Category Archives: Lean

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

Metrics are dangerous

I have seen things go terribly wrong from unintended but logical results of KPI, bonus conditions et al.

I recall having a very difficult time with a team lead who fought everything Agile tooth and nail. Finally one day the truth came out: He told me that his annual bonus required him to do the opposite of everything I was suggesting and there was no @#$%^ way he was going to give the money up.

Be careful what you ask for, you might get it!

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

Emptiness

Art theory teaches us that the spaces, the emptiness in what you create is  important.

True in workflow as well. One aspect of Lean is focusing on what not to do.

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