Mary Poppendieck

Owner at Poppendieck.LLC at Poppendieck.LLC


The Future is Here, it’s just not evenly distributed
Friday 16:10 - 16:55
Full Stack Teams

2020 used to be far in the future. Today it’s four years away. We no longer need to guess what breakthroughs await us in that magic year, the future is hiding in plain sight. Every time you check Google maps for traffic conditions, you are looking at the Internet of Things in action. When an AWS outage makes the news, you know it’s a rare event. When you see Spotify moving to the cloud, the future of infrastructure is clear.

The question is not what the technology of 2020 will be – that is rapidly coming into focus. The real question is: How do you get from where you are now to where you need to be? How do you scale? How do you learn? How do you become reliable? And how you do this while traveling Full Speed Ahead?


Friction Lab
Tuesday 9:00 - 17:00
Full Stack Teams

Friction. Starts fires. Stops airplanes. Gives traction. Saps energy. A small bit of friction is unavoidable to gain traction and overcome inertia. A large dose of friction slows everything down, annoying customers and eating away at profits. This lab looks at the four most common sources of friction in digital systems and what to do about them:

  • Friction in the Journey
  • Friction in the Process
  • Friction in the Code
  • Friction in the Flow

You will Discover:
  • The main causes of friction in the consumer journey
  • How cognitive biases affect our teams as well as our customers
  • A reference process for modern digital systems
  • How to make and keep reliable promises
  • How savvy governments deliver digital services
  • Critical attributes of successful large-scale systems
  • The best way to keep complex systems stable and reliable
  • Why flow efficiency trumps resource efficiency
  • Six ways to increase flow efficiency

More Information: Essay on Friction.


Mary Poppendieck started her career as a process control programmer, moved on to manage the IT department of a manufacturing plant, and then ended up in product development, where she was both a product champion and department manager.

Mary considered retirement 1998, but instead found herself managing a government software project where she first encountered the word "waterfall." When Mary compared her experience in successful software and product development to the prevailing opinions about how to manage software projects, she decided the time had come for a new paradigm. She wrote the award-winning book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit in 2003 to explain how the lean principles from manufacturing offer a better approach to software development.

Over the past several years, Mary has found retirement elusive as she lectures and teaches classes with her husband Tom. Based on their on-going learning, they wrote a second book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash in 2006, a third, Leading Lean Software Development: Results are Not the Point in 2009, and a fourth book, The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions in 2013. A popular writer and speaker, Mary continues to bring fresh perspectives to the world of software development.



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