Toys vs. Software, Fight! 3

Posted by Conrad Benham on September 08, 2008

In our next session, Jonathan Buford, a regular at Agile Hong Kong, will lead a discussion of how the development of products differs from software development.

How does a toy get made?

  • Just as in software, there is a development process that takes a product from Concept to Production.
  • What is the process like, and what are the typical high points and pitfalls?

Points of view, to make a good toy one must think like a child.

  • In software development, there is currently a lot of emphasis on Domain Specific Language and with the Agile practices of partnering up with the customer.
  • When there are three customers to please (retailer, parent, and child) and one of them is any nine year old kid, what can you do?

How does product development compare to software development?

  • Take a look at how the physical limits of making a product make for different challenges for project management.
  • How would methods like Scrum and Agile iterations play out in the development of a consumer product?
  • How do rapid prototyping and other technological developments make product development more Agile?
  • What lessons in product development cross over to software development?
  • Critical-chain management and how it relates to software development.

The development process of Sampi Plan:

  • The experience of creating a new organizational system (Agile development, but also an Agile system).

Trying to combine software development methods with product development needs.

Jonathan Buford is a professional jack of all trades. He attended Carnegie Mellon University where he studied Mechanical Engineering along with working on research in Biomedical, Robotics, and Cross-disciplinary Teams. Afterward, he spent 6 years in the Toy Industry in product development. Since then, he has been an independent inventor and consultant for 3 years working in general consumer products. Currently he is a part of Sampi, a Hong Kong startup that is creating an organizational software system that will reduce the noise of the daily grind.

When: 7:30pm, Tuesday 16th of September 2008
Where: ThoughtWorks Hong Kong Office
Address: Room 1304, 13/F, Tai Tung Building, 8 Fleming Road, Wanchai
Map: ThoughtWorks Hong Kong


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Leave a response

  1. John Britton Wed, 10 Sep 2008 17:20:59 UTC

    Sounds like a good session, see you there!

  2. Naman Joshi Tue, 16 Sep 2008 12:00:11 UTC

    Sounds interesting. Ill see you there.

    I have a quick question. I will be moving to Beijing soon and i was wondering if there is something similar to this community over there?


  3. Steven Mak Tue, 16 Sep 2008 16:02:45 UTC

    Hi Naman,

    You can take a look at “AgileChina” Google Group, and the Beijing Open party event. The Open party is a monthly event, while they also have a Agile Conference which holds annually.