Participating in LSSC11: Lean on the Rise


Digite participated in the recently completed LSSC11 (Lean Software & Systems Conference 2011), an event focussed on Lean Software Development, in beautiful Long Beach, California.

It was a great experience for me. The conference had a varied set of topics from Lead development, Kanban, CMMi (1 day), Risk Management, Systems Design, Kanban games etc. It was amazing to see this level of change, innovation and creativity in the Lean community and adoption in the industry. Companies and individuals are continually making effort to apply new and improved techniques and tools to the way they have been working and bring about Long Beach, Californiagreater productivity, quality and efficiency. Digite is proud and privileged to help lead this change!  Since we were one of the sponsors and had a booth at the conference, I couldn’t attend all the sessions I wanted to, but that was a small price to pay for being there!  Sessions were organized in three parallel tracks, and almost all of them were simply great, so there was no way but to miss out on many of them!

A quick summary of my Learnings/ observations from the conference:

  • All the keynotes in the conference were simply fantastic. I specially liked the Keynote by Chet Richards on ‘Fundamental Secrets of the Universe’. He shared many anecdotes from his Marines background and spoke about John Boyd and his OODA loop, which are very interesting and has a lot of applicability to the software world.
  • Another great talk as by Joshua Kerievsky on Sufficient Design. I liked his observations on 5.x Development death cycle, explaining the state of many products, which become almost dead (with very heavy technical debt/ defects) by the time their 5.x versions come out. And how the “Resume-based development’ attitude from the technical folks make one choose heavy design, even for simple requirements. His guidance – one should make design choices based on multiple criteria and most of the time, a “Sufficient” design is good enough to go, than doing very complex design.
  • I also loved the talk by Inbar Oren on “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wall – Visual Management and Gemba Walks”. He talked about the impact of visualization and how Kanban boards almost replace the need for any manager to get an immediate status, without participating in a daily standups. Here’s a link to his blog with slides.
  • The talk by Don Reinertsen on Cost Of Delay was also great. It is a very powerful concept and can be applied to all situations.  While not always easy to quantify, it is a great way to prioritize all work!
  • Frode Odegard’s presentation on “Beyond Lean Value Streams: A Systems Approach” was another good one.
  • There was also a Tools track where many tool vendors (including Digite) showcased their Lean/ Kanban tools. It was interesting to see alot of innovation happening in this area. We got some good response, as well as feedback for our Kanban tool – Swift Kanban (
  • There was also a Games track where attendees could play the Kanban game developed by Russel Healy. It’s a great game for understanding the Kanban basics.
  • Here are a couple of other blogs/ links related to the experience @ LSSC11. They are definitely worth checking out to see what’s happening in the world of Lean/ Kanban 🙂

Overall, it was a fantastic experience for us. We got to meet some great people including industry thought-leaders, our own customers and prospects, all in one place. Lean/ Kanban is definitely emerging as a powerful mechanism to scale Agile at the enterprise level and to help organizations dramatically improve how they work.

Nitin Ramrakhyani,

Sr. Product Manager, Digite, Inc.

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