Mery Poppendieck

The Product Owner Problem

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

“We’re really struggling with the Product Owner concept, and many of our Scrum teams just don’t feel very productive.” they told us. “We’d like you to take a look at this and make some recommendations.” The company had several vertical markets, with a Scrum team of about ten people assigned to each market. Each market [...]


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A Tale of Two Terminals

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

By any measure, Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital Airport is impressive. Built in less than four years and officially opened barely four months before the Olympics, the massive terminal has received numerous awards for both its stunning design and its comfortable atmosphere. And it escaped the start-up affliction of many new airport terminals when it [...]


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Before There Was Management

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Management is a rather recent invention in the history of human evolution – it’s been around for maybe 100 or 150 years, about two or three times longer than software. But people have been living together for thousands of years, and it could be argued that over those thousands of years, we did pretty well [...]


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How Cadence Predicts Process

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

If you want to learn a lot about a software development organization very quickly, there are a few simple questions you might ask. You might find out if the organization focuses on projects or products. You might look into what development process it uses. But perhaps most the revealing question is this: How far apart [...]


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Don’t Separate Design from Implementation

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

I was a programmer for about fifteen years. Then I managed a factory IT department for a few years, and managed vendors delivering software for yet more years.  In all of those years (with one exception), software was delivered on time and customers were happy. Yet I never used a list of detailed requirements, let [...]


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Managing the Pipeline

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

“I used to have everyone I needed in my business unit,” she told me. “But then we reorganized in the interest of efficiency, and all of my software people were moved into a central group. Before the reorganization, I had a great software architect who helped design all of our new products. Today we’re supposed [...]


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Cause and Effect

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Is low cost achieved by focusing on cutting costs?Is high utilization achieved by trying to utilize resources full time?Does standardized work mean that work processes are followed without challenge?Does everyone in your organization agree on the answers to these questions? CostWhen Jane Beseda took over Toyota’s North American Parts Operation (NAPO), she knew that really [...]


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How Does Toyota Do it? (Book Review)

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

When Matthew May was asked to help translate the Toyota Production System for the knowledge worker, he thought: “Huh? It doesn’t make any sense. Everyone knows factory work isn’t creative, right?” How wrong he was. He found that factory workers were more engaged and creative than their corporate counterparts. Their jobs weren’t creative, their job [...]


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Bringing Lean to Software Development

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

Software is not about making something, it’s about making something work. Take software out of a cell phone, a car, a factory, a business, and it won’t work anymore. Software is the brains behind just about everything complicated that we try to do. In 1960, J.C.R. Licklider, the visionary behind the Internet, wrote: “The main [...]


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Train-Wreck Management

Author by admin - September 16, 2011

“On October 5, 1841, two Western Railroad passenger trains collided somewhere between Worchester, Massachusetts and Albany, New York, killing a conductor and a passenger and injuring seventeen passengers. That disaster marked the beginning of a new management era.” [1] These words open Peter Scholtes classic book on leadership. He goes on to explain how the [...]


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