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Introducing the Rock Crusher: A Flow-Based Model for Backlog Management
September 21, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Nearly 40 years ago, Fred Brooks wrote, “The single hardest part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build.” In the early days of agile software development, the value stream may have begun and ended with the product owner. It was just the product owner who decided precisely what to build. However, over 20 years, Agile has grown up from just “…uncovering better ways of developing software” to uncovering better ways to create the agile enterprise. Deciding precisely what to build is a complex enterprise process. Our traditional simple models of backlog management have not kept up. The result is broken value streams that impede flow. As agile grew up, so did the need for how we manage the backlog. We can no longer hide the “hardest part” behind the backlog and product owner if we want to be an agile organization and compete in the digital age. While many organizations struggle with backlog management, others effectively use their backlog to flow value creation. The Rock Crusher is a model that captures these success patterns. The Rock Crusher shifts us from thinking of the backlog as a passive reservoir of work feeding a development team to a flow-based model for actively managing value creation. During this session, you will learn the following: How our traditional model of the backlog breaks the value stream and the economic consequences of a broken value stream. How the Rock Crusher makes the hardest part of building a software system flow How the Rock Crusher creates value by stabilizing and throttling turbulent flow and keeps teams focused on value creation Explain why only superhumans need to apply for the product owner role and how it takes a village to manage a backlog effectively Co-sponsored by: Computer Society Speaker(s): Steve Adolph Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/370690