Queues understanding to improve productivity

I work with Agile cross-functional team who don’t meet Scrum prerequisites but still want to move toward Agile. I don’t have the authority or can sell the tenet to management to change their team set-up.

People in the team came from different departments and there is lack of understanding of queues and hand-offs. We are not waterfall, rather we are Lean concurrent parallel work in analysis, design, coding, testing and system test.

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Lean for Knowledge Work

Agile methods promote experimentation to discover the unknown and desired product. Please see my post here.  Not all software or IT projects require experimentation as noted in the post. Harvard Business Review article here suggested that Lean philosophies are well applied to non experimental IT/Software  projects. Such projects will benefit from Lean approach in a way that can not be obtained from applying Agile methods. Continue reading

Managing Large Lean Software Projects

This post based on my reading of Henrik Kniberg’s book Lean from the Trenches. I am not going to write a detailed review on the book but rather I provide my own interpretations.

Maturity in using the tool

Either Scrum, Kanban or XP we should avoid getting obsessed by any one. Instead use them according to the situation. They can be helpful in providing guidelines but they can be tweaked wisely to the environment. Our approach for managing development or project should be composite rather biased to specific method or technique. Continue reading

Resisting Visualization

Once you visualize the work, you can improve it! I have heard this in many occasions and from prominent experts. When you visualize the work,  you actually arrive at shared visible understanding which allow actions to be logical consequence. Actions are stemmed from understanding the principles of flow, bottlenecks and the five focusing principles.

Resistance means the effect of change has started. It resembles our body resistance to the medicines which indicates our bodies are actual responding. Continue reading

Addressing the needs of people and business

Process improvement has been doomed to be a waste function by many organizations. From my background, many who work in process improvement are treated as compliance workers instead of being contributors to the bottom-line. For me process improvement is the business. Every day we take decisions to get certain benefits. Continue reading

Set-up which Kanban serves us more

The setup is a project involving sub-contractors from different vendors working in highly regulated industry.

The objective is how to make these diverse skills work as self-organized team?

The challenges are:

– Strong command and control culture.

– Non streamlined views on how work needs to be done.

– People work independently with fear to become inter-dependent.

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Daily backlog prioritization

Currently I work with a team which its product is time sensitive for revenue generation. The requirements arrive in sporadic pattern and changes are the norm. Without going into the details of how effective product management is, we are required to deal with situation for increasing revenue.

Apparently we used Kanban for managing the product development of this team. We included 3 minutes for backlog prioritization as part of the daily stand-up, which served to:
– Address the volatility of cards prioritization, specifically mitigated the development of unnecessary cards.
– Product owner was able to have cards just-in-time when developers are about to have available capacity.
– Product owner managed to lower the speed of creating cards if development team is full so that she got chance to enhance requirements. This improved the quality of requirement to the development team.
– Reiterated that the team works on the highest priority cards.

A key policy is to provide the product owner feedback within a day from adding a new card. This has implemented technical risk assessment and meaningful collaboration between the team and product owner.