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Continuous Design

  • Mary Poppendieck
  • 00:55:06

2011 might be considered the year of continuous deployment, and in this fast-paced world, development teams have begun asking a simple question: Are we delivering the right thing?As the pace of deployment moves from annually to quarterly to weekly and now daily, design is no longer something that happens once at the beginning of development, any more than testing and integration are things that happens at the end of development. And in this compressed delivery cycle, there are two areas of design need to be continually addressed: the problem space and the solution space. In the problem space, design takes on the role of sense-making, creative thinking, problem setting, and quick probes to check assumptions. When feedback from the problem space is continuous, having a few good design thinkers on an agile team is just as important as having a few good testers, because the biggest waste in software development is not building the thing wrong – it’s building the wrong thing. In the solution space, the technical design of the software must evolve in cycles to match the deployment cycles, so if the deployment is daily, design must be done daily as well. While software architecture and design may have been an occasional thing when releases were weeks and months apart, compressing the cycle requires a fundamental rethinking how we create and evolve the right architectures to support our systems over time. This talk will cover examples of continuous design in both the problem space and the solution space.

  • 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, was published in November 2009.

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