Lean Software Austin - No Shortcuts: Going Better to Go Fast
We've been swept up in Agile Development methods that tell us to decrease the time-to-feedback. This advice was given in the late-90's when time-to-feedback was unnaturally-lengthy. But the goal isn't to just continue reducing time-to-feedback ad infinitum. Otherwise, we'd drive ourselves past the tipping point where shorter-than-natural feedback cycles would be as detrimental as the lengthy feedback cycles of old. Yes, feedback loops can be too small just as they can be too lengthy. Both are equally hazardous.
We've been told that the pursuit of perfection is a fool's errand, but we didn't stop to wonder whether we're implicitly talking about an awkward, unskilled pursuit of perfection, or a skilled and methodical one. It's not the perfection that's the problem, it's the poor application of perfection as a technique that leads us on fool's errands.
As the old saying goes, "Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it." This is a particularly salient quote for Lean. Toyota, which devised Lean, was told by GM and Chrysler that it couldn't be done. And then Toyota drank their milkshake.
In this month's Lean Software Austin meeting, we'll explore the most essential core of Lean and The Toyota Way: Kaizen - and we'll dig into its shocking and counter-intuitive effects on software development. We'll challenge the "Just Ship It" mentality of software development of the past ten years, and make explicit the context wherein it was created, and wherein it is effective, as well as the context where it undermines software work. We'll tear into the lasting and persistent problem undermining most software development: the underestimation of mistakes, the inherent inability of contemporary software to identify them, the unconscious application of brute force, and the rank ignorance of the application of both shortcuts as a technique and perfection as a technique in the software development population at large.
To go fast, you need to go better. And to go faster, you need to go even better. Precision is the enabler of continuous and relentless improvement. And there's no precision where there are shortcuts. The Wright Flyer is not built to go super-sonic, and neither is most of our software and our software projects. And yet, we expect that our software projects will go super-sonic even while they tear themselves apart before our eyes. And we continue to dismiss the obvious answers that guide us to the essence and benefit of Lean Development.
This month, we stop taking shortcuts, and we deal with the popular delusions of software development from a perspective that just might lead us to a future where we too drink our competition's milkshake.
Our gracious sponsor, Compass Learning, will be providing pizza and drinks, as well as their spacious meeting facilities.
Parking is available for Lean Software Austin participants in Compass Learning's parking lot immediately adjacent to Compass Leaning on the North side of the building at the corner of Colorado and 3rd.
Monday, July 16th @ 6:30pm
203 Colorado Street, Austin, TX 78701 (map: http://j.mp/lsaplace)
This month's meeting will be led by Scott Bellware.
Scott is a tenacious pursuer of root causes, whether in organizational design, work design, or software and product design. He’s an indomitable challenger of status quo, entrenchment, and anything that gets in the way of breakthroughs and improvements. While a self-admitted “average programmer”, he is a teacher, student, organizer, and activist who strives to communicate simple and powerful software development topics that become calcified by esoteric ideas and language.
Lean Software Austin meetings are chalk talks and discussions facilitated by leaders in the Austin software community with a depth and breadth of experience in software product engineering and development, and who exercise a deep commitment to all aspects of the software craft.
Lean more at: http://LeanSoftwareAustin.org