I had a second article published today on InfoQ : Seven changes to remove waste from your software process.The first one being quite popular (a few weeks in the site top articles) Ben asked me to write another one, which I gratefully did.

It can be seen as another technical (and, I hope, actionable) article on my journey towards Lean while scaling agility to a full organization.

Thanks to Ben Linders for editing and Ana Maria Ciobatoru for her work in making it look great.

I have been in charge of implementing Lean Software Development in a software vendor house for about 2 years. During this time I have been coaching a large team throughout the development of two successive versions (let’s call them V2 and V3) of our enterprise solution.

We have gradually implemented seven major changes in our organization that have helped our R&D department to remove waste from our software development process with encouraging results. This essay is about implementing these seven changes, the results we obtained and what we have learned during the journey.

Read the article here.

#hypertextual on InfoQ

April 7, 2014

bugs 1

One of the misconceptions I’ve made while working with software development teams using agile methodologies is that I initially confused bugs with problems and I tended to believe our agile process was Lean, as it made bugs visible. During the last few months, this idea has cleared up a bit and, in retrospect, I now believe that our agile team producing bugs was not a Lean system producing learning opportunities : it was a team having quality problems, which is something I have seen with many teams.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a huge honor for me to announce that I have an article published on InfoQ.

Back in the days when I was an airline mainframe developer whose career had been violently hit by Spetember 11, I was desperate to switch to Java professional world and was an avid reader of theserverside.comFloyd Marinescu was its creator. He also later became the author of EJB Design Patterns – one of the first book where I read something linking the way we work with the quality of life (even if one may argue that it might be challenging with EJB, anyway …).

In 2006 he went on to create InfoQ with a strong focus on agile methodologies : it soon became my main source of information of all things agile. Having an article published on this site is probably as great an honor for me as it would be to jam with Johnny Marr.

The article, a rather technical one, is about the path I followed while slowly moving from Agile to Lean as I was getting to understand the key role of problems in continuous improvement. It also somehow is a more detailed follow-up of a previous article on Agile and Lean.

Many thanks to Regis Medina for introducing me to Ben Linders, to the latter for his great editing work and to Ana-Maria Ciobotaru for making it look neat and professional.

This is an excerpt from Time article about “How an unlikely group of high-tech wizards revived Obama’s troubles HealthCare.gov website”.

This excerpt focus on the three rules theses wizards apply when rescuing the project a set of IT services companies has lead to disaster. All Agile principles : stand-up meetings, developers get the call, get managers out of the way, solving problems completely, reduce work in progress etc …). An awesome story.

Rule 1: “The war room and the meetings are for solving problems. There are plenty of other venues where people devote their creative energies to shifting blame.”
Rule 2: “The ones who should be doing the talking are the people who know the most about an issue, not the ones with the highest rank. If anyone finds themselves sitting passively while managers and executives talk over them with less accurate information, we have gone off the rails, and I would like to know about it.” (Explained Dickerson later: “If you can get the managers out of the way, the engineers will want to solve things.”)
Rule 3: “We need to stay focused on the most urgent issues, like things that will hurt us in the next 24–48 hours.”


I am fortunate enough to count Antoine Contal and Régis Médina as my colleagues.  We have been discussing this extensively, especially  following Régis breakthrough on the topic (check his enlightening interview on InfoQ) and the dedicated panel Antoine moderated during the last Lean IT Summit in Paris.

Interestingly enough, we have somehow followed a similar path, though they were ahead of me by a few years. We found with Agile Methodologies a way to solve the same vexing issues while managing software development projects. How to better align software development with business value, how to release on a regular basis, how to build-in quality, how to engage development teams, how to embrace change : agile has helped us a big deal in answering these questions.

But still, we all bumped into some roadblocks that Agile alone can not tackle. We needed to go beyond and extend the reach of our improvement to include management, leaders, operations, marketing, problem solving and make continuous improvement a daily issue. And this is how Lean extends Agile reach in the enterprise …

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“Books about the future of work make the same mistake : they fail to look back at the history of work or more precisely the history of books about the future of work and how wrong they were.”

The Year Without Pants is the story of Scott managing his team working remotely most of the time (it seems that working without pants is a kind of a funny way to say working remote), learning to use new types of online collaboration tools in the process while never using email.

A book to put in perspective with another essay published on the topic of remote work with 37Signals latest publication : Remote.

A complementary set of books about the future of work : a wonderful piece about learning to adapt to a start-up culture (Berkun’s) and some practical advises to evangelise and then succeed in remote work (37Signals) … Read the rest of this entry »

L’agile tour est passé par la côte Atlantique et j’ai eu la chance d’assister aux deux sessions : Le 8 Novembre à Bordeaux et le 14 à Nantes. Attardons nous ici à la première nous parlerons de la seconde dans un billet dédié.

Le premier constat est toujours le même : un authentique bain de jouvence. Comme le fit remarquer Régis Médina en keynote de clôture, les idées fusent, les initiatives bouillonnent et on sent une communauté avec de l’énergie à revendre, de nombreuses idées  et un désir intact de partager.

L’idée de ce compte rendu n’est pas d’évoquer toutes les différentes présentations mais de s’attarder sur les temps forts… Read the rest of this entry »

Hakan Forss is Lean and Agile coach at Avega Group. Hakan is one of the many Agile coaches that, while digging deeper into agile practices, has reached the shores of Lean, what he calls the fountain of knowledge. In this short video interview he shares his insights on how lean can help improving agile teams.

His Lean IT Summit presentation this year on how to apply Toyota Kata principles to agile teams has been very inspiring as he offers a lean approach to agile continuous improvement. While doing so, he brings lean deep thinking to agile practitioners and he builds another bridge between the two approaches. (Refer to #hypertextual Toyota Kata book review for more information of what the principle is).

Hakan has been kind enough to allow us some time to discuss his journey, how to articulate agile and lean and how Legos can help in building great slidedecks. Many thanks to him for the conversation, to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project, and to Supernormal for the music.

As part of the European Lean IT Summit, Roberto Priolo (Managing Editor at the Lean Global Network) and myself did some video interviews of the speakers. It was a great opportunity to discuss lean concepts further with these practitioners and, incidentally, to try this new type of exercise, far more complicated than it seems to be.

First of this series is Michael B. Jones who presented at the conference how, as a Senior Manager Digital Content at eBay, he uses lean and agile to manage their digital content and to enable commerce by creating content customers love. An engaging interview with someone working in one of the major online company.

Many thanks to Michael for sharing his insights with such enthusiasm, to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project in such an efficient way, and to Supernormal for the music.

Route Innovation

Laurent Hausermann, auteur du blog En Route Pour L’innovation a eu la gentillesse de m’ouvrir un large espace pour un long entretien.

Une interview très complète autour du management de l’innovation, qui me donne l’opportunité pour la première fois de revenir sur l’ensemble de mon parcours professionnel.

Merci à lui !

Sur la lancée de mon intervention au Lean IT Summit avec Laurent Alt, le directeur de la R&D logiciel de Lectra, je présenterai ce même retour d’expérience sur la mise en oeuvre du Lean Software Development pour le passage de l’agile à l’échelle lors de l’Agile Tour Nantes 2013 qui aura lieu le 14 Novembre.

Cette fois-ci je serai accompagné par Michel Cavalier, un manager agile de haute volée avec qui j’ai eu la chance de travailler durant ces 6 années à Lectra.

Pour rester sur de l’auto-promotion liée aux Agile Tours, j’ai proposé un Lightning Talk (5mns) pour l’Agile Tour de Bordeaux, édition qui aura lieu, elle, dès ce Vendredi, le 8 Novembre.

Je serai ravi de vous croiser lors de chacun de ces évènements et vous ferai un compte rendu circonstancié des 2 évènements. (cf Agile Tour Bordeaux 2012 et 2011).


The most recurrent question of the European Lean IT 2013 conference was at the heart of a dedicated panel : how does Lean IT positions itself in a world dominated by Agile culture ? There was (from left to right) Pierre Pezziardi, Steve Bell , Hakan Forss, Mike Orzen, Michael Ballé, Daniel T Jones and not appearing on the picture Regis Medina, Takashi Tanaka, Laurent Bossavit, and Antoine Contal (moderator).

A wonderful panel that has launched many thoughts for #hypertextual …

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The European Lean IT Summit happened last week in Paris and it has yet again proved to be a great opportunity to meet the community, to listen to great case studies and to get some food for thoughts with the keynote sessions.

Already the third edition (see wrap-up from 2011 and 2012) and in my view the best so far as we can see the subject maturing and the whole community getting deeper insights on the topic. (disclaimer : It could well be that I am biased here as this year I was both speaking and part of the company organising it).

On top of the experts and leaders (Dan Jones, Steve Bell, Mike Orzen, Michael Ballé, Takashi Tanaka) there also were good talks by people from all over the world, many domains (support, service desk, development, operations, innovation) and many industries, peace nobel prize winner Grameen Foundation not being the least fascinating …

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ludovic 3 USI 2013

Ludovic Cinquin est un personnage singulier dans le paysage de l’industrie-du-SI.fr. Il est directeur Général de Octo France, un cabinet de conseil IT dont l’influence rayonne bien au delà de sa dimension (150 consultants) grâce à ses publications, son blog et surtout l’USI, la conférence IT la plus passionnante d’Europe, conférence qu’Octo organise.

Ce qui donne un relief particulier à son parcours vient de sa formation initiale centrée sur la production. Il s’est donc formé à l’IT sur le terrain (il a rejoint Octo et l’industrie IT en 1998) et à travers de nombreuses lectures (Di Marco, Weinberg, Feathers, Glass), lectures qui l’ont nourri et qui ont guidé sa réflexion vers une vision systémique du SI du 21ème siècle, une vision ouverte, lucide, scientifique et d’une clarté admirable.

On retrouve cette vision à travers ses contributions dans les publications Octo (Partageons ce qui nous départage ou les Géants du Web) mais surtout dans les différentes présentations qu’il a faites à l’USI. On pense en particulier à son tryptique sur les mythes (2008), les biais (2010) et, la plus marquante à mon sens, celle sur les lois de l’informatique (2011) une trilogie indispensable pour tout professionnel de l’IT. Un peu comme Leigh Buchanan révant de Bob Sutton en DRH du monde, on se prend parfois à imaginer Ludovic dans le rôle de DSI de la France.

Mille mercis à lui d’avoir eu la gentillesse de nous accorder cet entretien fleuve (compter 10 mns de lecture) durant lequels nous avons abordé des sujets autour de la DSI de demain, sujets sur lesquels il est intarissable : les technologies, les usages, l’innovation, son management, le modèle des géants du web, les mythes et les lois de l’informatique, la culture Octo et même le théâtre sont abordés ici … Read the rest of this entry »

We have to find more designers who share our approach, who might have read the same books and have compost heaps behind their houses. People who don’t just say to us : Yes we have to make something so that the world will be a better place. (Marcus Freitag)

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Non contents d’organiser l’évènement incontournable du Lean IT en Europe, Operae Partners propose un ouvrage collaboratif sur le sujet : Marie-Pia Ignace, Christian Ignace,Régis Medina et Antoine Contal ont écrit ce livre à 8 mains, mais, et c’est là le plus important, à quatre esprits éclairés.

La question que je me posais était : que peut apporter un tel livre dans une discipline déjà traitée par les ouvrages de Steve Bell (Lean IT et Run Grow Transform), Tom & Mary Poppendieck (le tryptique Lean Software Development) de Pierre Pezziardi (Lean Management et Informatique Conviviale) ou encore de l’excellent Henrik Kniberg (Lean From The Trenches) ?

La réponse dès les premiers chapitres : une vision éminemment actionnable et claire de ce qu’est le Lean et de ce qu’il apporte aux DSI, dans le contexte particulier des organisations hexagonales.

Un ouvrage remarquable pour la perspective concise et pour sa dimension pragmatique. On parle ici de la Pratique du Lean en s’appuyant à la fois sur ses principes historiques et sur des applications réussies. Très recommandé et voici pourquoi …

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