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. The course Your first time learning something has much to do with the teacher. I was in the expert hands of Carl Vikman that both were very knowledgeable, had a pleasant way and most importantly understood the main reason for us being there - gain a...
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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. The award Who is Brickell, and where is her keys? Brickell Key is in fact an funky looking island, located outside Miami. It was the location for the first Lean Kanban Conference in 2009. What is the Brickell Key Award? The Brickell Key Award is an award for extraordinary efforts and achievements within the international kanban community. From the web page on...
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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 Our example… again I’m going to use something very similar to the last post for our example. Here’s the short version: mkdir hellotesting && cd hellotesting npm init and then some enter-strokes npm install claudia --save-dev Add a node for files in package.json like this files : ["*.js"] Add the following two scripts-nodes: "create": "claudia create --name hello-world-demo --region us-west-1 --handler main.handler" "deploy": "claudia update" Finally touch main.js and enter the code below /*global exports, console*/ exports.handler = function (event, context) { 'use strict'; console.log(event); context.succeed(event); }; This will quite simply just log the event you sent to your function (see the last post on...
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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. A simple example As our example let’s use one of the example projects that Claudia has provided for us to learn from. In fact - let’s use the simplest possible: Hello-World. Create a new directory (called hello-world for example) and in it do a npm init and click through the wizard. There’s only one development dependency for this simple application, Claudia itself. Install it with npm install claudia --save-dev. Now create a main.js with the following...
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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… We are chasing a performance problem on our site, specifically on one of our more frequently used pages. Needless to say this have had high priority for quite sometime. A team was formed, a plan was created and a backlog of items that we thought would solve the problem was initiated. The first feature, our best bet, was further analyzed, setup and development initiated. The whole journey took about 1,5 months to get ready and another 2-3 weeks to develop. Finally, last Monday, we could do the first proper tests where we could measure against the current solution. Our efforts so...
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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. Glimpses of misuse As I have done for a few posts; let me give a few glimpses of situations...
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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 You might want to read up on the basics (creating accounts, what is Claudia etc) in my earlier post. I’ll write every step down here but I will not explain it as thorough as last post. Dynamo Db? Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed non-relational database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. Ok - it’s a document store just like many others, the only difference is that it’s in AWS which means that it plays nicely with other AWS features,...
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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. Why attaching day-span to the estimate is bad Well, it’s quite obvious isn’t it; doing that (S = 1-2 days) is just giving “1-2” days another name. From that follows “resource-days”, then Gantt Schemes and the suffering that we all...
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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. Background I will give you some flashbacks first and then try to tie them together. In the beginning there was Scrum I remember when I took the Scrum Master certification way back in...
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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! Getting off the ground with Claudia Js Claudia helps you deploy Node.js micro services to Amazon Web Services easily. It automates and simplifies deployment workflows and error prone tasks, so you can focus on important problems and not...
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