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Keynote speaker - Mary Poppendieck

Waste and Thrashing in Software Development?

You are under a great deal of pressure to do more with less. How do you go about it? The classic lean approach is to eliminate waste. But what is waste? If you’re not careful, you might try to increase utilization and decrease the effort spent learning about the problem. The paradox is, decreasing utilization and developing multiple solutions to critical problems can actually reduce waste! So what is waste? It’s anything which does not add customer value – but what does that mean?

One of the most common wastes in software development is thrashing. Everyone who works with computers understands thrashing – an overloaded computer spends all of its time moving data around in its limited remaining storage area. This happens when disk usage reaches about 80 or 85% capacity, and the only solution is to do less or get more storage. But thrashing isn’t limited to computers – it happens to development organizations too!

This session will explore the seven wastes of software development and show why some things that you might think wasteful actually end up helping you to eliminate waste. Then it will zero in on the causes software development thrashing and how to stop.

Who is Mary Poppendieck?

Mary Poppendieck has been in the Information Technology industry for over thirty years. She has managed software development, supply chain management, manufacturing operations, and new product development. She spearheaded the implementation of a Just-in-Time system in a 3M video tape manufacturing plant and led new product development teams, commercializing products ranging from digital controllers to 3M Light Fiber™.

Mary is a popular writer and speaker, and coauthor of the book Lean Software Development, which was awarded the Software Development Productivity Award in 2004. A sequel, Implementing Lean Software Development, was published in 2006. A third book, Leading Lean Software Development, will be published in November 2009.