Mary Poppendieck: The Intersection of Design and Engineering
|Date:||Monday, May 28, 2012|
|Time:||Networking starts: 6pm Presentation and Q&A: 6:30pm to 8:30pm|
|Address:||The Hive, 128 West Hastings, Suite 210|
We are very pleased to have a legend of Lean Software, Mary Poppendieck, as our speaker for the May meeting.
There is something about good design that captivates people. Google gave us the starkly simple home page. Apple gave us the multi-touch interface. Hipmunk gave us a powerfully simple visualization of airline travel. As the focus of software systems moves from recording transactions to creating experiences, companies that operate at the intersection of technology and the creative arts have a powerful competitive advantage.
How do we organize and lead development efforts at this intersection? How do we make sure design drives engineering and technology informs design? Certainly agile development practices are not the whole answer. It goes almost without saying that software development should be agile, but agile practices tell us little about where stunning designs come from or how to merge these two very different disciplines into a coherent product development approach.
There are three schools of thought on merging design and engineering. First there is the Pixar model, where the director and producer are chosen first and foremost for their creative ability. Then there is the Lean Startup model where the development team is responsible for the validation of every feature through A/B experiments or similar metrics. And third, there is the cross-functional team led by an entrepreneur which mimics an independent business unit.
Layer on top of this the multiple dimensions of software: the transaction processing charter of an IT department, the control responsibility of embedded software, the consumer orientation of software products and platforms. It becomes difficult to decide how to structure a development process for the best results. This talk is about the importance of integrating design and engineering right from the start, and how you might go about making that happen.
Mary Poppendieck started her career as a process control programmer, moved on to manage the IT department of a manufacturing plant, and then ended up in product development, where she was both a product champion and a department manager.
Mary tried to retire in 1998, but instead found herself managing a government software project where she first encountered the word “waterfall”.
She wrote the award-winning book “Lean Software Development” to explain how the lean principles from manufacturing could be applied to software development. Mary found retirement elusive as she lectured and taught classes with her husband Tom. Based on their on-going learning, they wrote a second book, “Implementing Lean Software Development.”
Mary continues to be a popular writer and speaker as she continues to bring new ideas to the world of software development.
The Hive is a few blocks east of the WaterFront station. There is parking on the street or in the lot the corner of Hastings and Abbott.