Create a dynamically updated chart in Google Sheets

When I started my blog, almost 12 years ago, I often wrote posts of things that I would need to look up again. Sure enough, I sometimes stumble into my own posts when searching for solutions to problems I have. This post is one of those posts. I was asked to conduct a survey throughout our department and needed to do some slicing and dicing of the stats. I used Google Forms to collect the data and then did the analysis in Google Sheets. It all came out pretty nice and allowed people throughout the department to drill down into the data in a quick and simple way. I will not talk about the form since that was very easy to set up. Only know that Google Forms store its data in Google Sheets. This means that it’s pretty simple for us to continue to process the data. Also, there’s...
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Viral Change and some thoughts about tools

The other day a co-worker (Anders - awesome guy!) pointed me to a change management tool/methodology called Viral Change. I read about it and got quite hooked I have to say, but I’m not yet ready to make a report on how it works or it’s merited. However, in one of the documents I read they made a little remark that I found very interesting as it brushes on many of the problems that I often have when trying to “do” agile or change into agile. This post is about that but I have to give a little backstory and my current understanding of Viral Change. Viral change - my current interpretation Viral Change is a change management methodology and way of viewing change management work. It focuses a lot of networking and peer-to-peer change. They got me right at the start by saying: There’s no real change until we...
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Review of A seat at the table

I’ve just read a classic. Mark my words - we will mention, refer to and hear a lot about Mark Schwartz great book “A seat at the table”. It’s an amazing book - you have to read it. This book is written in a laid-back, funny and content-packed format and contains useful information for any leader in a modern IT-organisation. I have throughout the book been screaming out loud “YES!”, “Exactly that!” or “Where were you when I was in the meeting last week?!” from the well explained and laid our arguments that Mark presents. The book talks a lot about how the CIO role changes as lean and agile practices are adopted. Practices like DevOps, autonomous squads or automated testing all comes with a change in mindset and culture and this of course needs to be adjusted for in how IT leaders lead their organsiations. I particulary liked the...
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Limiting WIP and some rules of thumb

Writing a book (psst - there’s another one on its way) has changed many things for me and opens so many doors in my career. But my favorite thing is when I get to talk to people that have read my book, learned something and is applying kanban in their everyday life. Sometimes I get some really insightful and interesting questions. Massimiliano Spolverini, for example, presented me with one of those questions just the other days: I have been reading your book the second time and I have found it brill. Though, there is a doubt playing on my mind which I cannot sort out. The 2nd rule of thumb to find a WIP limit (page 111) explains that when the WIP is set too high, then the team can see some work items not being worked by anybody, which no one is responsible for. On the other side, at...
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Lean/flow simulation experiments

When I do workshops on kanban/lean I often always include a game, since I think that adds to the experience of the principles I try to teach. One of my favourite is the Number Counting game that I, one very boring day did an animation of in PowerPoint. You can flip through it here: Numbers simulation - less is more! from Marcus Hammarberg This game very clearly illustrates the benefits of limiting work in process as the lead time for all the projects goes way down, as well as the lead time for each individual project. While quality often improves. However, every time I’ve done this exercise I have to resist the urge to throw in a couple of curve balls and changes. I resist it because I think it would be quite hard work and stressful. Now I’ve tested them on myself and I wanted to share the outcomes...
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TDD for 9 year olds - an experiment in teaching my sons class

I had the opportunity to test my teaching skills to the max, as I got the question if I could come to my son Alberts class, to teach “some programming”. I have taught TDD to kids before, see this long video for the result. But those kids were 3-4 years old. Adding to the challenge was that this was my own sons class and I felt that I had to make him proud as well as fight a bit for being heard. I took on the challenge and it went well, but I thought I’d share some of my preparation and experiences. A few people have asked me privately and I realize that this is a request that many of us in the IT business might get. If you read this you can avoid my problems at least. I’ve always thought that Test Driven Development suits young, experimental mind and...
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A post on the post on queue length

The good people at Kanbanize invited me to write a guest post on their blog. I accepted and wrote a post on tracking and learning from Queue Length, a topic I picked up from Donald Reinertsen excellent book Principles of Product Development Flow. Go over there and read the post - I’m happy how it turned out. The rest of this post will be very meta… because it will be about how I can write the post on short queue length fast, by having short queue length. When I got the request to write the post I accepted and then Alexander kindly wrote back and gave me long (2 months!) time to write the post. It was at this point I decided to do it right away. I, maybe a bit rude, wrote this back: Hehe - I cannot do that. It doesn’t get easier for me waiting. It’s just...
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My first all-remote retrospective

I agreed to do something a little bit scary, a couple of weeks back. And then it got even more interesting as new information unfolded. My task was to facilitate a retrospective with 5-6 managers across our organization. That was a bit scary - but then I realized that they all were going to be remote. I had never done a remote retrospective before so that made it more interesting. I didn’t do anything particularly revolutionary, but I was happy with the outcome and the format. You might find this useful too - so I thought I’d share it here. Background The thing we were going to retrospect was a process of writing a vision document that spanned many departments and involved many people, during about 3-4 weeks. I was not at all involved in that process, and at first, I thought that it would be a bad thing, for...
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Don't skip hack days - that silly habit is what you are

I’ve worked in a few places that have had hack weeks or hack days; a simple little thing where the whole company stops for a while and get to spend some time making something that you’re really passionate about. This was first made famous by Google and their Google Time that have produced amazing products like Google Earth and Gmail. (That linked article, by the way, is showing my point of this post with painful clarity) At every place that has had this kind of opportunities and practices I’ve also seen people skipping those days, because: We are too busy Well, that’s cute - but this real work needs to happen now. Not this week, but next. That’s dangerous. Those silly habits are what is building your culture. Without that (where hack week is just an example) you are not you anymore. Aptitud We have these days in Aptitud, the...
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No - waterfall is not sometimes correct. It is always wrong

Every other day I meet people and organisation that says something along the line of We’re doing agile for some of our work, but other needs waterfall. I’m getting increasingly annoyed with that statement. Waterfall (phases with big batches of work) is always wrong. You should get out of that thinking as fast as possible. Any agile person reading this will not believe it. But believe it. Waterfall is very much alive and being hailed in most many organisations today, in my experience. Especially on the business side of things. And please don’t believe me about this. Take it from an authority. Let’s pick … Dr. Winston Royce. He’s a good pick because he is the guy that coined the term waterfall in the first place. In the seminal “MANAGING THE DEVELOPMENT OF LARGE SOFTWARE SYSTEMS”-paper. Here’s an extract of page 2 (!) This is a diagram that I’ve seen...
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