Before we dive in – let’s begin a new poll for the next book in our Re-read Saturday.  I have had a number of suggestions:

Pick two and we will start on the top choice!  Note: There are two books on the list that will be first reads for me (I will let you guess).  All of these books are very relevant to agile, lean and process improvement.


Whether you like the word transformation or not, many in the process improvement and agile communities help to facilitate change. Involvement in any non-trivial change effort requires resources, people, support and the expenditure of political capital. If change uses an organization’s people and assets someone will ask what the return on those assets are and whether those assets could return more if used elsewhere. I can tell (and often have told) a great story about the impact of a good working environment, doing the right work, and good processes. The response I get to my rationale on the value of being agile is ‘can you prove it.’ Can you prove it’ translates directly into ‘can you measure it’, and ‘are those measures meaningful?’ A model for answering that question that I am sketching out at a program or organization level has to answer the following questions:

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Progress is easy to visualize when we use the yardstick of calendar time. My wife and I spent 17 days in Europe. There are 197 shopping days until Christmas (as of June 12, 2018) — I expect presents this year. How long it takes to deliver a piece of work, in days, is something nearly every human can understand. Over the past few months, I have been cataloging questions I have heard. Well over 70% of work-related questions center on how long a piece of work will take and whether the answer to that question has value. Cycle time metrics are ways to generate answers to ‘how long’ questions in a manner that is valuable and predictable. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 486 features our interview with Daniel S. Vacanti.  Mr. Vacanti is the author of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction.  We discussed the concepts in the book, answered a question from Steven Adams, and talked about his new book.  It was great to talk about a book with the author after the re-read.

Daniel Vacanti’s Bio:

Daniel Vacanti is a 20-plus year software industry veteran who has spent most of his career focusing on Lean and Agile practices.  In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work and managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year.  He has been conducting Lean-Agile training, coaching, and consulting ever since. In 2011 he founded ActionableAgileTM (previously Corporate Kanban) which provides industry-leading predictive analytics tools and services organizations that utilize Lean-Agile practices.  In 2015 he published his book, “Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability”, which is the definitive guide to flow-based metrics and analytics. Daniel holds an M.B.A. and regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.

Contact Information:

Twitter:  @danvacanti

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielvacanti/

Mail: daniel@actionableagile.com

Web: https://www.actionableagile.com/

 

Re-Read Saturday News
We will begin the full-scale re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! next week and I am stoked. Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202) to get involved in the re-read.  I am going to lead the re-read from my 2012 (7th printing) copy.  The book has 29 chapters, not including the forward, a cast of characters, index, afterword, and a glossary. The book is an easy read because Marquet is such an excellent communicator.  My intent is to knock out the preface material next week and then begin delivering 2 chapters per week. If my estimating ability holds true, we will complete our re-read in 18 weeks. I expect to miss two weeks due to travel. (more…)

Cover of Actionable Agile Metircs

A New Copy!

Before we wrap up our re-read of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) remember that we will begin our re-read of Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet next week and I am stoked Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202). If you want to get ahead, the book after that will be The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (I recently bought a copy and want to share what I have gotten out of it). Now on to the main attraction!

This week we conclude our re-read of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today). Over the past 18 weeks, we have explored the power of a few metrics to help teams deliver value.  None of the books we have explored in the re-read series are simple, one-idea books. The complexity of these books are the reason they are important, but it makes it difficult to boil them down into a few words. If pressed for a one-line summary, I would say that it is that every team or organization should use data to pursue continuous improvement.There are four concepts that I would like to revisit as we conclude. They are:  (more…)

We continue to transverse the Agile “matrix.”  While the next five indicators that you are living a virtual version of Agile there is always hope that we can see through the mirage.  Quoting the Morpheus in the Matrix,

Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

The next five indications that you are living in the virtual Agile world are: (more…)

A New Copy!

Today we tackle Chapter 7 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today).  The chapter is titled, Conservation of Flow Part I.  The flow of work into and out of a process is incredibly important for establishing predictability.  Chapter 7 explains the concept of conservation of flow mentioned (almost in passing) in Chapter 6. (more…)

Getting the most value out of a process is important to any leader.  Balancing getting the most value with getting value sooner complicates the discussion.  In some cases, getting some value sooner is worth more than the same value delivered later.  Guiding the delivery of value is more complicated than a rank ordering a list of user stories and then magically hoping that everything will happen in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Measurement is an important tool to help team and organizations ask the right questions.  To borrow an idea from Daniel Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability, measurement helps people ask the right questions sooner.  The following 6 flow metrics provide process transparency into organizations that leverage continuous flow, scrumban, and/or Scrum as the basis for their Agile implementations.  (more…)