Migrating to Agile Estimating

Organizations taking on agile almost always struggle with estimating. Years and decades of experience has taught the typical project manager that work is proportional to the difficulty of the task.  This complexity is then expressed in hours to determine how long the project will take and how much it will cost. Expressing a small project forecast […]

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 […]

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

Personal Boundaries in a Development Team

Many factors influence the composition and effectiveness of a team.  Traditional managers create teams based on the skills needed and amount of work.  They feel that their skills at directing the team will ensure a successful outcome. This article looks at the composition from the perspective of the team member.  Team members often have a […]