Rangers, Lead the Way!

I am often struck by the challenges that our current generation of knowledge workers view as insurmountable.  Admittedly, the stress of business goals can be intense.  But to help put this in perspective, I’d like to take a page from the greatest generation.  Those that survived the great depression and fought successfully for our liberty in World […]

DevOps: The Key to Lean Development!

It cannot be overstated how important efficient software development tools are in improving the effectiveness and predictability of  a development team.  Small inefficiencies multiplied over the size of the team and the duration of the project add up to a significant negative impact. Time spent compiling, building, and deploying software is pure waste.   Waiting hours or […]

Flow and Systems Thinking

A key principle of systems thinking is that optimizing any single part of a system through process improvement does not necessarily improve the overall capability of the entire system.  Improving widget production from 55 per hour to 100 per hour does not help much if shipping can only handle 70 per hour.  If your organization […]

Don’t build P-M-Bs!

It’s been said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.  Well, a camel is a positively elegant creature compared to the “Puppy-Monkey-Baby” that greeted us in a commercial during Super Bowl 50.  The creature took elements of three things that are cute on their own (well, maybe not the monkey but the […]

Little’s Law and Kanban

Little’s Law is an important concept for Kanban.  It has its roots in manufacturing and operations management as a technique for characterizing the utilization and capacity of a system to produce finished work. Components of the equation Work in Progress (WIP) = The average number of items in a system (over some interval) Throughput (TH) […]

Kanban at Scale

Implementing Kanban for a large development organization has unique challenges that must be overcome.   While at Siemens Health Services, I was part of a steering team that had the responsibility of transforming an organization of three business units and approximately 50 Scrum teams from Scrum/Agile to Kanban.   Fortunately we were successful and achieved […]

Critical Concepts For Kanban

Kanban has a few key concepts that are critical to being successful with this methodology. Traditional project management valued complete resource utilization to the point of diminishing returns, as valuable human resources spent their time starting and stopping tasks rather than completing work.   Rather than work through blockages, team members would start new work […]

Evaluating Agile Software Engineers

Agile development and the Scrum team environment places different priority on what have traditionally been labelled “soft skills”.   Waterfall methodology valued heads-down analysis and development over collaboration.  It also valued longer decision making under the guise of thoroughness. This is a short list of some of the capabilities that should be incorporated into Agile […]