Lead like you lead volunteers

Have you ever said something profound and deep? No - me neither… or rather not on purpose. Sometimes though, when I look back I both realise that some things I said was actually pretty good - and also that I didn’t really understand it when I said it. I wanted to share such a moment with you and then explain why I think it was actually pretty good. In this post I suggest that you should: Lead like all the people in your team/org/companies are volunteers The one time… A few months back the Salvation Army in Sweden changed the territorial leader - in Salvation Army speak the Commissioner of Sweden. I happen to know both the going and coming (a couple) commissioners pretty well and really appreciate them as leaders. However the going commissioner, Marie Willermark, was of particular help to me and my family when we lived in...
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Thank you Rob

I’ve just downloaded and started to read the Imposters Handbook., by Rob Conery. It’s a book about all those things that you don’t want to reveal that you don’t know. I most of them I should know since I have read Computer Science. But I don’t. It’s a great (in all senses of the word ≈500 pages!) read and promise to deliver even better things ahead. Go get yours now! As I started to read it I heard a familiar voice in my head. Rob Conerys. And I just realised how much I’ve learned from him. Dear Rob, I first heard your name when you created a course on ASP.NET MVC for the ASP.NET-site. That technology was brand new back then. I then followed you as TekPub was started and I have seen just about everything you ever produced. I’ve also enjoyed some of the courses produced for PluralSight once...
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Delayed responses with AWS Lambda and Claudia (Pingu part II)

Before the summer I showed you how to build a Slack bot using Claudia - it’s a very simple ping command that you could run from a Slack-client. However that implementation had a flaw; if the command takes more than 3 seconds to complete it fails. This has to do with a restriction in Slack that doesn’t allow requests to take more than 3 seconds. In my mind created a super complex and beautiful solution including me handing a message of to a queue and that I then polled and called back to… I ran out of time figuring out. Which turned out to be a great thing, since the Claudia team not only created a new beautiful site https://claudiajs.com/ but also wrote a tutorial on this exact topic In this post I will re-implement pingu using a delayed response as in that tutorial. Getting started The easiest way to...
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Some reflections after seeing mob programming in action

Since the first time I heard the term mob programming it has intrigued me. I love things that challenges me and me perceptions. The idea behind mob programming is deceptively simple and yet powerful: have all the team member (3-5 seems most common) working together on one keyboard, one computer and one feature at the time. Or as Woody more eloquently puts it: All the brilliant people in the same room working at the same problem at the same time What struck me is that this simple idea solves many problems that I often see teams struggle with. I’ve written before but never been full time member in a mob. However just before the summer I saw two excellent examples in action, and I have number of friends that have been full time members of a mob for more than a year. My interest with this has led me to...
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The Bungsu Story - some progress

About six months ago I got home from the adventure of our life time in Indonesia. At the time I was actually feeling very underwhelmed and that we’ve failed in our work there. But the more I think about it and the more I speak and write about our experiences there, and especially the mind blowing transformation we led in Rumah Sakit Bungsu - the more I realize that this is an once in a life time thing that have happened. I’m writing a book about that journey. with my good friends at Oikosofy. But I have also given a few presentations on the topic. This post is just an update about the progress of the work around the “Salvation Army hospital that rose again” that I’m calling it. Presenting I was fortunate enough to be able to present at Lean Kanban North America 2016. To my great joy they...
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Backlog and features

A couple of weeks ago I tweeted: I'm not far from saying; if your #backlog contains features you've already failed. #impactmapping #userstorymapping #agile #lean— Marcus Hammarberg (@marcusoftnet) June 2, 2016 In this post I will explain what I meant. And also give a suggestion on how to do something better. I know it’s better - I’ve tested it many times. Just this last hour to be exact :) I’ve seen problems with backlogs that contains a (long) list of features. It often manifests itself as priorities being changed, team being precieved as non-transparent and sometimes the team feel like they are not included in what is being built. There’s no use checking what will come next - tomorrow that’s changed anyway is one thing I’ve heard my team member say. And Why did you build that now? is a question that ends up being very hard to answer. What to...
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Building a Slack command with Claudia bot builder

I’ve written a few posts on Claudia now and as often I jumped almost too early on the boat - it turns out that there’s significant improvements to both Claudia herself and the entire ecosystem around the main tool. The main tool Claudia: automates and simplifies deployment workflows and error prone tasks, so you can focus on important problems and not have to worry about AWS service workflows In this post I wanted to check out a new tool around Claudia that helps you to build bots for use in chats - specifically for this post in Slack. AWS Lambda is really cool but it leaves one of those: Oh wow… now what am I going to use this for? feeling. It’s just code that scale infinity without you having to worry about it. It’s a very open playing field. What we’re going to build To build something a little...
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Jidoka - an old Toyota practice makes an guest appearance

When I started to learn about lean I naturally heard a lot of Toyota stories - it’s pretty inevitable since the whole thinking comes from there. One thing that I learned about was translated as autonomation. I was pretty sure it was a mistranslation. But the other week when one of my team members said: What’s the big deal of many things going on? If I’m blocked on a few items I can equally well just start a few more. (Not his exact words but still those lines of reasoning) At that point I saw the time to implement some jidoka (as automation is called in Japanese) in our project What is this “jidoka”-thing really? Ok, there’s an excellent article about autonomation on Wikipedia so I’ll just summaries it here. The jidoka concept is at the heart of continuous improvements at the Toyota. When a machine detects a problem the...
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A scary thought experiment

Just a short post on a little thought experiment I’ve been testing out. I am right now in a big company trying to apply agile and lean practices for software development. We struggle because we meet the current organization that is not built to move in the way we want it to. [Please fill out the rest of the story from your own experience while I yaaawn] […] […] … and now everyone wonders why things take so long and we are not getting more through the system. [I’ve been through this many times] I started to ask a question to people I discussed this with: Imagine if the company, instead of creating a project in the organisation, would have create a new company to solve this problem. First and only employee the current project manager. One goal build the best product you can! Here’s your budget for a year....
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Solving the underpants gnomes pitfall

I have a problem; I often have a hard time connecting our vision and overarching goals to the items that we are actually working on. I want to be able to pick up anything we do and understand why we are doing this now and how it will take us closer to our goal. I’ve blogged about this before and in my time in Indonesia I even thought I had a great way of uncovering what those high-flying goals really means, by simply asking this question: What can we measure to see progress to that goal? But it turns out, understandably once I think about it, that question is too hard. The gap between the vision and the work is quite simply too big. To me often the connection between vision and our work reminds me a lot of the business of the underpants gnomes in South Park: It’s like...
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