Tag: Lean

Planning Defects into the system

Why on earth do we do that?

Team A, an Agile Release Train (ART), or the mythical Scrum team, has a lot of technical debt. In an effort to reduce the technical debt, management decides to create a bunch of new “container” “FEATURES” in the product backlog to address batches of defects. Because they want to understand the value of the (fixing) defects.

Except there is a problem. Defects are not new features. Well, in a sane software world we hope not? Defects are typically created while coding or configuring a new feature, right? Is it a defect yet? Not really. Fix it NOW, not later. If it makes it to production? What is the cause of defects making it to production? Poor coding, standards, quality and automation, et cetera? No DevOps? or do defects occur magically in existing features (real ones)? (not my code!!) We all know how computers have minds of their own…

I’ve seen that oddly familiar pattern of desire to package up defect fix/technical debt effort into a feature or story or a suite before. I call these “projects”, “probably to be implemented with waterfall.” That type needs project managers and factory workers, not Lean-Agile practitioners, creative knowledge workers driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Continue reading “Planning Defects into the system”
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A Phoenix Burns

Bill, Chris, John, Patty, and Wes walk into a bar to fret over the demise of their accomplishments…

If only they had conceived that constraints also exist outside of the IT manufacturing system.

All they accomplished was to build a faster, more reliable and better handling car for Steve to drive like he stole it. Steve’s behavior didn’t change, nor did the culture. The culture changed in the part but not the whole. Continue reading “A Phoenix Burns”

Retrospectives @Scale within SAFe® portfolio context

Did you know that the value of facilitating retrospectives is also valuable at scale? In other words, facilitating cross-organizational retrospectives. Improvement is necessary to create better business outcomes. Relentless improvement should be a prime directive in every Lean-Agile organization.

In particular, if you are working within a Lean-Agile SAFe® portfolio you may be familiar with some of the following retrospectives. Others may not be so obvious. The point of which is that we should retro our performance for significant activities/ceremonies. When there are obvious bottlenecks in the system, do a retro, and use wisdom when this is not the case. And remember the easiest way to fail at a retrospective is to neglect to create improvement stories that make their way into the backlog. Continue reading “Retrospectives @Scale within SAFe® portfolio context”

vlog #6 – A discussion on Lean Portfolio Management (LPfM) with Alex Yakyma

Big Lake Software sponsored a video log on the topic of Lean Portfolio Management with Alex Yakyma, Founder of Org Mindset, author of “The Rollout”, and Marshall Guillory, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Agility Coach and author at blogagility.com.

This vlog is longer than the normal 2-3 minutes for hard hitting, short timebox coaching videos. The discussion covers quite a bit of ground on five primary topics within LPfM at a fair depth for a little over 32 minutes.

Part 1 Topics:

  1. Define what LPfM is first, in the context of a Lean-Agile transformation or an org mostly demonstrating Lean behavior / Agile behavior 
    1. Is it necessary for every impl. / organization
    2. What size fits? Enterprise? Startups?
  2. Understanding a business’s portfolio(s) relationship between strategy and value streams / mapping
  3. Impediments to implementing LPfM”? 
  4. How to get in front of forecasting with the portfolio coupled with the idea of exploration and validated learning at the highest level in the org.
  5. Options thinking and embracing variability and uncertainty at the portfolio level; exploiting economic opportunities.