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Category: Kanban

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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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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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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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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Grawlixes, Slurm and the Dead Zone

Grawlixes, Slurm and the Dead Zone

Last week’s Kanban for Devops training class in Portland produced some notably creative ideas towards visualization. Grawlixes, Slurm and the Dead Zone are three ideas worth spreading. Capturing interrupts using grawlixes (series of typographical symbols representing profanity in comic strips) shows work impacts in an amusing manner. Here’s how it works. Each time work is interrupted, add one grawlix to the ticket on the board. The longer the grawlix series on the ticket, the longer the lead time and (presumably)…

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How do Teams Continue to Win during Turmoil?

How do Teams Continue to Win during Turmoil?

We had a big snow this week.  Twelve inches total, a forty-three year record in our part of Puget Sound country.  We lost power for ten hours – no furnace, no computer, no lights. No problem – I cozied up to an emergency kerosene stove and opened Jim Collins’ new book, Great by Choice, a study of winning behavior when confronted by uncertainty – with comparisons between companies that win and companies that languish. I was especially fascinated by the parallels…

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