Wave 3

2 days, 40 People and a Bus: Lean Startup + Lean Software

Duration (30, 60, 90) — 60 minutes

Audience Level — Anyone interested in learning about one organization’s attempt to throw lean product people and lean startup people into a massive jumble to see what comes out

Session Style — Presentation

For 5 years we’ve put our money where our agile mouth’s have been. We have a 37 year old, multi-million dollar business to protect and grow, and we’re convinced that agile and lean provide the best way for us to manage risk and exploit opportunity. we’ve spent the last few years creating an environment in which people are wildly capable of making the right decisions at the right time. Individuals are given as much room as possible to think, decide and execute.

We’ve done all this in the library industry, which has been operating roughly the same way for 2500 years. Today, libraries face the greatest threat to their existence since the fires of the middle ages swept away the great institutions of the classical period. Combine digital-age access to endless free information with massive funding pressures and lots of people are left wondering “what role do libraries really have in their communities?”

Libraries and the vendors that serve them must experiment aggressively to seek out answers to these questions. In early 2012, TLC turned to an organization called Lean Startup Machine to put us through a crash course in the some of the key elements of the Lean Startup movement: experimentation, validation / invalidation and pivoting. We put 40 people on a bus at our HQ in the woods of West Virginia and headed off to Washington DC to put our ideas in front of as many people as possible and let them crush them mercilessly. This is our story.

My name is Simon Marcus, I’m the COO at The Library Corporation. I’ve been helping companies learn how to be more effective for 15+ years in a variety of industries, but have focused on software primarily. Along with our CTO, Jabe Bloom, and with the help of Jim Benson, David Anderson and others, we’ve built what I think is one of the most forward-acting lean/agile shops in the world. Other people talk, we do.

I’ve never given this session before.

If you are coming from the Lean Product perspective you will learn something about Lean Startup, and vice versa. You’ll also learn a lot about the complications that arise when two theories that share some common roots and many words actually come together, and how we’ve been overcoming them. If you are a leader or influencer in an established organization that wants to see your teams doing more innovation, you’ll learn a solid approach to getting underway.

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Session Leader Name(s): Simon Marcus

Proposed Duration: between 30 and 60 minutes

Idea No. 60