Scandinavian Agile 2009

Portia and I will present the “Toyota Way Management for sustained Agile and Lean” at the Scandinavian Agile conference in Helsinki, October 15-16

Toyota way


Agile 2009 report: Thursday afternoon

American GothicA Business Value Focused Model for Story Identification & Prioritisation by Shane Hastie

Another session about Business Analysis. I recognise a lot of the tools and the presenter uses a similar approach to mine: derive required capabilities from the business value drivers.

However, like most of the other analysis sessions, there was too much talking and not enough listening or doing. There was no participant interaction, just a long, monotone discourse.

Push, Pull, What is the difference by Olla Elnestam

Olla let the participants see the difference between Push and Pull scheduling, first with examples from his past flipping burgers, then with a simple simulation. We had to work together to fold paper airplanes. This time I was the lucky player who got to be the bottleneck. We then told each other about similar situations in our work life. Most of the stories were about integration testing being the bottleneck.

Participants liked the pull system better: less waste, less stress, better quality.

I’ve sent Olla a complete perfection game about the session, but here are some of the highlights:

To make it perfect

  • Use an example that is “pure push”, not the mixture of push and pull used at McDonalds
  • Explain the advantages and drawbacks of each method
  • Link push and pull to IT, to help participants see the connection
  • How do we proceed if we want to install a pull system?

The Kanban Game by Tsutomo Yasui

Tsutomo contacted me before the conference to exchange game development ideas and I met him and his Japanese friends at the Thoughtworks office. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the session because I wanted to take part in the two sessions described above. I only got to see the end of the game, but the game seemed to be a success: participants were really involved and they got better insights into Kanban. Tsutomo got some good feedback to improve the game. The game is published on Tsutomo’s site. I hope to see this game again, improved with player feedback.


Thursday evening’s banquet set a speed record: one dish had only just been served or the waiters asked if they could remove the plate and plunk the next dish on the table. In contrast, Jared Spool’s closing keynote, although entertaining and informative, set a length record. What with all the announcements, people were fidgeting to leave. The evening ended with a few drinks and lots of discussion of agile, lean and organisations.

I didn’t participate in Friday’s open space sessions, just said goodbye to  a few people. After a breakfast meeting and a visit to the Museum of Modern Art came the long flights back to Belgium. Another Agile200x has gone. Next year’s conference will be in Nashville, Tennessee, home of Country music 🙂