Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last Night's Lean Software Group Meeting

Not knowing a "Value Stream Mapping" from an old tire (don't think too much about the analogy), I drove down to last night's Lean Software Group meeting at the Overwatch offices to join 27 other people and to try an tease some meaning out of all this Lean hype.
Scott Bellware gave a welcome message.
Andrew Cahoon gave an introduction of VSM and then Gary ? gave a compelling real world example of a Value Stream Mapping.
My notes:
* Value Stream Mapping is more an analysis and planning tool than a prescriptive activity.
* Don't make a perfect model, it's not worth the effort - just get a good enough model to do your work.
* Customers care about Quality, Cost, and Delivery.
* Kaizen is about continuous improvement and Value Stream Mapping is a tool to get to the next level.

Monday, September 14, 2009

William Wallace, Stirling Bridge, and the Long Shadow of Rome

William "BraveHeart" Wallace fought for Scottish Independence at Stirling Bridge. Interestingly, the bridge, which has since been replaced, was originally built by the Romans. Let's see, the fall of Rome is around 410AD, Battle of Stirling bridge was in 1297,..., the Roman bridge had been used for 887 years. Not too bad - the Romans knew how to build things.
Will any of our structures be around for 900 years?

Friday, September 04, 2009

New Variegated Species of Cactus Discovered in Austin TX

While taking a walk outside our office building Frank and I discovered a new variegated species of cactus. Says I, "Frank, it just shows how rare mutations can give advantages to plants. Since this cactus will not be uprooted by the grounds people since it blends in so well, its genes will be passed on to the next generation. Soon all the cacti in the parking lot will be variegated."