cc all the things

We are working a lot with trust and transparency in my current team. Specifically on the transparency item one “trick” we have been using is to cc the entire team in as many conversations as possible. I picked this practice up from the Stripe company and specifically this article, which is a great read if you haven’t seen it before. Yes, they cc the whole company on everything. And I’ve seen this practice in action at Spotify to certain extent as well. By now some of you need oxygen; MY GOD! My inbox will be flooded. And how could anyone be expected to read all of that?! Do these people do any real work? There’s three comments that needs to be made here, that I have repeated a lot when trying to implement this in all kinds of teams; First; you are not expected to read or act on this. CC...
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Some thoughts about waste and waste reduction

Every Lean practitioner goes through a phase of “waste elimination frenzy”. At least the ones I’ve met. Ah, well…. I did at least. This usually happen in the beginning of your Lean journey when you realise that if you can remove waste the flow would be improved and value will be created faster and more effective. Now we go out on a hunt to find that pesky waste. Kill it! Off with it head! We search for it high and low. “This is wasteful - let’s stop it!”, “This report is that really adding value… I think it’s waste”, “Why should have this meeting/function/role/process? WASTE!” I think this is where many Lean initiatives goes wrong. We’re so focused on removing things instead of adding value. It’s savings, reduction and removals where it should be improvements, values and focus on people. From time to time I see people myself try to define waste. So...
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Todo Add tests ...

I added this line in a README file for one application I’m writing now. Like I have done before many times. However, for the longest time I have written my tests first, maybe not TDD or even unit tests, but I write the test first. Most of the times. But not this time. Because I was in a hurry and I didn’t think that this application would be something we’d use. And of course we ended up using it. And creates a financial record and prints a receipt. It’s kinda of important that it’s correct. It just struck me: how much harder it is to write the tests afterwards how much I change in my production code, that wasn’t in place, when I go through it and test it how much more boring it is to write the tests afterward how easy and tempting it is to “cheat” and not...
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The only easy day was yesterday - this is a message of hope

At my current “client” we have been employing a lot of activities to increase the number of customer we serve per day. I’ve blogged about this before. Now it turns out that we have succeeded. The customers are pouring in. And the staff finds themselves with much more work than they have experienced in about 5 years. Yesterday was our best day so far and it was amazing to see the difference from a normal day; Everyone was moving fast - compared to sitting around waiting Everyone was focused - compared to not really knowing what to do Everyone was excited - compared to disillusioned and bored Everyone was tired after the day - compared to feeling tired of boredom | | |:———————————————————————————————————————–:| | | | From Wikipedia | In the daily morning meeting the day after (today) we saw that people was tired and thought it was very stressful...
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My second book is out ... kinda

To many of my colleagues and friends writing a book is at the top of the dream list or life goals. I have been very fortunate to have done that, but quite honestly I never even dreamt that I would do it. Or that someone thought that what I had to say was interesting enough to read it. Maybe should have realised that after 500.000 views on this blog but still... Ok, something really strange have now happened. I have been published again. The book is called Architect book which is even more strange, since I don't consider myself an architect. At least not on the levels that this book is about. I was invited to write a chapter about Specification By Example about a years ago. That was very busy time of my life since I was finishing up Kanban In Action, or at least going through the gruesome and long review-process....
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Ugly clothing, symbols and values

Here in Indonesia most companies and organizations have some kind of uniform or at least very strict dress code. For example where I work, the Salvation Army, we have Salvation Army uniform on Mondays and Tuesdays, a set batik shirt on Wednesdays, “pick your own batik” on Thursdays and training clothes on Fridays. Here’s a collage for you to feast your eyes on be scared by; showing some of those shirts: I must say… most of these shirts I’ve found really silly and ugly. The don’t sit right on me. I feel awkward. Let me show you another uniform: What kind of circus-uniforms am I looking at?! I would never put that on. I'd feel like a magician from the 60-ies. Finally let show you a picture: Eeeh, crappy written ... arabic? Well first I haven't got a clue what it says. Or means. Secondly... please can we color within...
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How to make a empty diagram in Excel

If I don’t write this down I will forget it before the end of the day. That right there was the reason I started my blog, ca 900 posts ago. A couple of days ago I was, again, creating a big diagram on a whiteboard. This particular one was pretty high and a lot of data points had to go into it. It turned out to be hard and messy to both update and read. I have done this so many times that I've lost count. I never found a great solution. I don't want to use a small A3 report because I want everyone to see it. And I don't want to print a big A1 sheet every day, because it's to expensive. And I don't want to use a projector because this needs to be physical and tangible. And in front of everyone everyday. Someone suggested to print...
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...and then it moved - the greatest feeling in the world!

By Ben Currington used under Creative Commons Have you ever try to lift a piano? If you have I bet you have the same experience as me; you go up to the piano and take a good hold and … nothing. It’s like it’s bolted to the floor, or something (oddly enough my exact words the first time I tried to lift a piano). This is impossible. We will never make it. But you get one more guy and then you make another try. Maybe if someone could just slid a mat underneath … And you try again. 1…2…3… and … IT MOVED! Right there! That split second is my favorite feeling in the whole world. Trying really hard, and get the first little sign of that your efforts are in the right direction. When IT MOVED! It of course doesn’t only applies to pianos or not even physical effort but...
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Why so sad? Can we point to improvements without making people feel bad?

"Fry complaining" by Umberto Salvagnin, under Creatives Common - As agile and lean practitioners, why do we always focus on the negative? “It’s managements fault”, “This needs to go faster”, “The quality is substandard”, “You don’t use TDD” … tell me when to stop… Because that where we have “unrealised improvement opportunities”, dummy! But it’s not very attractive and makes our “sell” much harder. Yeah, but it sucks! So it needs to be improved Is there maybe another way to say that so that the receivers doesn’t feel that they suck? Maybe… but it’s very much up to them. They still suck, are they ready to hear it or not? Also, I’m not actually telling them that they suck, of course. I just tell them that “we’re looking for better”. But that means that we’re never satisfied. No exactly! I’m never satisfied. Sucks to be there… No highs… never content with where you...
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If you build it - things will improve; turning visualizations to knowledge

My good friend and cowrite Joakim Sundén has taught a great deal about agile and lean… and a whole bunch of other things too. One thing that he said, early in my journey, that I didn’t fully believe was: It’s always interesting to see the spontaneous discussions that appear around a kanban board (or other visualisation)… after the meeting (Not the exact quote, because that would be much more well put and eloquent but still…). So Joakim says that just by having a visualisation in place discussions arises. For example, after the daily standup around the board, people linger and discuss about the state of the board, about improvements or other work related things. Have you experienced that? I have. Often. Very often in fact. But not always. In this post I’ll outline a few things that in my experience makes these conversations happen more frequently and some words on how...
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