The new hype in software development

Last week I visited Gothenburg, Sweden for the first Software Passion Summit.  I was invited to speak at this brand new event.

As with all new conferences, their tends to be a special atmosphere in the air.  Curious tension, enthusiasm, I’m not sure how to describe it.

What struck me most was that almost every management session referred to Eric Ries’s book The Lean Startup.  Right from the keynote, to the last session. I’m guilty to that as well, I must admit.

This tells you something about the impact of this book. It feels like the entire software development industry has suddenly been shaken awake.  Everybody seems to realize that we were focusing too hard on the development part.  The issues in adoption of agile reflect this.  We’re not getting the expected results that were promised.  Sure, more projects get delivered.  But still many fail to match customer expectations.

The Lean Startup approach doesn’t sell a magical bullet to do this better, it attacks the root cause head on.  When developing a product or service, we make assumptions, no matter how much we test it in focus groups.  The only thing that we can do to get an answer to these assumptions is releasing fast and measuring how the users react. The next step is to learn and adjust.

Various talks in the conference made the link to these ideas.  Topics ranging from Kanban to continuous delivery, from agile to innovation, etc.

What explains the popularity of these ideas?  Maybe this is the next step in maturing the software industry?  Although I still feel like there’s something missing.  How do you scale these concepts?  Which consequences does it have on your organization and how do you deal with it.  I guess the journey has only just started. Exciting times ahead!

If you haven’t read the book, don’t hesitate.  It will get you thinking…

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.

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