May 2008 Archives

More Scrum in Japan

Earlier this week I was in Tokyo again. Tokyo is a city I always like visiting. Good food, big and always interesting new things for a non-Japanese to discover. One of the interesting bits this time was the line in front of the Doughnut store near ShinJuKu. When I lived in China, I've seen lines in front of McDonalds (not common anymore nowadays though, there are too many McDonalds (unfortunately)) and lines in front of Pizza Hut (still quite common), but never had I seen a line in front of a simple Doughnut shop. My wife thought they must have some special promotion, but I noticed that there were iron fences (for lines), suggesting its common. We asked E. (a friend I work with) and he mentioned it has been there every day ever since the store opened three years ago. Interesting...

Anyways, in Tokyo me and E. were giving the second public Scrum Master training in Tokyo. This time we used simultaneous translation devices (I don't speak Japanese, he translates excellent!). It turned out to work pretty well. I enjoy giving training like that. It has new challenges again since I need to synchronize my talking with my translator and also will sometimes hear an echo in Japanese. (Also have an earphone in my ear the whole training)

Again learned lots of new things about cultures and Scrum. Also visited a couple companies and had some discussion on their Scrum implementations. All-in-all, a successful training (from my perspective), a nice visit and hopefully helped the Japanese Scrum usage a little further.

Now back in the biggest Scrum-country in the world... Finland.

Lean Product and Process Development Exchange - Denver

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About 2 weeks ago I was in Denver on the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange. This was a small conference which focused on lean product development (not just SW). I was invited by Marry Poppendieck to come and speak on a panel she was organizing together with Peter (Xerox), Glenn (Spaceshuttles) and Patrick (Intel).

Even though I had a huge jetlag most of the time (11 hours timezone difference and a 36 hour trip), the conference was very good. The presentation held were very impressive and interesting. One of the most interesting take-aways for me was the use of test-first development outside of Software. It has a completely different meaning, but still is based on similar concepts. I really enjoyed the conference focus on knowledge creation. The only annoying thing to me was that there was still quite a lot of focus on tools and silver bullets, though people told me that compared to other conferences, there wasn't much.

Our Lean Software panel turned out to be more short presentations. I presented on feature teams and stop organizing product development using projects. People told me it was interesting, so that makes it successful. I enjoyed my co-panelists talks a lot too, about Scrum, legacy and space shuttles :) Also enjoyed the discussion we had and sharing some good (and bad) experiences.

The conference was definitively worth it. Next year they will organize another one, so you might want to join that. You can find the presentation of the conference here

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