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Posted on September 09, 2012 by admin

A Taste of Lessons #11: Agile Practices

Today’s extract from Lessons in Agile Management republishes a classic from 2005. This post was inspired by the then emerging and now infamous XIT sustaining engineering implementation of a virtual kanban system at Microsoft. It’s at the root of the myth that you don’t estimate in Kanban. Such dogmatic, context free guidance has never been part of Kanban. The truth is that effective Kanban implementations will have people who make considered decisions about the economic and risk management value of estimating and decide whether or not it is appropriate for any given type of work or class of service.

Posted on September 09, 2012 by admin

Adaptability vs. Evolutionary Change

I found this recent Harvard Business Review blog, Agile Problem Solving at the London Olympics, by ROb Goffee and Gareth Jones thought provoking. It offers us a subtle understand of the difference between adaptability and evolutionary capability. Perhaps in turn offering us a way to understand Kanban in comparison to Agile methods…

Posted on August 29, 2012 by admin

A Taste of Lessons #10: Understanding Agile

Today’s taster from my new Lessons in Agile Management book comes from chapter 10 - Understanding Agile. The chapter threads together a series of articles from 2003 onwards that seek to put some underlying framework to Agile principles and values and to explain how Agile is differentiated from earlier 20th Century approaches to software development. As I explain in the chapter introduction, I’d argued at Agile 2008 that an underlying model for Agile was required - something more rigorous than the “Principles behind the Manifesto” - and that the Agile Alliance board had discussed it, decided it was important but no one was willing to commit to making it happen. As Dave Snowden has pointed out, an underlying model is required in order to scale concepts successfully. Chapter 10 brings together my own thoughts on an underlying model to help you understand Agile and hopefully from that understanding become more successful implementing it at scale. The extracted article is from February 2007 and includes from contemporary commentary…

Posted on August 28, 2012 by David Anderson

What Kanban Coaches Do, and Don't Do

I’m realizing that predominantly Agile coaches/consultants have a lot of misunderstanding about what it takes to be a Kanban coach. Consequently, they believe that Kanban is just another method they can deploy using the same coaching/consulting techniques they use for Agile methods. This assumption would be wrong. Not just a little wrong - completely wrong! As a result of this assumption some Agile coaches wishing to offer Kanban as part of their services and as a tool in their toolbox, may be undervaluing the utility of attending my 3-day Advanced Kanban Masterclass for coaches, consultants and managers.

Posted on August 27, 2012 by David Anderson

A Taste of Lessons #9: On Human Resources

Chapter 9 of Lessons in Agile Management collects a series of six longer articles I wrote expressing my managerial frustration with the policies imposed upon us managers by human resources departments, usually in the name of pay for performance. Some of the earlier ones reflect more of an “angry young man” stage in my career. Today, I’ve chosen to highlight the last of the articles, originally posted on March 14th, 2007. The contemporary commentary on this article had to be modified between printing the galley copies in May and final publication in August and I’ve added an additional post script exclusive to this blog…

Posted on August 26, 2012 by David Anderson

Develop Change Management Capability

This is the second post in my series related to change management and evolutionary capability, following Change Management vs Process Evolution on Friday.

Posted on August 25, 2012 by David Anderson

A Taste of Lessons #8: Managing Tribes

The second of the two chapters on tribes in Lessons in Agile Management focuses on how, as a manager, you might leverage the tribe you identified from the skills you learned in chapter 7. Chapter 8 is difficult to abridge to a single article because it builds on Ray Immelman’s model of tribal behavior. So I’ve chosen to publish the chapter introduction and an article on tribal communication describing my first meeting with my boss in Microsoft’s Patterns & Practices group, Rick Maguire, back in 2006.

Posted on August 24, 2012 by admin

Change Management vs. Process Evolution

Managed Change

Change management is the discipline of managing change in organizations. Changes to processes or changes in organizational structure the discipline used to bring some control and governance to these activities is called change management. There is a large body of literature on change management. I have a small stack of books lying in my office on the topic of change management within the software and IT industry.

Posted on August 23, 2012 by admin

A Taste of Lessons #7: Recognizing Tribal Behavior

Introduction to Chapter 7

The history of the Agile movement, and the entry of Lean and Kanban into the same workplaces, is a story of tribes. That’s not surprising, because tribalism is about people—about relationships, affiliation, motivation, loyalty, and leadership. Introducing a new methodology in the workplace inevitably leads to the challenge of managing tribes.

Posted on August 21, 2012 by admin

A Taste of Lessons #6: Goldratt & His Theory of Constraints

Lessons Learned from Eli #2: Resistance to Change