A Very Agile Thanksgiving – Using Personal Kanban

A Very Agile Thanksgiving Using Personal Kanban To Plan Your Holiday Dinner Thanksgiving is almost upon us. For many, this is a joyous time of celebrating family and friends and giving thanks. For others (like those preparing for the actual celebration) the long list of To-Dos can seem a bit overwhelming. One of the easiest

Practical Systems Thinking: Don’t Let Inertia Become the Constraint

Congratulations! You’ve gotten to the fifth step in the Five Focusing Steps of the “Theory of Constraints”. That means you’ve broken the constraint in your system! But, your work is not done. As a matter of fact, it’s just starting. You see, once you break a constraint in your system, a new constraint will always

Practical Systems Thinking: Subordinate to the Constraint

Subordinate to the constraint?? That doesn’t sound right! But that’s the third step in the “Five Focusing Steps” of the Theory of Constraints. It’s possibly the most challenging part of the process because it seems counter-intuitive and requires tremendous discipline when implementing it. Does that mean we’re “hitting the breaks” in this process? After all,

Practical Systems Thinking: Identify the Constraint

Do you know where the constraint is within your system? Are you aware that you have one? Our first video in Practical Systems Thinking talked about having an appreciation of your system. All systems have constraints – including software development systems. Whether you are doing Scrum, Kanban or waterfall, there will always be a constraint.

Practical Systems Thinking: An Appreciation of the System

When you hear the term “systems thinking”, do you roll your eyes? Does it seem irrelevant to what we are doing in software development? I used to think that way, that Systems Thinking was just an academic exercise and all theory, not practical to what we do on a daily basis. The concepts seemed unrelated

Generation Agile

When I posted to my twitter account earlier this week about the presentation my wife and I gave at the Global Scrum Gathering, Paris 2013, on The Agile Girl Scouts , a friend of mine asked me to put some context around it. He was able to understand that the Kanban and Scrum Training for

Extending Cross-Functionality to Programs

There is an excellent rationale for cross-functional teams.  For large programs, that rationale can be easily scaled to the program-level.  But, for some reason, this isn’t always recognized.   TEAM CROSS-FUNCTIONALITY Let’s say you have a team with the following profile of highly siloed individuals:  This is great if you have a profile of stories

“Concept-to-Cash”: A 7 Minute Agile Case Study

Got seven minutes to spare? Click on the link below to view this intriguing segment on a client’s agile case study about how an organization increased its efforts to make better business decisions and execute faster to get their product from “concept-to-cash”. They began with cycle times that took months but refined their delivery to

Seeking Consensus, Not Perfection

When I first started my career as a software developer, I always thought that the truly tough problems were the technical issues. I assumed my job would entail creating complex formulas, walking through long chains of logic, and learning new technologies that stretched my understanding. I don’t mean to say that I didn’t do all