2008: A Retrospective
Things I’m most grateful for:
- Creating new games with Vera and Portia. Lesson Re-Learnt: The best results come from collaboration.
- Creating and playing games with wonderful people and getting paid for it. Lesson Learnt: Turning what you love into your job won’t make it a chore if you genuinely love what you do.
- Meeting heroes like Eli Goldratt, Neil Armstrong, Daniel Dennett and Gerald Weinberg. Lesson Learnt: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
- Travelling, meeting people and working with different teams in different settings. Lesson Learnt: Every team, every situation is different, yet we can all learn from each other.
- Applying the Agile values in work and life with the help of friends and peer-coaches. Lesson Learnt: It’s often hard to “walk the walk”; we need all the help we can get; that’s how we add value.
- The reaction of people who took part in XP Days or one of our sessions. Lesson Learnt: The best learning happens when we’re having fun. A big thank you to everyone I worked with.
2009: My Wishes
- I wish to co-create more games.
- I wish to co-create an Agile Fairytale and a Lean Fairytale.
- I wish to co-create a fun Agile Analysis session.
- I wish to apply more Lean and Theory of Constraints to expand agility beyond IT.
- I wish to keep writing, as it makes me think.
- I wish to keep on learning more every year and apply what I know to help great teams.
- I wish to keep on working with great teams.
- I wish you a Happy 2009 – may it bring you all that you deserve!
Lean presentation in Paris
On the 21st of January 2009 I’ll be in Paris to present an evening seminar on how to apply the Toyota Way management principles to Agile software development. The seminar is organised by Carl Azoury and Olivier Huber of Zenika.
To me, Agile is the application of Lean principles to software development. So, the presentation contains a lot of parallels between the two. A lot will be very familiar if you already know and practice Agile.
So, what’s left to learn? Some of the Toyota Way management principles aren’t in Agile methods. These principles are useful when we go beyond software development. There comes a moment in any successful Agile enablement when the development team is no longer the bottleneck. Suddenly, we’re faced with a completely different set of issues. Now that Agile gains more and more acceptance, we need to be able to deal with these new challenges or accept that most Agile transformations will either die or bring limited extra business value.
The more I read and learn about Toyota, the more I realise how much I don’t know and how many preconceived ideas I have to abandon. I need to keep learning. The Toyota Product Development System, for example, contains many counter-intuitive ideas like set-based design. Real Options thinking can help us understand why some of these techniques work. We’ve only started to scratch the surface of Lean ideas.
Toyota losing money? Impossible!
In the news, even Toyota is affected by the economic climate. They might even have to post the first loss since the early years. Isn’t Toyota invincible and perfect? Of course not. It will be a real show of faith in the Toyota Way if Toyota continue to keep on their workers, keep training them and keep improving to be ready when sales take off again.
Secretly, top Toyota management must be happy that this crisis happens now. One of their main concerns is complacency. No one should ever think that the work is “done”, now that Toyota is the biggest manufacturer. Hansei and Kaizen should be applied relentlessly, it’s always possible to do better. Nothing better than tough economic times to bring back the sense of urgency.
See you in Paris
The seminar is free, but you must register here. Don’t wait too long because places are limited.
See you there!