Chapter 3 - The Big Picture

November 9, 2009 — Posted by Jim Trott

Listen to the webinar audio Chapter 3: The Big Picture

This show continues a chapter by chapter discussion about the new book, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, by Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, and Jim Trott. 

This show focuses on Chapter 3, The Big Picture. We talk about why, if you want to see improvements in throughput in product development, it is vital to focus on the entire value stream, the entire process from when an idea is formed until it reaches the user or customer. In fact, a transition to Lean-Agile involves agility in at least four areas.

It is not enough just to focus on helping developers. In order to see improvements in the throughput for product development, you have to look at the whole value stream: the entire process from when an idea is formed until it reaches the user or customer. You want to focus not on where you are spending your money but where you are spending your time. And this means looking at the time you spend waiting as well. Keeping people busy can be counter-productive if it keeps them from being available on the most important things. Think of it this way: What is the impact if projects are having to wait on the most productive, highest value people just because they are working on too many things?

Agile coaches often have a technical background. This means that too often, Agile deployments focus chiefly on helping developers. This is good and necessary but it is not sufficient. If delays are being caused elsewhere, then improving development will only offer marginal gains. When you are transitioning, you have to look at improving agility in four areas:

  • Team agility
  • Technical agility
  • Management agility
  • Business agility

Of course, where to start depends on your situation.

About Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility

The motivation of this book is to create a bigger picture what teams transitioning to agile need to do. Yes, teams need to understand the mechanics of the approach to get working, but there is more. Management needs to understand how to help teams work together. Business leadership prioritizing the right things to be working on. And there is a need to ensure technical quality so that development can be done in a sustainable way.

We also want to introduce Lean and how it applies to the transition. We don't believe "scaling up" is a very effective approach. Rather, taking a more holistic view is needed to get success. That is how Lean thinking helps.

This is not a book for experienced practitioners but for those who are picking Agile, Scrum, or Lean for software development. We expect you do understand a bit about Agile but not anything about Lean.

For more information see the resource page for the book.

Recommendations

For more information, visit us at https://www.netobjectives.com/

Music used in this podcast is by Bill Cushman at http://ghostnotes.blogspot.com and Kevin McLeod: http://www.incompetech.com/. If you need music, I’d encourage you to subscribe to their feeds.

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About the author | Jim Trott

Jim Trott is a senior consultant for Net Objectives. He has used object-oriented and pattern-based analysis techniques throughout his 20 year career in knowledge management and knowledge engineering. He is the co-author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams.



        

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Al Shalloway
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