The Spotify Methods & Culture Recap

The Spotify Methods & Culture Recap

Spotify hosted an amazing conference in New York, where 60 invitees from around the globe came together to discuss cools things their company is doing around Culture and Methods. Comprised of lightening talks, workshops and open-spaces, the Sept 23 conference exceeded all my expectations. Here’s how. Spotify is comfortable with vulnerability. It’s okay to elevate problems — evident by Jason Yip’s opening talk, “How things Don’t Quite Work at Spotify…and How We’re Trying to Solve It.” Jason tackles the issue of…

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Mapping for a Marketing Team Triple Win

Mapping for a Marketing Team Triple Win

I worked with the Marketing team this week. They were struggling with how to publish content faster and more frequently. Everyone on the team acknowledged cycle time was too long and that downstream customers were unhappy about it. So – I helped the team map out their content publishing process to see where the problems lay. Everyone involved with content wrote specific activities they did (one per post-it note) and brought it up to the whiteboard. We watched as eight…

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One Page Please

One Page Please

Ever find yourself in a situation where the why behind architectural design decisions are forgotten? “This was dumb – why did we do this?” And then the search begins – where, when, why, who contributed? If you are lucky, it’s easy to find and read meeting outcomes — tl;dr begone. Imagine the ability to find decisions made – along with why/when/who, from six months ago. Bliss! A concise one page meeting recap with essential nuggets at the top helps. Here’s the…

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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 A3 The context, goals, analysis and proposed countermeasures of a problem made visible on a single sheet of A3 sized paper (11 x 17in. 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…

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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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