As part of starting up a new product team we thought that it could be a good idea to start off by running a Pre-Mortem on the first day. I picked up the exercise from Dave Gray’s Gamestorming book. According to the description, running a Pre-Mortem is deceptively simple. That turned out to be true.
Two weeks ago we started an experiment to test out how we can improve lead times of new features for one of our customer facing teams.
The team is responsible for three customer facing channels and publish new content on a regular basis to the different channels. There are no developers on the team, so for more complex changes they are dependant on developers working off-site. The process for developing new features have many hand-overs. As a consequence, the following problems occur:
- Long lead times
- Poor quality
In 2015 this represents a problem when you need to react to changing customer needs. Currently, there is a thick wall between the business side and the IT-department, which I believe is the root cause of the many handovers.
It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. 2014 was a busy year, with both ups and downs, with a lot of learning atteched to it. Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned, that was certainly the case for a few things last year. Well, it’s a new year with lots of new possibilites. One of the things I will like to improve in my work is to become better at saying no. Being an optimistic guy, I realize that this can be hard.
We are happy to announce that Joakim Sundén, agile coach at Spotify, will speak at Dare Oslo 2014. If you are interested in learning more about how Spotify manages to stay lean while having rapid growth in a n extremely tough and competitive market, then you should come listen to Joakims story from Spotify.
Joakim is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and an important contributor to the community. In 2013 he spoke at several big conferences like Agile 2013 and Lean Kanban North America, sharing the story of how Spotify manages to stay lean through rapid growth
This February will also see the release of Joakim’s book, Kanban in Action, which he has written together with Marcus Hammarberg. It’s based on the real-world experience and observations from two kanban coaches who have introduced this process to dozens of teams.
Since I started my own business almost 2 years ago I have been way outside my own comfort on numerous occasions. Being your own boss gives you a lot of freedom. Freedom to do things you like. Freedom to try new things. When you try new things there is a good chance that you are stepping out of your own comfort zone.
“Before every breakthrough there is a moment of uncomfortableness” – Christopher Avery.
Sometimes that moment is short, sometimes it’s longer. I will probably never stop feeling uncomfortable when moving down an unclear foggy road. I have come to the realization that this is something I have to live with, that feeling uncomfortable in situations where you let go of control, is in fact quite normal. So over the last couple of year I’ve become better at recognizing this feeling, which makes it easier to deal with.
From time to time I’ve asked myself why I get into these uncomfortable situations. After all, feeling comfortable, cruising on what you already know and already know how to do, is convenient and easy. When this gets too tempting I try to return to my “why”, to remind myself of why I’m doing this: Helping myself and other people/organizations improve. To improve you need to change. To change you need to do something new.
So I’ve done it again. Something I believe in and think will be very cool, will be announced this coming week. Over the next 7 or 8 months I’m sure I will find myself way out of my comfort zone on many occasions. Our mission? To help other people step out of their comfort zones, dare to try new things and by that; help both themselves and their organizations change into something better.
Today Dare Festival
was launched. It gives a nice short overview of what to expect. There is more to come. Watch out for some announcements the next couple of weeks :)
The amount of software in the world increases in a rapid pace, so does the amount of legacy systems. If you are a developer with some years experience I’m sure that you at some point have had the pleasure of having to do a change, like fix a defect or add some functionality, in an old, messy codebase. Sometimes, the bug fix or adding of the new feature goes well, and you move happily on to a new task or a new project. Sometimes though, the pain of working with the system might just get unbearable. Each change takes forever and you are constantly afraid of breaking some important functionality (true legacy systems have no tests). You may have experienced this too. A little over 1 year ago, in May 2011, I found myself in such a situation.
This year’s Kanban Leadership Retreat, #klrat, was an inspiring event with lots of great food and drinks in warm and beautiful Mayrhofen, Austria. Long breaks, fantastic people, great conversations and an exciting un-conference program created a perfect arena for learning. As last year, it was arranged and organized by David J. Anderson & Associates. Thanks for putting this excellent event together!
Amongst the many interesting topics were:
Kanban Katas, Visualization, Systemic Flow, Lean Startup, Portfolio Kanban, Change and Crossing the Chasm.
I will elaborate on some of these in what follows….