Why Invisible Decisions Destroy Organizations

Why Invisible Decisions Destroy Organizations

I helped a good friend move furniture last weekend  — a common request when you own a truck. She told me about a project at her new job (Marketing Data Analyst at a 23-billion dollar company). In April 2016, in an attempt to prevent a PR disaster, the executive team mandated a project (my friends project) to identify customer accounts still using an old version of a product. No longer supported, the product is still used by 50% of the customer base. Yikes! If…

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Devopsdays Silicon Valley: From Divided to United – Aligning Technology & Business Teams

Devopsdays Silicon Valley: From Divided to United – Aligning Technology & Business Teams

Devopsdays Silicon Valley was a blast! No surprise – can’t go wrong with an event hosted at the Computer History Museum. Surprised and honored by how many people showed up so early Saturday morning to watch this keynote, especially after a whole week of tech conferencing with Velocity + Devopsdays. Devops diehards prevail. In this video, I share LeanKit’s 12 month journey to improve alignment between business and technology teams. Check out the video and let me know what you think.   For…

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Kanban Speak – A glossary of Lean and Kanban Terms

Kanban Speak – A glossary of Lean and Kanban Terms

While working on a paper for an audience new to lean, kanban and flow, I created a glossary of terms (listed alphabetically) for people to reference.    Term Definition Constraint A bottleneck in the system. Something preventing forward movement. Cycle Time The elapsed time it takes to complete a request from the time the work began to the time the work completed. Kanban Japanese word for visual signal. Used here to refer to a visual management pull system for knowledge…

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Why Weekends Matter

Why Weekends Matter

At a conference not long ago, I overheard an attendee at a vendor booth ask if there was a way to exclude weekends from Lead Time reports. I politely asked them, “Why do you want to exclude weekends?” He said, “My team doesn’t work over the weekend, I don’t want that time counted against us.” I asked, “How is it that Lead Time metrics count against you?” He said, “It’s in my goals – it impacts my performance review.” This…

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Top 10 highlights from DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015

Top 10 highlights from DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015

The DevOps Enterprise Summit once again exceeded my expectations. Swarming with witty smart people (who were also fun to hang with), an impressive hallway track emerged.  Much learning transpired – below are my highlights in the order they occurred. A dedicated Dojo space for Learning Heather Mickman and Ross Clanton’s talk described Target’s large dedicated physical space for learning.  Three kinds of learning opportunities occur in Target’s Dojo: Challenges: 30 day experiences to introduce and level up expertise on DevOps,…

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Surprise! Prioritizing Options Results in Discovering Slack Time

Surprise! Prioritizing Options Results in Discovering Slack Time

We just hired a new person onto our Learning & Development team. The shift from three to four people caused me to have a serious think about improving our methods for prioritization. The expectation of increased workload may have prompted new thoughts. Maybe it was the beginning of a new year with new goals. Other factors may also have entered in—for instance, the broader subject matter requests our team received. And as additional requests flooded in, I realized that we…

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Kill the Zombies

Kill the Zombies

It’s October.  Monsters are appearing. Living dead zombies are lurking around looking for handouts. Similar to some projects at work, zombie projects are like the living dead. These are the low-value projects that are barely alive. They are starving for money, for resources and for people. They get no love. Projects starving for attention subtly schlep people’s time and energy away from higher value projects. If this is the case, kill them. Kill them so the more important work will be delivered…

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Devopsdays Silicon Valley: Why don’t we just say no?

Devopsdays Silicon Valley: Why don’t we just say no?

The problem for a spouse who can build or fix just about anything is that the other spouse provides them with a long list of things to do. And for a number of reasons, it’s hard for them to say no. Reason #1 is that they like the person who asked. We do things for people we like. The same is true at the office. But getting things done doesn’t always start with yes. In this talk, I describe four…

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Physical Boards Preferred

Physical Boards Preferred

I have facilitated a lean coffee http://leancoffee.org/ during day two of my Kanban for Ops workshops for over a year now.  It’s been interesting to hear common themes surface across multiple countries from various industries.  Typical topics include:  How to deal with frequent organizational changes, kanban vs. scrumban vs. scrum, every team uses a different tool, distributed teams. At last weeks Atlanta workshop, we had the following: “Why bother at all with an electronic kanban board?” The consensus amongst many…

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