Lean, Agile, and the Evolution of Software Development

On this week’s episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast we talk lean, agile, and the evolution of software development. We take a look at why the agile transformation is more about transformation than it is about agile, why engineers need to think like business owners for agile to have maximum impact, and the concept of using information radiators to inform your development team and influence your product road map.

Elliot Susel, Head of Product for Paid Services at AOL, joins us to talk about those topics and more. In his role at AOL, Elliot leads a team of developers that performs lean startup-style concept validation and delivers products using agile methodologies. He previously spent 2-plus years at Curb, formerly known as Taxi Magic, as a Senior Project Manager and VP of Technology. While there, he partnered the technology organization with the business side of the house to ensure that all engineering work was tied to business wants and needs.

Here’s summing up some key points from this podcast episode with Elliot Susel:

  • We kick things off by talking about agile and lean. For listeners out there that may not be familiar with the concepts, Elliot explains the terms “agile” and “lean” and the difference between them
  • Elliot talks about bringing a lean startup mentality to a large organization like AOL and shares some of the challenges he has seen in doing so
  • Elliot talks about the meaning behind the statement: “Losers have goals, winners create systems”
  • We discuss the “Three Ring Theory” that Elliot and Gil Haus of Innovation Engine episode 39 fame covered in their “Unspoken Truths of Agile Transformation” presentation. We learn from Elliot the idea that the Three Ring Theory puts forward
  • Elliot talks about some of the tactical nuts and bolts of agile and lean for people out there who would like their companies to be able to build, measure, and learn faster than they currently can


Interested in hearing more? Tune in to the full episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast via the SoundCloud embed below.



You can also download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on iTunes or tune in via the podcast’s home on Stitcher Radio to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.

Will Sherlin

Will Sherlin

Senior Manager of Digital Marketing

Will Sherlin is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at 3Pillar Global. He oversees the 3Pillar website and other web properties, hosts 3Pillar’s ‘Innovation Engine’ podcast, and manages 3Pillar’s social media accounts. Prior to its acquisition by 3Pillar, Will was an Account Manager at PointAbout, a DC-based mobile app boutique that specialized in developing iPhone and iPad apps. He holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina.

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