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I came across a great presentation on using Kanban for video game production on InfoQ, and I have to say it was quite refreshing to watch.  It’s great to see industry veterans like Clinton Keith recognizing the need for continuing evolution in process at a time when many companies seem to have come as far as Scrum but have not quite continued to innovate.  As cost of development continues to skyrocket, there’s an opportunity for effective, Lean and Agile-minded leaders to step up and trailblaze a new path.

Watch the presentation at


Registration has opened for the 2010 Lean & Kanban conference in Belgium this summer, and I’m lucky enough to be attending this one.   The lineup looks great, with David Anderson, Mary Poppendieck, Alan Shalloway, and many other great Lean thinkers giving presentations over a two day course on September 23rd and 24th.   Check out the program, and definitely let me know if you’ll be there so we can arrange a meetup!

Once again TED delivers with another amazing talk – this time, it’s on the concept of flow, which should be a familiar idea to everyone who works with Lean.  Interestingly, however, what Mihaly is addressing here is the role of psychological flow and its impact on our daily lives.

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, Timothy Fritz’s post “Doing the impossible fifty times a day” on exactly how they are doing continuous deployment at IMVU is very fascinating.

“Our tests suite takes nine minutes to run (distributed across 30-40 machines). Our code pushes take another six minutes. Since these two steps are pipelined that means at peak we’re pushing a new revision of the code to the website every nine minutes. That’s 6 deploys an hour. Even at that pace we’re often batching multiple commits into a single test/push cycle. On average we deploy new code fifty times a day.

So what magic happens in our test suite that allows us to skip having a manual Quality Assurance step in our deploy process? The magic is in the scope, scale and thoroughness. It’s a thousand test files and counting. 4.4 machine hours of automated tests to be exact. Over an hour of these tests are instances of Internet Explorer automatically clicking through use cases and asserting on behaviour, thanks to Selenium. The rest of the time is spent running unit tests that poke at classes and functions and running functional tests that make web requests and assert on results.”

Be sure to check out the actual article for even more great detail, particularly around how they actually do their deployments once their automated test suite has assured a high level of quality.