Communication debts and Brazilian office mornings

As a programmer I often end up trying to explain non-technical concepts for non-technical people using things that I’ve picked up as a programmer. Often it doesn’t pay off. “Don’t Repeat Yourself” or “Tell - don’t ask” is not always easy to explain or translate. Even if they hold truths and wisdom.

Today I tried to explain Technical Debt to a director of a hospital. That didn’t really work - my mistake. However the Technical Debt metaphor is in turn based on something that most grown-up people understands: financial debt.

In this instance we talked about that the communication could be improved (as it always could be I would think) in the hospital.  In order to explain this I drew this graph for...
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Its just an experiment - experiments in practice

At my current client we’re starting to work with improvements, as I wrote about before. The things I talk about in that post is small changes, but bigger things we handle on separate lines. For now. That might change.

Today I tried to introduce an idea of experimenting to the team. Let me walk you through it, because I found that by just changing the language a little bit, we got a much better understanding and reduced anxiety. Also I think they all like it.

We are trying to bring our profitability up and hence try to find new ways to serve more customers. In this case there was a suggestion to prolong the opening hours for one department to 1900 on weekdays and keep it open on Sundays too. It’s now closing at 1400 and is not open at all on Sundays.

(Ok, it’s a bit of...

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Gods care through the Band Tune Book

We break for something different. This is not my normal IT/agile/lean post. It’s about God and his care for me

Happy that you continued to read.

I’ve been having some hard days at work. I was very angry and it affected not only me but also those around me. Also I was being affected physically with dizziness and head ache. For the first time in my life I found it better to go home and cool off a couple of days.

I felt so tired and was beginning to doubt if I’m really doing the right thing. In the right place.

So I did things that pick me up. Playing hymns on my euphonium is one of those things. My playing is closely related to my faith, since I’ve made most religious experiences with my instrument in hand, playing in the most cases.

What happened this time was Gods way...

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The "Don''t fear audits and the news"-business methodology - with certification

If you lie you have to have great memory

Goldfish by josullivan.59
used under Creative Commons

That’s a saying I’ve heard in a number of place. I have a terrible memory. Ah, it’s great and everything, but it’s sadly short. So I don’t lie. I’m to stupid I have to short memory for that.

That’s such a relief! I know that going in. In everything I do. I don’t lie. I play it open. There - now you know too.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that it makes me better. Because since I’m playing it...

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The time I found myself wanting stuff waiting...

One of the best and shortest explanations to what Lean really is about, I’ve found in the “This is Lean”-book by Niclas Modig and Per Åhlström.

The thing that made it "click" for me was a diagram that contrasted Resource efficiency with Flow efficiency. I love it! Even though I might have talked about Efficiency versus Effectiveness... Well it's not my book - and that's why it's famous and I'm not, I suppose :). Basically; - scoring high on Resource efficiency, for example, is a melting plant for steel. You want that running all the time. You keep a lot of material ready to be processed, because the plant is so expensive to shut down - scoring high on Flow efficiency is...
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The humble blogger approach - some practical tips

I hate fights. And arguments. Hey, even discussions sometimes I find uncomfortable or at least boring.

Note that I try not to be a coward. I stand up for my beliefs and thoughts. But I don’t like to fight about them, that seems very common today. If you wanna pick a fight, just tweet any opinion under the #NoEstimates tag and you see what I don’t wanna.

|:————————————————————————————-:| | | | From XKCD |

From time to time I’ve withdrawn from blogging and social media. Just to get away. That might be cowardly, but I didn’t see the use continuing fighting about how to approach estimation, what JavaScript data access library is better etc. The world need you and me better elsewhere.

I’ve stopped being the guy at the computer...

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Embrace uncertainty - the family version

The one talk that made the most impact of me have to be “Embrace Uncertainty” by Dan North. If you haven’t seen it… You’re dead to me Please view it now!

Dan North - Embracing Uncertainty from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

The thing that stuck the most for me in there was the short, and depressing, sentence:

We are rather wrong than uncertain.

Meaning simply that we would rather run with something that we know for a fact to be wrong than to live with uncertainty. We are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. But for those that can embrace it there’s other type of control and “certainty” to be had.

Now… I’m beginning to think that this comes to us from an early age. I’ve done studies… the last one was this Saturday at the mall, with Albert (6).

Here’s the conversation we had at McDonalds:

Albert;...

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Effective revisited

I’m talking a lot about effectiveness and how it difference from efficiency. This probably have to do with two things; first - the difference between these two concepts is at the heart of the lean mindset. The second fact is that I’m Swedish.

Swedish is a very poor language compared to, for example English, that is much richer. If I was to translate the first sentence of this blog post in Swedish you’ll get what I mean:

Jag pratar ofta om effektivitet och hur det skiljer sig från effektivitet

Ah, the poverty! It’s the same word. There’s no difference… in Swedish. I’ve still to understand if that means that Swedes are focused on effectiveness of efficiency.

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Vision statements - why not say what you REALLY mean?

I’m working with vision statements and strategic planning right now. Man - this an area that is really misunderstood and misused I think. Also, and that’s what this post is about, I think it’s deliberately this way in order to get some wiggle room. I don’t understand that. We’ll get there.

Definitions

As always I’ve learned a great deal while diving into this area again and here are the definitions that we are using and that I think is clarifying:

  • Mission statement - Why are we here? What is our purpose? For example; Why do the Salvation Army exists in Indonesia?
  • Vision - when we are doing the mission perfectly - what would that look like? This is a dream, a target and something to aspire to.
  • Strategic plan - how will we get from where we are today to the vision?
  • Business plan - what kind of...
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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...

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