Category: Agile

Agile, You’re Doing it Right

For all the attention people apply to not being agile, or needing to be more agile, there is a distinct possibility that is often unaccounted for. That you’re already agile. Of course, you could have a better process, but that’s always true. Recognizing that you can be better is at the heart of agile (and

Agile, You’re Doing it Wrong

There’s an interesting problem that can appear in companies that develop their own agile IT capabilities. Ceremonies get added, scrum masters are appointed, deliveries ramp up, and all is looking good. Then a team is formed to tackle some novel problem or implement some new industry buzz word. I think that having an SDLC will

Finding the 8 Lean Wastes in Software Development

Any talk about lean should always include the 8 wastes, so we’ll look at how these apply to software development (or any knowledge industry). Rather than creating a whole new list of wastes, we’ll find that the originals apply just as well; we just need to shift our perspective a bit. Muda, Mura, Muri Before

Optimum Busyness

Recently, I’ve said a lot of bad things about “busyness”.  I stand behind all of them, but that does not mean that the way to be agile and lean is to do nothing.   It is not true that just because you’re doing something that you’re delivering value.  It is also true that you must

Stand-ups & Standards & Kaizen Oh My

Odds are good that you’re familiar with the classic 3-question agile standup.  Have you ever wondered what a lean standup might look like?  Because it’s lean it’ll just be faster, right?  That’s what lean is really about, isn’t it?  Maybe we can do it in 2 questions if we’re leaner?  By looking at the standup

Lean Standards

Because it is essential to understanding lean (and I want to refer to this continuously), today we’ll talk about lean standards.  If you’re already thinking that standards aren’t lean (or agile) because they’re rigid, audited for compliance, and defended from change, then you are not familiar with lean standards.   Hello Lean Standards To quickly

Why > Busy

Earlier, we talked about how busyness works against agile & lean.  Today, we’ll look at how to replace busyness with value delivery (the heart of agile & lean). Given that busyness has been framed as the enemy, you may be thinking:  That sounds great, but there are still salaries being paid and clients expect results;

The Prime Waste – Busyness

There is a common feeling that indicates the presence of all 8 wastes. It was best described by my former leader when he summarized what team members were telling him: I’m too busy doing my job, to do my job. By taking a step back, it becomes obvious how constant busyness undermines the business by inviting all 8

Cross-Functional Teams & Production Cells

Prior to lean thinking, Taylorism was the dominant managerial philosophy in industry (and it is still a powerful influence).  Labor efficiency is a pillar of this approach.  To achieve that goal, a common practice was to group together all sets of similar equipment (lathes, drills, presses, etc.).  This allowed the technicians to specialize, allowed for redundancies