LESS was started with a great ambition of combining, from the starting point three different communities globally. Those communities were the Agile community, which is focused on the improvement of the software industry. The Lean community with both people from manufacturing as well as from software industry. And the Beyond Budgeting community, which comes from large financial and industrial companies and represents a turn in the way those companies tackle the problem of managing large organizations.
I hope that you have the chance to dive into each of these communities' body of knowledge as there are great contributions from each of those complementing what we have been doing in the Agile community for nearly a decade.
There was one piece of data that particularly impressed me. That data does emphasize something that many of us have felt, but putting a number on it does make it even more impressive. The first keynote presented a figure from an evaluation of work done in a company. The amount of tasks that were blocked (could not progress) was 62%. This is amazing, most of the work in that company was blocked, and so people would start new tasks and, guess what: get blocked on those. The queuing theory's prediction of "the more tasks you start the less you finish" was quite clear here.
There was one talk and one paper that were highlighted by the organizers as the best in the conference. These selections are always subjective, of course. But it's worth highlighting them as they were very good sources of information about Agile adoption (the paper) and new ways of looking at the organization and inform the way we adopt Agile and Lean software development (the talk).
Maarit Laanti received the award for the best paper of the conference. Here's Maarit receiving the award.
Paper: Agile Transformation Study at Nokia - One Year After
UPDATE: This video has been removed
Jurgen Appelo received the award for best talk in the conference. His talk: "Complexity vs. Lean, the Big Showdown". You can find Jurgen's slides here.
Here's Jurgen receiving his award:
Finally the conference ended with the gala dinner, which I thought was a wonderful way to end the event where we meet so many new people. We celebrate the fact that we spent time together trying to understand the issues that we face every day, but with the help of different points of view and mental frameworks.
Very good 3 days. I'm already looking forward for next year's conference!
PS: Watch this space as I'll publish an amazing surprise that the LESS2010 organizers prepared for the participants! :)