Direct Playback
Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music
Listen on Spotify!

In SPaMCAST 541 we discuss using guardrails in decision making. Guardrails are a tool to ensure alignment with the organization’s goals and objectives and to keep people on the right path. Well-formed guardrails conform to five attributes that help teams and individuals make decisions.

Our second segment features Jon M Quigley and his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column. Jon discusses reciprocal agreements and their impact of on teams and products. (more…)

The term guardrails is a polarizing term in some camps.  When I pinged Vasco Durarte on LinkedIn he said “I prefer the term “heuristics”: guides for action that are actionable, instead of abstract principles that need to be translated to action by everybody.” Rather than debating the nuances of implementation, we can all agree that in many cases having some form of guidance allows smart people to make decisions faster and with less risk. Less risk accrues to both to the person making the decision and to the organization. I will freely admit that I don’t like to be told what to do in many circumstances however I am not above being guided in others.  To test how many guardrails or decision heuristics I leverage in a typical day, I wrote down the guardrails that I encountered on Wednesday, March 20th (a fairly typical day). I categorized the guardrails into three categories. (more…)

 

No Guardrails Needed

Guardrails are a tool to ensure alignment with the organization’s goals and objectives and to keep people on the right path, but they are not effective in all circumstances. Three circumstances that lead guardrails to be less useful include: (more…)

Sometimes you might need a guardrail to make the right decision!

Guardrails are a tool to ensure alignment with the organization’s goals and objectives and to keep people on the right path.  Well-formed guardrails conform to five attributes that help teams and individuals make decisions. The power of guardrails lays in the fact that they shape decisions by defining boundaries. As a consultant, the first time a client asks a question, the answer almost always needs to be “it depends”. No boundaries or guardrails for the decision have been established. The four values stated in the Agile Manifesto establish a set of guardrails to guide decisions.  For example, the Manifesto states that “we have come to value working software over comprehensive documentation”. That value does not state that documentation is never a good idea but rather establishes a bias when deciding how much documentation the work requires. The value as stated in the manifesto provides a starting point for guiding behavior. Four common ways guardrails impact decision making include: (more…)

Direct Playback

Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

Listen on Spotify!

SPaMCAST features our interview with Julia Wester.  Julia returns to the cast to discuss spectrum thinking.  Specturn thinking is an important tool in system thinking and required to address complexity.  Even though using binary thinking is rarely the most effective path, it is rare to use spectrum thinking to address problems. Julia provides a path to more effective decision making.

Julia’s Bio

Julia is a Co-Founder of Lagom Solutions and its Principal Consultant. Lagom Solutions is an outcome-focused consulting and product company. Julia leads the consulting side of Lagom Solutions. When working with customers, she leverages her 18 years of experience working in and managing high-performing teams at companies such as Turner Broadcasting, F5 Networks, and LeanKit. Julia is passionate about teaching others how to tame the chaos of everyday work by embracing transparency, continuous improvement, and a lagom mindset. She also loves talking about how management doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Julia blogs at everydaykanban.com and tweets at @everydaykanban.

Re-Read Saturday News
This week we continue our re-read of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In Chapter one, Gladwell suggests that there are three factors that impact whether an idea or product crosses a tipping point; they are the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context. Chapter one introduces these concepts and presents real-life examples to illustrate the factors. Dust off your copy or buy a new copy.

Current entry:

Week 2 – The Three Rules of Epidemicshttps://bit.ly/2DQnRNV (more…)

Pareto chart of Pokemon

Got to catch them all!

A Pareto analysis is based on the principle suggested by Joseph Juran (and named after Vilfredo Pareto) that 80% of the problems/issues are produced by 20% of the issues. This is the famous 80/20 rule, and this principle is sometimes summarized as the vital few versus the trivial many. Process improvement professionals use the Pareto principle to focus limited resources (time and money) on a limited number of items that produce the biggest benefit. (more…)

checklist-manifesto Book

In week 5 of re-read of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (use the link and buy a copy so you can read along) we tackle Chapter 4, The Idea. In Chapter 4 Gawande shows us how checklists can help push decision-making outward, which empowers teams and makes them more responsive.

For simple routine problems, forcing functions have great appeal.  I put my company badge and car keys in the same place, everyday – check. I put my lunch box in the freezer — check. I am home — check. A simple routine checklist that makes going to work in the morning less complicated. The checklist for routine problems can be spelled out in great detail to precipitate behaviors. That said, not everything we face in day-to-day or business environments is routine. (more…)