2013/09/22

Dream Event 2013

On Thursday the 12th of september I visited the Dream Event in Houten. This is a small recap of the event.

Theme

Dream stands for Dutch Requirement Engineering And Management and is the only event within the Netherlands specifically about Requirements. The event had some very interesting speakers, of which James Taylor is probably the most famous one. The presentations were very diverse and with some kind of relation towards requirements of course.

James Taylor - Simpler, smarter and more agile processes

His talk was about making processes simpler, smarter and more agile by using business rules. So looking at if-the-else constructions within the processes, that have high impact on the processes. Not the best presentation i have seen, but this is my personal opinion. It was very formal and not much new information for me. It should be common practive when you want to have your processes flexible and agile. I do understand though that this is probably not common sense in most organisations.

Rini van Solingen - Survival of the fittest, bringing business value quick

This was a very entertaining and interested presentation of Rini. The presenation was done without the usual powerpoints, but he draw things on a flipover. He stated (among other things) that planning does not work anymore in this fast society. In the past he argued that there was time to grow. He used the example that it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. Nowadays Angry Birds reached this figure within 13 days. The statement is clear because organisations are organized as fabrics of the 19th century. And this does not work (at least not for a lot of produkts) any more. He states that Agility is key with timeboxing, steady teams and steady quality.
I think he has some good points, but steady teams and steady quality can be difficult to achieve.

Some other statements he made:
  • You learn more by doing things than by thinking about it
    I agree on this when it comes to software development and this is also why Agile development is such a "hype" at the moment. We are not able to specify each requirement in such detail, so that it does not change anymore. You have to see it working.
  • The organisation F-Secure uses the following KPIs
    - Lead time must go down
    - Value throughput must raise
    - Net promotion score mus raise
    - Number of unfinished work must go down
    So faster time to market, with higher business value and high customer satisfaction, but the work must be finished.
Some conclusions he made:
  • Make cross functional teams
  • Fast csutomer value
  • Focus on results and transparency
  • Realy change the game
  • Making mistakes is a MUST

Arjen  Uittenbogaard - 7 essential characteristics of an agile professional

The most interesting and inspiring presentation came from Arjen. He is a real storyteller with a great sense of humor and great presentation skills. He also used no powerpoints and also no flipover. He talked about three books:
  1. Intensieve menshouderij - Jaap Peters (Dutch)
    Within this book it is argued that "measuring is not always knowing". Numbers is narrowing your view. SMART is not always smart.
    Be aware of the language of the customer and do not "frame". Discover the metaphors used.
  2. Practical Wisdom - Barry Swartz
    The short message is: Does making Rules and following rigid processes really improve the work?
    The statement of the book is that it is disastrous for craftsmanship. The examples in the book are mainly on healthcare and law, but i agree that rules must not be followed blindly but always used within the context and as a tool.
  3. To save everything click here
    This is a more philosophical book about the question if innovations are really the solution to a problem. 
I bought all three books and i am very excited about them. Real eye-openers !

Conclusion

A real nice organised conference with a lot of interesting speakers. Happy i could attend.

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