Q&A with Gene Kim

Q&A with Gene Kim

Recently, Gene Kim and I discussed my new book, Making Work Visible. GK: What is it about visual cues that make them so effective? DD: Images are easily received by the human eye, so the eye is naturally attracted to them. When used for visual cues, images, along with a few well-placed words, are quickly absorbed by the eye, making them easy to understand. We need little education to get the message. The combination of images and writing responds to our need for a nimble,…

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Trading Granite for Quiet

Trading Granite for Quiet

This year, we celebrated Christmas with an old family favorite – spaghetti with meatballs and spareribs – cooked in a large crock-pot that consumes 18 inches of countertop space. With 16 people for dinner, space is a premium. I covered the small second kitchen sink with a cutting board and placed the crock-pot on top of it. Counter space problem solved. We use the small second kitchen sink less and less these days. Installed during a kitchen remodel years ago, when…

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Lean Agile Scotland – where elegant insight meets raw beauty

Lean Agile Scotland – where elegant insight meets raw beauty

Lean Agile Scotland pulled it off again this year with an extraordinary utility-filled program. Exceptional keynotes, engaging workshops, and insightful presentations provided three days of mind-blowing learning at the University of Edinburgh’s, John McIntyre Conference Centre. Lean Agile Scotland is remarkable in many ways. The absent speaker lounge combined with an open area and collection of comfy chairs and couches provides an excellent hallway track for speakers and attendees to stretch their thinking and gain new insights. Reflecting on the conference…

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The Art of Lean Performance

The Art of Lean Performance

Starting a new Lean Kanban method is fairly simple. But once the basics are in play for a while, teams can hit a plateau. Taking Lean Kanban to a higher level is sometimes rocky. This presentation shows you how to level up your Lean Kanban implementation to a system focused on flow and continuous improvement. This was the topic of my talk for DevOpsDays Austin 2017 that I unfortunately didn’t make it to, due to a head cold and stuffy right ear….

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The Aging Report – A Harbinger of Late Work

The Aging Report – A Harbinger of Late Work

Do you get surprised by work completed late? If you want to see late work candidates, this post is for you. What might a harbinger for late work look like? One measure used to see tardy work upfront is an aging report. An aging report (sometimes referred to as a staleness report) provides a forewarning of late work. Work ages for the obvious reasons — special skills, holidays, the dentist. Work also ages from the approval of newer work and…

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Lean Agile Scotland: Getting Executive Buy-in for Architecture Changes

Lean Agile Scotland: Getting Executive Buy-in for Architecture Changes

If someone told me six months ago that my Lean Agile Scotland presentation would include Judy Hopps and Jack Fox stuffed animals, I would have fallen off my chair. Submitting talks to conferences six months in advance sometimes means the particulars of my presentation will deviate from the original abstract. My initial intent was to present LeanKit‘s journey to gain alignment across business and technology teams by looking at work prioritization, team metrics, and communication etiquette. But the talk evolved to how LeanKit’s…

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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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