Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lean Development : Focus on Learning

So continuing on with my notes on Lean Development, we're going to look at point 3 from Tom Poppendiecks business card.

3. Focus on Learning - Scientific Method; Challenge Standards; Feedback; Continuous Improvement

Lets start from the back of the list and work to the front, as I find that to be the logical progression of the sub-points.

Continuous Improvement is about continually tweaking your production pipeline and/or the product so that you become more efficient in producing what the customer wants.

Feedback is how you evaluate the changes you make to your pipeline. If your metrics improve, then accept the change, if not work out why it didn't and undo the change.

Challenge Standards - This is a cultural attitude of not accepting the status quo. Its the need for the people involved to have the desire and ability to change the system. If something is a standard then there needs to be a reason for why. If not its arbitrary and subject to getting changed (if the change can be demonstrated to be beneficial)

Scientific Method - This is how we go about getting change implemented. Firstly you hypothesise measurable results from the change will do, then you make the change. If what you hypothesised didn't happen then you need to undo it and reevaluate. "Switching to a frooble compiler should reduce test execution times by 50%, increasing throughput by 3 story-points per week". Results and experiments should be documented somewhere so that the company can learn from what was done (positive or negative).

If we do these things we will understand how our process works and will have a system so that the process can change to meet the changing environment in which the development pipeline exists.

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