#lkuk09 – A Tweetrospective

I ended up making notes at the Lean & Kanban UK Conference with good old fashioned pen an paper. Rather than try and write up those notes into something coherent and meaningful, I have decided to write them up in the style of a twitter stream. These are the things I would have tweeted if I’d been on my laptop. The quantity of “tweets” in no way represents the quality of the presentations. I also make no promises that all of the following “tweets” are actually <= 140 chars!


Mary Poppendieck – The The Tyranny of the Plan

  • Plans – what did construction do before computers?
  • Eliminate design loops by consulting experts early
  • Design for decoupling workflow
  • Cash Flow Thinking – Cost of Delay
  • Design based on constraints of situation
  • Establish a reliable workflow 1st
  • Schedule is orthogonal to workflow
  • Build schedules based on experience, not wishful thinking
  • Variance from plan is a learning opportunity, not a performance failure
  • Reliable workflow – output, pathway, connection, method, improvement – Steven Spears, Chasing the Rabbit
  • Polaris Success – Quality of Leadership, Focus on deployment, Decentralised Competitive Org, Emphasis on Reliability, Esprit de Corps

Alan Shalloway – Creating a Model to Understand Product (and Software) Development

  • 3 types of value: Discover what a customer needs, Discover how to build it, Build it

Jeff Patton – Lean Product Discovery

  • There is a difference between Delivery & Discovery
  • Undelivered software is a solution hypothesis (usually incorrect)
  • Include discovery in the VSM
  • Market demand = pull (but is post delivery)
  • “Lets go to marble”
  • Discovery Kanban + Delivery Kanban
  • Visualisation creates collaboration
  • Storyotype 1: Bare Necessity – minimally demo-able
  • Storyotype 2: Capability + Flexibility – options-
  • Storyotype 3: Safety – invisible
  • Storyotype 4: Usability, Appeal, Performance – differentiating
  • Chess analogy – Opening Game, Mid Game, End Game
  • Use options when cost of iteration and failure is high

John Seddon – Re-thinking Lean Service

  • If you manage costs, costs go up
  • Failure demand is a signal
  • Incentivising workers get less work done
  • Predictable failure demand is preventable
  • Lean is getting a bad brand
  • The only plan is to get knowledge
  • Improve flow – walk the flow
  • Pull the help, keep the work
  • Do “productivity” tools improve productivity?
  • Make them curious


Don Reinertsen – Second Generation Lean Product Development: From Cargo Cult to Science

  • Understand causal relationships and salient phenomena
  • Scientific v Faith (Science Free) based approaches
  • Faith based = Cargo Cult
  • Every system has Push / Pull interfaces
  • No bad tools, only wrong times to use them
  • In Product Development, Requirements are a degree of freedom
  • Inventory is information and invisible (physically and financially)
  • Agile practitioners are going a better job at LPD than LM practitioners
  • In engineering we are making economical (Profit + Loss) decisions and we have no clue what we are doing
  • Quality = Process x People – If either drops to 0, the quality of the result will drop to 0
  • Don’t tolerate initiative – demand it
  • Chief Engineer doesn’t know better than the customer

Kenji Hiranabe – Learning Kaizen from Toyota

  • Balance process control and process improvement
  • Management fosters human potential
  • Go to the gemba != PowerPoint
  • To know and to understand are different
  • Think within your constraint

Hal Macomber – Lessons from Target Value Design

  • Meld planning with execution + control
  • What signals do we pay attention to?
  • Articulate + activate the network of commitment
  • Only start work when it is in the condition to be finished.
  • Embrace the contradictions of Lean
  • Focus on tool users, not the tools
  • PDSA – Study, don’t Check
  • Creating constraints creates innovations
  • Create constraints so that we can do our work
  • Don’t open the trenches until you know you can fill them

Marc Baker – Lean Thinking: what is distinctive about it and where it is going?

  • Pull means take the payment first
  • Visual controls mean that nothing is hidden
  • Standardised tasks are the foundation of employee autonomy
  • Go see, ask why, show respect

Lean & Kanban Conferences – Looking back and looking forwards

Its a month now since the Lean & Kanban Conference in Miami and I haven’t had chance to blog about it. There’s probably not much I can add that hasn’t been said elsewhere already. It was an incredible week; stimulating, inspiring, focussed, energising. I learned a lot, and made and met old and new friends. For those who couldn’t make it, the presentations are available for download, and the proceedings book is available to buy. All profits from the proceedings will go towards the formation of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium.

Plans for the equivalent event in London are taking shape nicely. Registration is now open and we have had 40 registrations in the first week so it looks like demand will be high – book early to avoid disappointment! We have a fantastic line-up of speakers confirmed, and the program has now been published. The vision was to create an event which generates discussion and debate with a format that is hopefully a little different from the norm. The mix of presenter talks with interviews is intended to stir up some debate, and the Masterclasses are an opportunity to discuss ideas more interactively with the speakers and fellow attendees – more of a roundtable than a teaching session.

Lean & Kanban Conference London 2009 – Call for Ideas

Update: The provisional dates have moved to from Sep 21-22 to Sep 27-29.

I am pleased to announce that we have started to plan for a Lean & Kanban Conference to take place in London, provisionally set for Sep 27-29 at the RSA (http://www.thersa.org/house).

As well as hoping to get these dates pencilled into your diaries, we would like to get your ideas and feedback on what and who we could include in the conference program.  Please let us know if:

  1. There is something you would like to talk about
  2. There is something you would like to hear about
  3. There is someone you would like to hear talk
  4. There is a format you would prefer (e.g. more talks or more open space)

We’d particularly like to hear from you if you are based in Europe so we can have a strong ‘local’ flavour, and we’re also looking for recommendations of people beyond software development who might add a different perspective.

Looking forward to getting lots of replies!

p.s. Don’t forget the Lean & Kanban 2009 Miami conference on May 6-8.  See http://leankanbanconference.com/