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Happy New Year!  

SPaMCAST 425 features our annual tune-up ideas. We need to strive to be more effective and efficient every day or the world will pass us by!  These are suggestions that have worked for me and might be useful for you.

We will also have columns from Steve Tendon with another chapter in his Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published by J Ross (buy a copy here).  Steve and I talked about Chapter 14 which covers kanban, flow, and throughput.  

Anchoring the cast is Gene Hughson’s Form Follows Function Blog with an entry in his theme of leadership patterns and anti-patterns.  This week we talk about The Great Pretender.

Remember that Penny Pullan in SPaMCAST 424 offered listeners a great offer!  Penny provided a coupon for her new book  Virtual Leadership for 20% off.  Use the code  VLF20 at www.koganpage.com, which includes post and packing in the UK and the USA. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 417 discusses the six elements of business stories.  These six elements are required for effective business stories.  We also tackle whether each of those elements are equally important in telling the different types of stories spun in a business environment.

Steve Tendon joins the SPaMCAST this week to discuss Chapter 12 in Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published by J Ross (buy a copy here).   We discussed the Herbie and Kanban. The story of Herbie provides a great metaphor for the flow of work through an organization and how it can be improved. Visit Steve at www.tendon.net.

We cap this edition of the Software Process and Measurement Cast with a visit to the QA Corner with Jeremy Berriault. Jeremy and I discussed the Samsung Note 7 and testing. While we may not have to test lithium ion batteries professionally, we can extract lessons from this scenario on risk and testing! Connect with Jeremy on Linkedin.

Re-Read Saturday News

We continue the read/re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (published by Jossey-Bass).   As we move through the first part of the book we are being exposed to Lencioni’s model of team dysfunctions (we get through most of it this week) and a set of crises to illustrate the common problems that make teams into dysfunctional collections of individuals. Today we re-read the three sections titled Deep Tissue, Attack and Exhibition.  

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast features our interview with Marcus Hammarberg. We often think of Agile as a tool to build or maintain software. In some cases, people have recognized the applicability of Agile and lean techniques in other parts of the business.  In even rarer circumstances, people like Marcus have found a way to use Agile techniques to have a huge impact in the real world. Marcus tells use how he was able to use Agile and lean techniques and philosophy to save a clinic and more importantly to change lives of real people.  It is an amazing and uplifting story. (more…)

A pile of empty pizza boxes!

WIP limits are needed to stop waiting in queues.

Recently a long-time reader and listener came to me with a question about a team with two sub-teams that were not participating well together. In a previous entry we began describing how kanban or Scrumban could be leveraged to help teams identify issues with how they work and then to fix them.  We conclude with the last two steps in a simple approach to leveraging kanban or Scrumban: (more…)

 

Restroom Closed Sign

Sometimes a process change is required!

Coaching is a function of listening, asking questions and then listening some more.  All of this listening and talking has a goal: to help those being coached down a path of self-discovery and to help them to recognize the right choice for action or inaction.  Sometimes the right question is not a question at all, but rather an exercise of visualization.

Recently when a long-time reader and listener came to me with a question about a team with two sub-teams that were not participating well together, I saw several paths to suggest.  The first set of paths focused on how people behave during classic Scrum meetings and how the team could structure stories.  However, another path presented itself as I continued to consider options based on the question.   (more…)

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Software Process and Measurement Cast 400 features our interview with Jim Benson. Jim and I talked about personal Kanban, micromanagement, work-in-process limits, pattern matching, pomodoro and more. A great interview to cap our first 400 episodes!

Jim’s career path has taken him through government agencies, Fortune 10 corporations, and start-ups. Through them all his passion has remained consistent – applying new technologies to work groups. In each case asking how they can be leveraged to collaborate and cooperate more effectively. Jim loves ideas, creation, and building opportunities. He loves working with teams who are passionate about the future, pushing boundaries, and inclusion. His goal with all technologies is to increase beneficial contact between people and reduce the bureaucratic noise which so often tends to increase costs and destroy creativity.

Jim is the author of the Shingo Research Award winning book Personal Kanban (use the link to support the podcast) . He is a noted expert in business process, personal work management, and the application of Lean to personal work and life. Jim believes that the best process is the least process necessary to achieve goals. He has zero tolerance for process waste.

All said, Jim enjoys helping people and teams work out sticky problems, an advocate of people actually seeing their work, and inventing new ways to work at the intersection of Lean thinking, brain science, and leadership. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 397 features our essay on cumulative flow diagrams.  A CFD can help everyone from team members to program managers to gain insight into issues, cycle time and likely completion dates. Cumulative flow diagrams are extremely versatile tools for managing work.

Download the figures that support this essay.

Our second column is a visit to the QA Corner. Jeremy Berriault weighs in on the thorny question of who signs off or approves the results of testing for projects. We discuss some strange behaviors that occur when responsibility and authority for the results of testing are ambiguous.

We also have the debut column from Jon M. Quigley. Jon inaugurates his column with a discussion of whether project risk, scope, and strategy are related.  The short answer is yes, and the longer answer suggests what happens when all of the options are not considered.  Jon is a principle at Value Transformation, LLC (www.valuetransform.com) along with being a teacher, coach, serial author and past guest on SPaMCAST 346. (more…)