Things I say often: I don't care about efficiency
I’ve talked more about effectiveness vs efficiency than you all care about. The reason for this fascination might be that the word is mixed up in Swedish I guess; there’s only one word for these both concepts. Boooh… Swedish. Because the difference is paramount. In the excellent book the Goal Dr Goldratt puts it like this: Productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is This is the same thing. I hear many people talking about efficiency, or that we should become both effective and efficient and yes, but all means, become efficient. BUT don’t speak another word about that until we all have a shared view on what the goal is. Without a clear goal - there can be no effectiveness. And then efficiency is pointless, as Dr Goldratt said. My favorite explanation for the difference of effectiveness and efficiency makes this very clear; Usian Bolt take the...
Emergency lanes - some tips
One of the things that first made kanban known and loved was the introduction of emergency lanes. Or at least the lack of fixed scope for a sprint where sudden urgent work items was hard to handle in other methods. Many kanban boards have an emergency lane. However often I see it abused (or being feared to be abused) and hence it will not be as useful as it could be. It’s a really great tool, both for “product owners” and the team alike. In this post I wanted to share some policies that I’ve found useful to manage emergency-lanes (or equivalent). Emergency lanes The rationale behind having a emergency lane is that sometimes works comes in that is truly is an emergency and it then feels a bit strange to put it a Todo-column and wait until it’s time for it. Emergency is emergency. And since an emergency is...
Things I say often: I run on feedback
This thing I say often “thing” is quite new and a bit personal. It’s very important for me personally and I hope that you like it. I’ve had the great, but scary, opportunity to play a couple of times under the late James Watson. For any non-brass-players he’s one of the truly great trumpet players of the world, brought up as a wonder boy in the brass band movement. Later in his career he returned and made the world famous Black Dyke Band into a new being - possibly changing what people thought a brass band could be for ever. Also - he’s know for being very … direct … even mean sometimes during rehearsals. But I fondly remember a lot of things from the hours I got to spend under his direction. One of the stories he told was about when the Black Dyke Band did a recording. The...
Things I say often: I'm into leadership - not management
This is just a short one. I don’t know where I picked the thought up, probably from David Marquet or Simon Sinek.
But really I’m so tired about talking about management for organisation and teams. Manage. That’s what I do with computer resources, stuff and sheeps.
I have higher thoughts for just about every person I ever met. If something these people need a leader. Someone that points, with clarity, towards the better future we are trying to reach, creates an environment where I can feel safe and give room and be challenged to be the best I can be.
I much rather talk about leadership and leading than management and managing. Leadership is what you use on people, management is for your pens or harddisks.
Make it smaller - some practical experiences
One of the “clients” I work with right now is a hospital. We have tried to turn their performance around and they are improving immensely. In fact - I think they will be just fine. I did not think that just 4 months ago. One of the things that we have talked with the management team about is trying to do smaller things often and act on the feedback we get from that. Nothing new … in software development or other lean practicationers, but in this setting. I hear eyelids popping open everyday. How does that look? What have we done? Most of the work we have done has not directly with health care to do but rather change management and business in general. Very practical stuff mostly. In this post wanted to share two of our current projects (or Focus areas as we call them) where our approach made...
Things I say often: NO! This is how you tear off a post-it
I’ve said this so often that we even wrote about it in the Kanban In Action. It’s not a book about tearing off post-it’s but it’s the printed kanban literature most geeky sidebar. Post-it’s is such an integral part of agile that I’ve several times thought that the founding members probably own stocks in 3M. I know embarrassing amounts of information about post-its; how it, accidentally, was invented, why the color is the pale yellow, why the glue is where it is, how to open a pack with one hand, or a knee etc. But this simple little trick is something that most people I tell it to have not reflected about. Here’s the sidebar, used by permission of the author… Yes, this might be the geekiest sidebar in history. But it’s here to protect you from a plague that haunts a lot of teams using stickies as work-item trackers....
Things I say often: Improving means changing
I’ve already written about this before, but Hey - this was a series about things I said often. Basically, but please read the other post instead, many times I’ve been at companies that want to improve but don’t want to change. This is impossible. Improving means changing. Changing doesn’t necessary means improving though. To me this is one of the biggest misconceptions about agile; that it would be something that the IT-guys can start working with and we’ll all be better. It’s not. If you change something locally the impact will also just be local. In the great book This is Lean the authors defines Lean as a business strategy. I like that and the same goes for agile: it’s a strategy - there are many ways to reach your goal, this is just one it’s about business. It’s not about the robots in your factory, just the developer or...
Things I say often: Why?
Really … this is probably the word I use most often. And I’m proud of it! Why? It’s not only because I’m ignorant and forget things a lot, but to me this is where knowledge is started to be created. I’m guessing I could write an entire book on just this single word, so this post will just be a few thoughts of the top of my head. All changes starts with questioning the current status, or at least by longing to a better other context (“Why can’t we be like XXX?”). Once you think about it, Why might be the most powerful word there is. Every overthrown dictatorship in the world has started with someone asking: Why? “Why can he alone decide in this country?”, “Why should we pay taxes to Prince John?” or “Why should women have to wear clothes that cover them and not being treated like...
Things I say often: This is your board - change it
I have probably introduce around 80-100 teams to the use of some sort of board to visualize their work. One of the things that I often … ah, always say and also have to repeat is this: Nobody has told us to create a board. We do this for us. This is great because that it means that we can change it how WE see fit Many teams that I visit are worried about creating a “good” board or even the correct board. Many times the initial feeling is looking for help from a manager on how it should work and look. I have never been told to create a board for a team. I’ve many time suggested that teams should have a board to make their work visible, apparent and easy to act on. This means that we are creating this board for us. Not for anyone else. So...
New series: 'Things I say often'
New year - new blog series. I was thinking about writing down some of the things that I find myself repeating often.
These post will be short, and possible link to places where I’ve already said this already.
I will collect these post under the label Things I say often
I don’t have a list made up already, so I’ll write things when they pop into my head. Here’s first things I that sprung to mind.
This is your board - change it
Improving means changing
NO! This is how you tear off a post-it
I don’t care about efficiency until we know our goal
I run on feedback
Leadership - not management
I hope you will enjoy this series. I know I will benefit from writing some of these down.