Category Archives: Agile

Planning Sucks

A friend told me about a company the worked at: Their planning cycle was 2 years long,  meaning that the moment work was started, it was already obsolete…

Here is the reality plain and simple:

PROI

A little planning, enough to get you started, has some value. Mapping out the future equals failure.

Having an inspiring vision of the product that leads people to do the right thing, now that is valuable…

by Michael Badali

Don’t Try Agile

Don’t Try Agile. Why create a massive disturbance in your organization unless you are going to make a big gain?

Don’t try Agile – if your Leadership does not really understand what is required of them.  - It will become something that technical people do and it will frustrate everybody and will be a miserable failure. Agile is not an SDLC is it a philosophy about how to get the whole company to work well together. Everyone who connects with the teams must embrace it to succeed.

Don’t try Agile – you will be miserable!

Don’t try Agile – if your Product Managers and Architects cannot break things down into logical bite size scalable modular pieces. – things will come to a grinding halt as they try to cram extras into a release and quality will drop as you try to push out as much out as you can amidst the noise and confusion.

Don’t try Agile – you will be miserable!

Don’t try Agile – if teams are not supported, in constant flux, don’t have a complete skill set. - Your work life will become hell, you will get nothing done and everyone will be unhappy including the customer.

Don’t try Agile – you will be miserable!

IF you do have leadership who understands and does what is needed from them to support the new way of doing things and the journey there, if you have excellent product ownership and architecture who focus on what is most valuable now and don’t try to plan the unknown future but create modular scalable requirements and guidelines, and if you have permanent self-managed cross-functional teams and they are the building blocks of the organization, you will find you are productive and happy and the customer is delighted. I have been there and it is awesome!!!

Agile is like pregnancy, you can’t be a little bit pregnant,  you can’t be a little bit Agile. Do Agile and you will have a joyful experience.

Do or do not there is no try - Yoda

by Michael Badali

Measure and Improve Throughput

The best descriptions I have ever heard for throughput or time to market were: “Customer to Cash” and “Concept to Cash”.

Minimizing the time between the customer go ahead and payment is an increase in revenue. Analogy: Right now you get paid a certain amount every 2 weeks let’s say. If you can find a way to get paid that same amount ever 12 days…every 10 days…if you get paid every 7 days you now make twice as much. Same for a company.

Reducing time from “Concept to Cash” gives you a serious competitive edge. The ability to put new products on the market before your competitors, the ability to adapt to changes in the market to keep your product relevant.

TTM is a holistic metric. It includes both the tech and biz parts of your company. It is an opportunity to get them to work together to be more profitable and competitive. This does not mean other metrics are completely useless but all too often companies focus only on the techies and how long it takes them to build when in reality the waste between steps have more impact to the throughput of the whole system.

Have the whole company see its throughput as something everyone is responsible for, have the whole team row in the same direction.

“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry in any market, against any competition” – John Kotter, Heart of Change

by Michael Badali

Agile vs Lean

Agile and Lean are like Yin and Yang. Consider your left and right hands – Which hand do you want to keep? Both of course. Agile is a minimalist philosophy and Lean is waste reduction practice. They go hand in hand.

Agile and Lean!

by Michael Badali

3 Simple Rules

3 simple rules of Kanban
 
There seems to be infinite documentation on how to manage projects and programs and yet according to the Standish report only 32% of projects are successful. Thus the evolution of the Agile & Lean approach to software development, ITO, DevOps et al. People are looking for a better way to get things done. Extrapolating from intensive micromanagement through lighter and lighter project management approaches one arrives at the minimum viable process set. Sound scary? In a different way than you expect.
3 simple rules are all you need to get started. 3? just 3? Yes!
 
  1. Visualize the work flow 
  2. Limit work in progress 
  3. Measure and improve throughput 
That’s it? Yes. that is all you need to get started.
Kanban, simple eh? Must be easy…well that is another story…
 
by Michael Badali