marcusoft.net - sharing is learning


function share(knowledge){ return share(++knowledge) }

Some simple changes for flow that made a world of a difference


When I started my current gig about 3 months ago the tension around releasing was tremendously high. Also we had failed the last couple of releases resulting in even worse relationships with our customer and messy rollback handling and procedures.

We have now done three very simple changes in our process and technology that made a big difference for us and for the relationship with our customer; ditch iterations, shorten release cycles and feature toggling.

In this post I wanted to tell you a little bit around how we did those and the benefits it had for us.

Read on ...

Claudia 1.2 - some updates that made me want to write a post


I downloaded a new markdown editor called Typora that looks amazing. Now I just wanted to try it out, and needed something to write about.

Also I’ve noticed that Claudia has come out with some new releases and that AWS Lamdba now supports Node 4.3.2 - which is awesome.

This post gave an opportunity to fix both itches above in one go. So this is an updated “Get started with Claudia JS for AWS Lambda”-post.

Read on ...

Flow manager - is that me?


At my current client I don’t have a role name. Or rather I do but that’s not what I do, nor what I am there to do. It struck me that I have had this problem before. Many times.

Here’s some way it manifests itself:

I’m not “development manager” that some people call me. I have no formal authority, no staff and no budget. And I have responsibilities that stretches over the development team.

I’m not scrum master that is the fall-back term for anything that is around agile and doesn’t fit the normal organizational scheme. However none of our teams work with scrum and i’ve not worked with scrum for at least 6 years. I’m also pro-flow-based processes rather than iteration-based.

I’m not a agile coach since that’s a term that I barely myself understand what it means. I don’t want to be a coach to make people more agile - I want to make the system work better to flow idea faster to production.

So I tweeted:

Let me describe what I mean.

Read on ...

Frequent releases and no urge to finish


Yesterday we had a couple of very interesting discussions in the team, that got me thinking on being clearer around the purpose of kanban.

In this team we have made a lot of changes lately to try to improve our lead times and throughput. One simple thing that we changed and that made a significant improvement was to simply release more frequently. When I first arrived here the releases were done every 6 weeks. Going to every 4 was just a simple change, and increasing frequency to ever 2 weeks was a very natural next step that no one objected to either.

But then a question came…

Read on ...

What are you optimized for then?


I was in a couple of very interesting discussions yesterday, through the mean of a SAFe course. Just sitting in the room with your peers and stakeholders, off-site, discussing how to work more effectively is really powerful - it turns out.

“Who knew?”, he exclaimed with some irony in his voice but still some hope and joy.

Ok, in our discussion I, again, ran into the point where I simply don’t understand the reason for organization your company in a certain way.

I just have to write this down, and see if it becomes clearer for me. You can read it too if you want.

Read on ...

Thoughts after a SAFe course


I’ve been on a SAFe course. I was very interested, because like many people I’ve heard much about this, had opinions on it but haven’t experienced it first hand.

The context of the training was that it was given for my client. Not as “let’s get started with SAFe” but rather to align and give us all a common understanding on nomenclature and concepts.

I wanted to share a few thoughts in this post. If you were looking (or hoping) for a SAFe-bashing by a Kanbanista… Sorry - I’m not that guy. I’m also in way too good mood to bash anything right now.

Read on ...

The Brickell Key Award - I am nominated!


Something amazing has happened! I am one of 6 nominees to the prestigious Brickell Key Award.

Not in my wildest dream did I think that the kanban community would appreciate things I’ve been involved in enough to nominate me for this award.

You can help my nomination by supporting me in the form on that page.

But first - let me tell you a little bit about why you should do that, and what this price even is and some other questions that might go through your mind.

Read on ...

Testing with Claudia


In writing the last post I stumbled into a little nugget of gold that I never tried before claudia test-lambda.

This is a quick and simple way to verify and smoke test your lambda function once deployed.

And it’s super easy to use. Tag along

Read on ...

ClaudiaJs and console.log


AWS Lambda functions are really great since the server is out of the picture. We don’t really need to care about it, since AWS will handle scaling, patching, starting and stopping for us. It’s just us and our code. Ah bliss!

But wait a second: what if I do a console.log? Where will that be output? There’s no console, since I don’t have a server. Or is it?

Spoiler alert: Claudia got you covered.

Read on ...

We don't know what will work - a story from last week


The last week I saw yet another time when embracing uncertainty and embracing an experimental mindset, gave us great benefits and potential productivity gains.

I wanted to share the story since I think it highlights these different mindsets and approaches in an awesome way.

It’s also a great story…

Read on ...

Electronic process management tools - proceed with care


I’m a fan of physical boards. But I have to say: many of the tools I’ve used are amazing (like JIRA, LeanKit etc.) in that they support working with the tool in a great way: shortcuts, intelligent search and great design.

But I can’t get around the fact that I don’t think that they support me and my teams. Already now I can hear defenders of these tool racking up arguments and showing me better ways to do the things that I’ve experienced as problems.

This post is not about that. This problem is about the general notion of any tool has it’s limits and that I run into more of them in electronic tools than I do using physical board.

Also this is my experience - your mileage may vary.

Read on ...

AWS Lambda/Claudia part II - Storing stuff


In my last post on Claudia JS we only created a very simple function that echoed some data back to us. Still amazingly cool since that echoing scales to whatever load we will put on it, but a bit meek maybe.

In this post I wanted to up the ante a little bit and store some data, more specifically in the AWS Document database called DynamoDb

Read on ...

S, M, L estimate should not start with a date span


Many teams I visit nowadays have ditched story points and start to use Small, Medium and Large (aka T-shirt sizes) estimation instead. I like that.

But very often a smell is creeping into the estimation, removing the “relative” out of “relative estimation”.

Here’s how this problem will reveal itself. When someone suggests that you’ll use S, M and L for your estimates you will soon here:

Ok - so a S is 1-2 days, M 3-5 and L 5-10 then or what's the scale?

Don’t do that - it’s the wrong way around. In this post I’ll explain why and what is a better, more trustworthy, candid and transparent approach.

Read on ...

The hidden agenda of agile....


Recently I’ve been in many discussions about using agile in bigger enterprises that shows that one message of agile has been lost. It goes right to the basis of using agile (or lean for that matter, more on that later) in the first place.

I think I speak too little about this, or at least I feel the need to be much more open and transparent about it. This post is a first attempt to bring some clarity.

NOTE I know that this will come out like a rant. Sorry. It’s not. It’s just the state where I’ve seen it. If anything I think that I have not been candid, clear and transparent in how I communicated.

Read on ...

First AWS Lambda steps - using ClaudiaJs


First time I heard about AWS Lambda my mind was blown to pieces. Quite simply AWS Lambda gives you the opportunity to run a piece of code without concerning yourself about the infrastructure - AWS will handle deployment, configuration, scaling and all of that stuff. You just push your code.

That “just” in the last sentence proves to be quite a lot of grunt-work, sadly. That is, until you meet ClaudiaJs; your Node flight attendant for AWS Lambda - ensuring a smooth flight to the clouds.

In this post I wanted to describe how I got started with Claudia and Lambdas. It will be loads of fun - let’s get on it!

Read on ...

An exercise from 5 dysfunctions of a team


I have a couple of times been recommended the book The five dysfunctions of a team and the last couple of weeks I finally got around to read it.

The book is really great and worth reading. In this post I wanted to talk about a very simple exercise that we used in our team the other day.

Read on ...

What is important, really?


The team I’m in right now is under a lot of pressure and stress. And have been for some time before I joined it. I’ve been in meetings where no-one of the five people in the room could sit down, due to stress. Two weeks after I started I had to comfort a crying colleague after the “customer” yelled at her, despite her best efforts. Me, myself, I’m nervous to report any news (good or bad) to the customers, since they seem to be angry all the time. Things like that.

I cannot help but wonder:

What is important? Really.
Read on ...

My day off


As you might now the last couple of years have taken quite a toll on my personal life. It was work and my work situation that wore me (and my wife) down.

Before we moved back to Sweden Elin and I decided to try to do something about it, so that we didn’t fall back into a work-life-situation that wore us down again. Therefor we decided to not work full time when we get back.

Wednesdays are my day off. I wanted to share some initial reactions and … eeeeh … symptoms.

Just to be clear - I’m ok. I don’t feel bad, stressed or depressed now. But I don’t want to go there again. This is my ways of protection.

Read on ...

... what does that say about me


I more and more realize that what I’m doing is about change management. It’s involved in more or less every gig I get and I feel that I know just a fraction about what I need to handle it.

However I have three thoughts that have helped me immensely in how to approach change. They calm me down around the nervosity I’ve felt about “changing people”, since both have to do with changing perspective, putting me on the other side.

In this post I wanted to share these ideas, that are not mine mind you, and maybe you will feel a bit calmer too.

Read on ...

Indonesia, Agile, Kanban, Lean - its a new book


Never in my life would I dream of writing a book. But that have happened and we (me and Joakim) are super proud of the result and very humbled by the good reception the book has got.

Never in my life would I dream about me writing another book… But it’s happening. Again. I can’t believe it, this time around again.

This will be a story about my experiences in the hospital that I helped during my two years in Indonesia. I’ve blogged extensively about it here and many of those posts will resurface in the book.

There will soon be a site for the book and I’ll make sure to update this post with the link to that.

Read on ...