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Economies of Scale (Don't)

December 2, 2008 — Posted by Guy Beaver

"Economies of Scale" is a phrase that is often mentioned as a desirable state for growing enterprises. After all, being large enough to drive cost down by sheer purchase volume is a logical progression of successful companies. But what is the price paid for achieving this milestone? This blog post exposes hidden waste that must be controlled when economies of scale take over.  I'll touch on how Lean approaches can prevent and eliminate the wasteful belief systems that clog the flow of product delivery.

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Christmas Tree Lights: An Analogy

December 1, 2008 — Posted by Scott Bain

With the holidays coming on, many of us are heading up to the attic to retrieve the boxes of decorations that have been waiting all year to be called into service again. In my family we put up and decorate a Christmas tree each year, but I suspect Hanukah and Kwanza, etc… have their festive ornaments too, and probably electric lights are involved.

One thing I'll do this year, as I do every year, is to lay out the strings of lights on my coffee table and plug them all in, to see if any of them fails to illuminate.

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Waterfall, Lean and Manufacturing. Idle thoughts.

November 28, 2008 — Posted by Al Shalloway

I’ve been reading “Managing the Design Factory” by Donald Reinertsen.  There is an interesting observation he makes.  In manufacturing, you know all of your requirements up front.  Whereas, when you are doing design, you know very little up front with most of the requirements being known about a third of the way through.  Don’t get hung up on exactly when you know – as long as you agree that in designing a product, you don’t know it all up front.

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Reflections on two conferences, the Rise and Fall of Agile and Banned in Boston Redux

November 19, 2008 — Posted by Al Shalloway

This weekend was the fitting climax for my having attended and presented at two conferences in the last couple of weeks.  First, was the regional Much Ado About Agile presented by Agile Vancouver.  Second was my favorite conference of the year, SQE's Agile Development Practices.

Much Ado About Agile was a pleasant surprise.  More attendees than I thought and a great group of presenters – including David Anderson, Ken Schwaber, Sanjiv Augustine, Philipe Krutchen, David Hussman, Jim Shore and others. I'm afraid I couldn't attend as many sessions as I would have liked to but I liked what I saw. 

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Adapter and Facade

November 3, 2008 — Posted by Scott Bain

Comparing Two Patterns: Adapter and Façade

(Note: if you are unfamiliar with these patterns, you can read about them at our pattern repository)

One reason people often struggle to understand how to get real value from patterns is that sometimes two or more of them can look, at first glance, extremely similar. When I'm teaching patterns, people will very often point out how similar the Strategy and Bridge patterns are, or the Decorator and Chain of Responsibility, or the Factory Method and Abstract Factory, etc…

Usually this is because people often confuse the example of the pattern that's being presented to them with the pattern itself. Patterns are neither UML diagrams nor code examples; they are a higher concept that captures best practices, domain and implementation forces, and the consequences (both benefits and costs) of certain decisions. Diagrams and code are simply representations of the patterns, and are always more specific and narrow than the patterns themselves are.

This misunderstanding is an opportunity, however, because when we compare two patterns that appear similar and determine how they are actually different, we can sometimes dramatically enrich our understanding of them.

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Al Shalloway
Business, Operations, Process, Sales, Agile Design and Patterns, Personal Development, Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Cory Foy
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Guy Beaver
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Israel Gat
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Ken Pugh
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Marc Danziger
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Max Guernsey
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Scott Bain
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Steve Thomas
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Tom Grant
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