There’s change in the wind and I like it.
The Lean Software and Systems Consortium (LSSC) has evolved to the Lean Systems Society (LSS). I was never a member of LSSC, but I am a founding fellow of LSS. Why?
LSSC was a very necessary institution to begin talking about Lean in software development. With LSSC, we had several awesome conferences that rapidly increased the level of thought, range of adoption, and inclusion of new groups.
However, LSSC’s mission was very open-ended. Talks with LSSC ranged from setting up free communities to instituting scrum.org style certification for Capital K Kanban. I want to be clear here that I really love the LSSC people – it’s just that my voice was better used from the outside of the organization, always discussing new ideas and ways to expand the community beyond Software.
LSS is an entirely different animal. It is only focused on discussing new ideas and ways to expand the community beyond software. So … it seems to fit me better!
Along with this transition comes two things that I want to talk about:
Thing 1: LSSC 2012
This year’s conference felt different. I think we did a few things that gave this year’s LSSC a bit of slack.
This is the part where I get to talk about how wrong I was. So, I’m all big into setting up unconferences and putting the people in charge of the content. This year, at LSSC we had a few track chairs (mercifully few!) who were responsible for populating the content in their tracks. The speakers this year were awesome, the quality of the presentations was stellar, and the smaller number of tracks meant that people could focus.
I was initially unhappy with the decision to go this way – but in the end it made for a fantastic conference.
This year we started with a one-day unconference, a community meeting, a special event (Lean Action Kitchen), and a reception. This year just started fun and thoughtful. We built up a great momentum on the first day.
In addition, each day started with a Lean Coffee that went from last year’s one table to three to five tables a day.
Centralized Vendors in a Fun Location
Rather than having the vendors off in some removed part of the building, this year they were right at the center of everything. The vendors helped this by becoming “snack central” as well – it seemed like everyone had food. The space was also light and airy – which is something I noticed about the entire conference – the whole thing seemed less cramped and dark.
Thing 2: The LSS Mission Statement
Here’s the LSS Credo:
The Lean Systems Society believes that excellence in managing complexity requires accepting that complexity and uncertainty are natural to social systems and knowledge work. Effective systems must produce both better economic and sociological outcomes. Their development requires a holistic approach that incorporates the human condition. The Society is committed to exploring valuable ideas from all disciplines, and fostering a community that derives solutions from a common set of values and principles, while embracing specific context and avoiding dogma.
This year I was lucky enough to win a Brickell Key award, which is given every year to two people in recognition of their work in this community. This meant a lot to me, because my focus has been often beyond software and my style of presentation is sometimes, shall we say, nonchalant.
This award was especially rewarding for me, given that this year I really feel like the community has really come into its own. This has been an exciting movement to be a part of and I look forward to what comes next.