Agile, Lean, product development: just a fad or the future for digital products? – Lessons for museums from software development, start-ups and the media

Amy Carmichael, Imperial War Museums, UK

How many of us have heard buzzwords about digital products in recent years? But how many of us can be confident we understand exactly what they mean? With more and more publications discussing Lean, Agile, Kanban, Scrum, XP and their application beyond the world of software development, how can we sort the trendy from the game-changing and apply it to the world of digital in museums?

In this paper, I will look at some of the manifestos, methodologies and techniques that have transformed the way highly successful organisations create digital products and how they can apply to digital products in museums.

(a selection)
Ellis, D., et al. (2008), Agile Methods for Project Management, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2008: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
Hammarberg, Marcus and Sunden, Joakim (2014) Kanban in Action, New York: Manning Publications Co.
Newman, Nic, The State of Digital Product Management 2010 (BBC)
Poppendieck, Mary and Tom (2003) Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, Crawfordsville, United States: Addison-Wesley
Poppendieck, Mary and Tom (2013) The Lean Mindset: Ask the right questions, United States: Addison-Wesley Professional
Kniberg, Henrik (2011) Lean from the trenches, Dallas, United States: The Pragmatic Bookshelf
Teather and Wilhelm (1999) Managing New Technology Projects in Museums and Galleries in Museums in a Digital Age, Cambridge: MDA
Ries, Eric (2011) The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, United States: Crown Business