Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jeff Sutherland's Pearls

Last week I attend an Agile RTP meetup hosted at the offices of Relevance Software . I heard Jeff Sutherland speak about the "Five Problems solved for PatientKeeper". If you are into Agile then for me to repeat what he said would be redundant, and if you are new to Agile then you probably need some basic education before jumping into his talk.

However, I captured the following pithy quotations from Jeff:

1. "World domination always gets people excited". When the PatientKeeper management team was forming the company, they needed a vision of what PatientKeeper would be when grown-up. Jeff speculated that Bill Gates had a vision of owning the PC desktop. Sooo... the PatientKeeper team decided to own the mobile devices used by clinical professionals. They wanted to create a framework that would be considered the gold standard for third party medical application developers.

2. "If it is impossible show me the impediment list". Attributed to the CEO who took over PatientKeeper in 2003 and wanted the code deployed to hospitals after each Sprint. When told that the installation time was a bottleneck to this tempo, he formed the "Live by Five" program, which brought in PatientKeeper expert services to work with the hospital IT staff to make sure the installation took place by 5:00 the day of install.

3. "If Lean is all about removing waste, then SCRUM is all about removing impediments". Jeff likes to teach Lean Manufacturing to executives trying to adopt agile development because he believes that they can relate to the examples from the world of manufacturing.

4. "Is the Tango a methodology? Neither is agile". Someone in the audience asked Jeff to compare the light-weight "method" of agile with a bureaucratically heavy approach like CMMI. Using the analogy to the Tango, Jeff said that like that dance, the Agilista does not plan so much but responds to the circumstances of the project.

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