Kristen McLean: Agile for Publishing - Intro

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Kristen McLean of Bookigee presents an introduction to agile for publishers at BISG's Agile Content Development Summit, 3/27/12.

Kristen McLean of Bookigee presents an introduction to agile for publishers at BISG's Agile Content Development Summit, 3/27/12.

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  • Agile methodologies emerged out of the software development community starting in the 1970’s, but began to really codify in the 1990’s with the rise of several types of “lightweight” methods such as SCRUM, Extreme Programming, and Adaptive Software Development. These were all rolled up under the umbrella of Agile in 2001, when a group of developers came together to create the Manifesto for Agile Software Development which set the core principles for this type of working philosophy:
  • Simplicity—avoid complex systems, and time-intensive documentationRegular adaptation to changing circumstances—presume you don’t know the answer Accountability & empowerment— Give them what they need and trust them to get the work done.
  • Customer interaction & satisfaction extremely important—get out of the buildingClose, daily co-operation between business people and creatives—Both on the same teamSustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace—each person should be able to commit only to what they can do in a day, a week, or a production cycle. Cut back features in order to deliver on time.Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)—put the entire team in one place.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design—Produce less, but make it better.Completed tasks are delivered frequently(weeks rather than months)Completed tasks are the principal measure of progress—focus on real stuff, not on rituals, documentation, or other internal benchmarks that do nothing for your customer.


  • 3. Agile
  • 4. Agile is a project Agile is a Agile is a management philosophy workflow strategy
  • 5. THE AGILE MANIFESTOWe are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helpingothers do it.Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a planThat is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. -
  • 6. Key Concepts
  • 7. Quick cycles
  • 8. Self-organizingworking groups
  • 9. Complex tasks into smaller goals
  • 10. Iteration
  • 11. Riskmanagement
  • 12. Transparency
  • 13. Process over perfection
  • 14. “Working software is the primary measure of progress”
  • 15. End product from learning not knowing
  • 16. Test assumptions early and often
  • 17. THE LEAN CYCLE Idea Ideas s Learn Build customer Data Product Measure
  • 18. Agile workflow -vs-Agile content
  • 19. Slow cyclesHierarchical working groupsFinal product rigid from beginningPerfection over processMindset = Knower, not learners
  • 20. A NEW MODEL Product Product Owner Owner Marketing Author Author Sales Scrum 10 – 12 Master/Agile chapter cycles manager Editor Editor IT Production/DigitalFinished Excerpts & Micro content book Advances • Advance copies • Sample Chapters &A Book chapters short form • Serial content
  • 21. THE IDEAL AGILE ENVIRONMENT? Simplicity Regular adaptation to changing circumstances Self-organizing teams Accountability, transparency & empowerment
  • 22. THE IDEAL AGILE ENVIRONMENT? Customer interaction & satisfaction important Close, daily co-operation between business and creative Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace Face-to-face team conversation is the best (co-location)
  • 23. THE IDEAL AGILE ENVIRONMENT? Technical excellence and good design Completed tasks are delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) Completed tasks are the principal measure of progress
  • 24. Agile content?
  • 25. Agile content Q’s: Crowd –vs– solo creator Authorship –vs– editorship Scaleability
  • 26. Case Studies