Every groundbreaking advance in software engineering – from the iPhone to space exploration to self-driving cars, not to mention the Internet and the Cloud – has followed the same arc. First there is the impossible challenge. Then there is a long hard slog of learning, with all its ups and downs. Eventually a solution emerges, which always looks obvious in retrospect. Finally, copycats try to achieve the same success, but they bypass the learning part; they don’t buy Thomas Edison’s observation that that innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. This talk is about Learning Organizations and what they do differently. It draws on examples from our rich history of breakthroughs to show how organizations create a climate that fosters innovation.
Mary Poppendieck has been in the Information Technology industry for over forty 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 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: an Agile Toolkit, which was awarded the Software Development Productivity Award in 2004. A sequel, Implementing Lean Software Development: from Concept to Cash was published in 2006. A third book, Leading Lean Software Development: Results are Not the Point was published in November 2009, and a fourth book, The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions was published in 2013.