Lean Product Development and Innovation

Lean and Innovation have both been touted as transformational strategies that are essential to long term survival of organizations. Lean Product Development brings the two constructs together to gain competitive advantage. The traditional academic and practitioner literature still remains partitioned into the two streams of lean transformation and innovation. The classical lean transformation ideas stem from three books: The Machine that Changed the World, Lean Thinking, and Lean Enterprise Value.

This has evolved from being product/customer focused to being truly multi-stakeholder, and enterprise value centric. This evolution provides an opportunity to understand and critically assess the coupling between lean enterprise thinking and innovation. The four factors that Van de Ven identified in 1986 as being key to successful innovation, namely, the human problem of managing attention, the process problem of managing good ideas into good currency, the structural problem of managing part-whole relationships, and the strategic problem of institutional leadership, remain relevant today. In this track, we will focus on the application of lean enterprise ideas and principles to the innovation process. The areas covered will include idea generation, new product/service development, sustainment, and retirement.


Marko Taipale – Case Nextdoor: Product Development Predictability and Adaptability Achieved

Huitale is a startup developing a consumer portal that serves over 30 000 consumers every month. After a year of developing the portal the product development had gone trough 26 sprints but felt that Scrum was not a perfect fit. During the last three years the company has gone trough of several improvement cycles in order to improve the Scrum implementation both from the business and development perspective. This experience report is a walk trough of Huitale’s journey to share the lessons learned.

Marko Taipale is an entrepreneur in Helsinki specializing in agile and lean product development. He is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Huitale with over 13 years of experience in software development. He has helped a number of companies to transform to agile and is active member of Agile Finland community.

Marko shares some his experiences on his blog at http://huitale.blogspot.com/

Alisson Vale – Design Process Visualisations

Visibility is a core property of Kanban systems. Making the work explicit is an important step to achieve transparency, which is essential to promote a culture of trust and openess in the organization. But we can go further on this. We can use visualization to model perspectives, to generate understanding, to broadcast information or to highlight relevant aspects of the process. We also can encourage collaboration, problem solving and responsiveness by putting the right information at the right time in front of the team.

In this presentation, it will be demonstrated how different pieces of information about the work can be collected and organized in order to materialize a process in visual terms, and how all this can be used to change the way of thinking about work systems.

Alisson Vale is a software designer and entrepreneur in Brazil. With more than 15 years of experience on developing and leading software projects, he has been an Agile practitioner and enthusiast since 2003 with heavy participation on spreading the Agile culture in Brazil. In 2008, he started to work intensively with Lean and Kanban systems, which led him to present lectures in national and international conferences and to win, in 2010, the first edition of the Brickell Key Award for his achievements and contributions to the community.

Henning Rudolf and Frances Paulisch – Product Creation through Lean Approaches

This paper describes how lean approaches should be interpreted for the creation of software-based systems and includes an experience report on how that understanding of lean is applied in a project at a Siemens business unit. The case study addresses issues relating to the portfolio and product management, architecture, product lifecycle management proceses and people and organization related issues.

Petri Kettunen – A Framework for Lean Software Enterprise Research

The current trends in most software development organizations are in striving for high performance while meeting the emergent and even rapidly changing customer needs. Traditional product development models are often ineffective in such respects. Now Lean and Agile software models address many of those particular concerns. However, empirical evidence of their actual performance effects is still scarce and probably many hidden inefficiencies exist in practical software projects. For example the Kanban process model is one of the latest proposals with apparent potential to improve the efficiency of the projects. This paper explores how software development activities and process improvement can be evaluated in such cases. A research model is constructed for the purpose of this investigation. New research hypothesis can be derived and tested empirically with case study projects. By applying the supported hypothesis in practice, the model is intended to be a systematic performance development vehicle for software projects and consequently for the Lean software enterprise transformation.

Vladimir Mandic, Markku Oivo, Pilar Rodriguez, Pasi Kuvaja, Harri Kaikkonen, and Burak Turhan – What is Flowing in Lean Software Development?

The main concern of the software industry is to deliver more products in shorter time-cycles to customers with an acceptable economical justification. In virtue of those concerns, the software industry and researchers in the field of software engineering engaged in the process of adopting lean principles. In this paper we are seeking the knowledge that could help us in better understanding the nature of flows in software development. We define a generalized concept of the value creation points, and a system of three axioms that capture the specifics of software development. Further, a generalized definition of the flow made it possible to identify two supper-classes of waste sources. And finally, we define a concept of decision flow suggesting what a value creation point could be in the software development context. The decision flow is an inseparable part of the software development activities and it carries capabilities of adding or diminishing the value of products or processes.

Marko Ikonen – Leadership in Kanban Software Development Projects: A Quasi-controlled Experiment

Useless activies and work in software development projects do not increase the value for the customer.While getting rid of such waste may sound simple, even recognizing the waste is considered a challenging issue. Once recognized with its causes, projects are more aware of the signs of waste: the pitfalls are avoidable by knowing their reasons. On the other hand, empowering the team and self-organizing emerge in modern Kanban-driven software development projects. This makes it relevant to ask whether sacrificing project resources for leadership adds any value. Hence, this paper conducts a quasi-controlled experiment with two leadership settings in order to find out differences between waste, its causes and effects. The results from the empirical analysis show that waste is present in each project but amount and significance of waste can be reduced with the right leadership even in self-organized teams of Kanban projects.

Simon Baker and Gus Power – Concept to Cash

This session explores a systems approach to product development that uses short learning loops to test business assumptions, fund product portfolios, and drive continuous improvement. We take a look at applying lean and systems thinking with agile practices to build successful enterprise-scale products iteratively, week by week, to delight customers and drive profit for the business. Taking the view that the product is the experience generated by the customer’s interaction with the software running on some hardware, we also look at creating software from the outside in and driving operational aspects of the product such as environment management, backups, monitoring and failover with tests.

Arto Eskelinen and Sami Honkonen – Leadership & Effective Coaching for Managers

As managers we are experts in solving problems and making decisions. It’s what we are good at and what is expected of us. But sometimes you wonder if there is a way to involve people more, to have them take more responsibility. Great managers are coaches who help their people improve and thus drive their organizations to great results. To do this, you should often abstain from giving direct advice and ask questions instead. In this workshop participants will learn how to use coaching questions in an effective manner. We will practice generating great questions that increase the coachee’s awareness and help him find the solutions himself. We will also present a structure for proceeding from a problem to improvement by using questions. The techniques are especially useful for managers who want to lead their lean and agile teams to bigger success.

Arto is a software development practitioner with more than 20 years of experience. Starting at the late 80’s as a developer, he has worked in most of the roles in software development. He has also extensive experience on leadership roles in product development organizations. Today Arto is a senior agile and lean coach and a Certified Scrum Trainer at Reaktor. Arto has hands-on experience of successful Agile transformations and he has helped many organizations from small start-ups to global giants to become better in their product development.  Arto has been a speaker in many agile conferences including agile2010 and XP2010.

Sami has a strong developer background. He has worked in various projects as a programmer, Scrum Master and technical lead. His current role at Reaktor is coach. Recent assignments include TDD coaching, large and small scale agile transformations, team development and coaching technical practices. Sami is also a frequent speaker at international software conferences, lately Agile2010, XP2010 and SPA2010.

Markus Andrezak and Bernd Schiffer – Kanban & Technical Excellence

mobile.international is Europe’s biggest online automotive market. At mobile.international Product Development is coordinated and orchestrated with Kanban. One major, enabling objective of mobile.international is to release daily. This paper is about the company’s way from their successful Kanban implementation to a smoothly running and effective value chain on the technical level. We will discuss how the different levels of technical skills impact Kanban and its results in a positive or negative way and why daily releases supports progress in the right direction on each level.

Christian Blunden – Collaborative Lean Delivery

Stuck in the purgatory of an immature “Agile” IT department and old world project management office, facing up to 18month lead times on analysis and sign off, off shoring contractors and people new to Agile. This is the story of how we created a bubble of effectiveness through applying systems thinking and radical changes in delivery process. The result was a clear success with practically zero defects and a model of future development within the company.

Arlo Belshee – Single Piece Flow in Kanban: the Software Workcell

Most Kanban systems pull work, continuously, through a sequence of phases in order to take advantage of specialists and match existing org charts. However, this fundamentally limits how low you can drop WiP, adds complexity, places constraints on your ability to Optimize the Whole System, and prevents whole-system Single Piece Flow. Teams struggle with constraints in one part of the system while excess capacity exists in another. There is always something “in progress.” As a result, they have trouble shipping software. This session reveals the secret sauce of the “Portland School” of Kanban: simultaneous phases. These techniques have been part of Agile from the beginning, but few teams are aware of them and even fewer practice them. In this highly interactive session, come experience how simultaneous phases allow you to avoid hacks like “buffers,” “managing constraints,” or “refactoring stories,” and make single-piece continuous flow possible.

Karl Scotland – Tutorial: Practical Kanban

A Kanban System is an approach to creating a method in order to improve a business’s capability to meet its purpose. This tutorial will introduce this perspective by describing three primary concepts (pull, value and capability) and five primary aspects (workflow, visualisation, work in process, cadence and continuous improvement). Attendees will leave with an understanding of why these concepts and aspects are key areas to consider, and how to use them when thinking about creating the method used to change and improve an organisations delivery capability.

Karl Scotland is a versatile software practitioner with over 15 years of experience covering development, project management, team leadership, coaching and training.  For the last 10 years he has been successfully applying Agile methods, and most recently has been a pioneer and advocate of using Kanban Systems for software development. Currently an Agile Coach with Rally Software in the UK, Karl is a founding member of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium and the Limited WIP Society, and has previously championed Agile and Lean Thinking with the BBC, Yahoo! and EMC Consulting. Karl writes about his latest ideas on his blog at http://availagility.co.uk/.

Ari Tikka – Tutorial: Leadership in developing high-performing teams

Maybe you have heard stories about brilliant teamwork. Have you got means to lead one? This workshop gives advice to the situational leadership – how to make sense and what to do right now. The benefits of great co-operation are not only available for teams in perfect conditions. Understanding the underlying dynamics helps to lead vague situations, short meetings and even larger organizations. We will learn about the following themes:

  • Team life-cycle from forming to mature team and ending. Characteristics of a mature empowered high-performing team.
  • Conscious, preconscious and unconscious layers of team dynamics. Principal task.
  • What questions of individuals steal energy at different developmental phases?
  • Individual perspective – the motivation of the team members, needs, feelings and conflict resolution.
  • The group dynamic perspective – the questions to be solved and the (situational) leadership actions.
  • What if the leadership fails? Hurt and depressed teams, scapegoat syndrome.
  • Some tools to understand the surrounding organization and it’s influence to the team

We will make sense of participants’ experiences, trusting that understanding creates good actions in new situations. The workshop is beneficial for both team leaders/coaches and managers creating circumstances for high performance.

Ari Tikka has his background in mathematical engineering, software development and leadership in large organizations. He has been coaching teamwork, organizational culture and leadership since 1997. The substance of the workshop is based on traditional group dynamics, complexity theory, Nonviolent Communication and other team development literature.