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...

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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…

There's no urge to finish stuff now. With this frequent releases stuff will never get done

This puzzled me for awhile but then I realized that it was a worry about a reasoning like this: well... well... that feature...

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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.

Value streams

We talked a lot about flow and that often our current organizational setup makes flow harder, but the penny dropped around this problem statement when we came to speak about value streams.

I have to say that it’s...

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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...

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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...

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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

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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