Once upon a time, there were some metrics…

Lets estimate!

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I did have a chance to work in a team once where estimation was very popular. So was the delay in many projects. I think some of them are still not finished because people are still estimating… Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are some small amount of really good teams which can give you an estimate, and its almost all the time right. But 5 points from my perspective can become 20 points from yours. What is the worst that can happen? …

How easy is it to participate in change?

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Such an incredibly easy read it was and yet drew an everyday live picture of how things work around us. Change happens everywhere. You had your haircut done, moved house, your project got changed right in the middle of it — at least once in your life, you experienced change. And you know that it is not easy. Some people don’t mind it, but some will not take it very well at all.

Reading this story I was thinking of all the places that I worked and I found the characters from the book all around myself. Can’t decide yet who am I. Thinking about it I would like to be a little bit of each of them, that would make a perfect mix, but in reality, we are all different and we take things differently too. …

In order to achieve something, you need to make yourself accountable, establish focus, keep the score, and work on those lead measures!

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Just finished this amazing book ‘4 disciplines for execution’. I thought it will be a lot of theory and dryness in the book, but I finished it in no time and it was one of those light bulb books that you wished the whole world had read it.

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you think 24 hours a day is not enough? Did you ever think about what You could do to improve it? Once again I bumped into ‘too much’ wagon and ‘establish focus’ importance. In Kanban first thing what we usually do is to lower WIP limits in order to achieve a better, faster flow. Making sure the team stays focused and understands what are we working on next. If you balancing your work items why not balance your strategy items too? The secret in achieving your goals either it's at work or in your personal life you need to establish clear focus. I can not imagine focusing on many items at the same time. Usually, that is why ‘24 hours a day is not enough’ pops into my head straight away. We need to make sure that we have only very few ideas that we are trying to make a reality at once. There is no way even the biggest organizations in the world can work on 10 things at the same time. In order to follow strategic plans, you need to set a few goals that are absolutely necessary to get where you want to be. These need to be public to all teams within your organization and then different teams can align themselves with the main goals. One thing at the time! …

‘Feminist- a man or woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better’.’

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Came across this book recently. Actually it was a suggestion from my husband that I should read it. I was intrigued! Wanted to ask am I not enough feminist yet? Actually I wasn’t as much as I thought I was.

It looks like I accepted more than I maybe should have in the past. It's very short, but a very eye-opener book about today’s society, old fashion thinking I would say and some damage that is still seen from the past and even into the future. There is a lot more we all need to do to make sure that the world is a fairer place to live for all of us. …

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Probably many of you heard about slang in Kanban community such as ‘less is more’, ‘slow is smooth — smooth is fast’ and similar? At first when I’ve got to work with Kanban and I heard ‘less is more’ phrase I blamed my English. I thought I didn’t understand well so it must be me a problem here. But then when I’ve got to work with WIP limits soon I understood the power in these simple words that changed quite a bit of how I was approaching my day to day tasks.

I always follow 6 Kanban principles: Visualise, Balance your work in progress, Manage flow, Make your policies explicit, Introduce feedback loops, and experiment and collaborate on everything you do. It's a shame that most of the time teams starting Kanban think-well, we got everything on the board now, everything is visual so the job is done! Not quite yet. There are many reasons why there is more than one principle that should be applied if you really want to succeed in running Kanban in your organization. And there is one principle that everything fits around it — balance your work in progress. There is nothing more frustrating than taking up more and more work on and deliver — 0. Let's agree none of the stakeholders will be happy to see no results in the end, right? …

Call it as you wish, it is what it is

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It is a bit sickening by now to hear how this all situation is our new “normal”. Let’s all agree that it is far from normal, but we all been woken up one morning and told that this is it now, so how about call it “the best we can do right now” situation.

It’s far from normal to be locked down at home between 4 walls. It’s one thing when you choose to stay at home, work from home, go to shop, for a walk, visit your grandma, stop at the cinema in the evening and have your favourite meal in Turkish restaurant. But when you wake up one morning and you are told that this is over now, and if you want to get food you have to hunt for it, this is not ok. It’s not ok when you go to shop and some person shouts at you that you don’t stand far enough from them. It’s not ok when people are mean to each other, cough on each other?! And have no respect for others. …

A question that I received a few times already and struggled to answer.

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Once someone asked me so what is the delivery manager's job then? What do you do all day? And all I remember is mumbling something up about tickets and coordinating tasks and all that crap. Seems like ages ago when my manager told me that he is leaving I need to say I was in shock for quite a while. That was highly unexpected and I thought that that is it, end of the world and era basically. It was spinning all sorts of thoughts in my head and all I wanted to figure out is how do I get all his knowledge now in my head so when he leaves things can stay as it is. You know what? …

Forecasts.Estimates.Deadlines.Sadlines.

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I do believe you received this question many many times, more than you would like if you are project/product/delivery manager and to no surprise these days — it doesn’t matter what is written down under your name right next to the job title bit — people just decided that this is the only question they need to ask. At some extent, you are lucky if people still do ask. …

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It was absolutely the best training that I ever had. I didn’t have many, but usually, it would last months and you finish and you feel like wow, ok, so what did I learn again? This was DIFFERENT. It was Kanban training #KMP1 and #KMP2. When I saw the venue and I was walking through the building I was already feeling — wow! Are they expecting queen?! I entered the room and it was usual set up — monitor, some boards to draw on, but the table was covered in sharpies and sticky notes and extra papers where you can capture the information you need. Everything was provided what possibly you could imagine when you go for a course. …

Retros, books, changes and more.

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Its been weeks I know! I thought I shouldn’t call these weekly notes anymore as its far from it now. It's been busy, interesting, uneven few weeks. Finished couple of books which I think I mentioned last time one of them being Lean Startup which I have to say was probably one of the most complicated books to read as it was jumping a lot from story to story without making a point and point making was left at some point later and I was questioning why was this approach chosen. But it was definitely useful to understand the concept of measuring success before basically going crazy. MVP is something that was probably mentioned quite a few times. The other that I finished before that was Accelerate — building and scaling high-performance technology organizations. Reading that made me compare what we do here and I thought how come we still struggle sometimes to really go forward at sustainable speed, but I guess it comes back to very tightly coupled architecture a lot of dependencies and time. Time time time. If someone could give a few extra hours every single day! …

About

Rita Goodbody

Agile Delivery Manager, Certified Kanban professional. Passionate about people and ways to improve system.

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