Retros, books, changes and more.
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! That would still not be enough.
The latest and greatest book is Practical Kanban. I must say I love it. And to answer the question from the title — I wouldn’t mind living in that book where everything makes sense, where the process is clear and followed, where things make sense and improve as continues improvement is in place. I read and I hope we would be somewhere near that. Sometimes I think that all problems would go away if we would just have a simple process in place and follow it… I hope one day we will actually run Kanban as it meant to be run!
The most exciting thing recently at work was finishing Specification by Example book in book club and doing a presentation for all team and getting people involved in starting to drive development by first writing tests and obviously using BDD for it. It was such a useful book which I would recommend to any company that thinks about adopting this approach. It was brilliant examples and ideas explained and even though some of the parts of the book were really technical, Josip helped us understand those better. I really like to see this growing into only way of working and moving forward. It takes a very long time to implement, but I see a lot of benefits from it. I still don’t know every single bit of a platform and how it works, but going through one source of truth helps to keep things consistent, and understand what they mean, all business can be aligned and understand what are the requirements and all that. Speaking one language — that is the biggest achievement that hopefully, we can be proud of at some point in the future.
Touching on retro’s thats exactly what came out of the last one — that our documentation basically sucks. So looking forward see people stepping forward and making this happen. It was the hardest one to run this time and felt a bit like — why am I even doing this. But. Not all retros are easy, right? I read all book about it, and actually few of those as you can find a lot of suggestions in loads of books, and it felt that it was absolutely everything against the retro that you would like to imagine running. Anyway at least the previous one was really cool as all teams were working on kind of the same project and been involved very closely I came up with this idea of BBC news at 4 and it was nice to tell story of previous month with a little sarcasm and a laugh and set the mood as like not everything is as bad as it looks like. It is very demotivating when you spend an hour in the room and you don’t get anywhere because it turns into blame and shame game. But — a room to improve as a facilitator for the future retros.
Other than that it's really good to see a team getting bigger. Loads of new starters and it's exciting to see where are we gonna be in next 6 months. Even though we are introducing a lot of changes in a very short period of time, and I am afraid sometimes how we can measure success — people do support each other and that is the most important.
Would love to see us starting to respect agreements, put a process in place within all business, start to measure and use metrics as not just for a chat or for defense, but actually look into data and use that data to drive our improvements in the future. There is lots of work to be done, but hopefully, it will become an everyday task that it will be as natural as to make a cup of coffee in the morning. 5 whys is a technique I want to look into next as it was mentioned in few books so far. That should help to get to the bottom of the problems.
Sometimes I think that maybe I read a bit too much?.. life would be perfect if everything would work like from book. Looking at my challenge I am still on track to finish 25 books this year so hopefully there will be enough ideas till the end of the year.
Talking about reading we use more and more postman at work and I need to really get my head around it, so if anyone knows a useful article or whatever to read let me know! Exciting times!