a must-read for anyone interested in improving the productivity of their organisation.
- We discussed the idea that the flow of value through an organisation is limited by exactly one constraint. A wonderfully simple illustration of this can be found in Kevin Fox’s short Blue Light story. Well worth a read.
- I talked a lot about Kent Beck’s paper Continuous Deployment Immersion, which I mistakenly titled “You’d Have to be Crazy to Try This”. I think this is a really cool idea — not because you need to deploy each line of code separately, but because you need to be good at deploying and good at slicing your market offering thinly.
- I mentioned various practices of eXtreme Programming, including YAGNI, OnsiteCustomer, FrequentReleases and ContinuousIntegration; all of these are needed as you attempt to increase the flow of value by reducing your development batch size.
- I mentioned MMFs — “Minimum Marketable Feature-sets” — as being one way to work with the market to define your smaller batches.
- I mentioned that one of the key difficulties in reducing the software batch size is the acceptance and understanding of emergent design.
I talked about a lot of stuff; please let me know if I’ve missed anything important here.
I’ve also set up an agilenorth2010 tag on del.icio.us to collate the online materials from all the other speakers, as I find them. Please tag anything you find that’s relevant from the day, so it’s all in one place.