AgileByExample 2017

Donald Reinertsen

Don is the President of Reinertsen & Associates, a consulting firm specialized in the management of product development. He has worked with leading product development organizations for over 35 years, and taught executive courses at Caltech for 15 years. He is the author/co-author of three best-selling books on product development, and is considered one of the leading thinkers in the field of lean product development. His latest awarding winning book, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development, has been praised as, “… quite simply the most advanced product development book you can buy.”

Keynote—Making Money with Variability

Most software developers live in a world where economic outcomes become worse when variability increases. Therefore, they seek to improve predictability and reduce variability. If only we could estimate better; if only we could conform to our plans. The premise that variability is intrinsically bad aligns perfectly with mainstream management thinking.

But, what if we had a different view? Not a simplistic notion that variability is always good, but that it was possible to create circumstances where payoffs would increase when variability increased. The writer Nassim Taleb has coined the term Antifragile to describe such systems, “things that gain from disorder”.

In this presentation, Don Reinertsen will explore the notion of Antifragility in product development. How could we design development processes such that variability improves economic outcomes rather than hurting them? When we seek to thrive in a stochastic world, rather than to merely survive in it, we look at things quite differently.