A growing company usually means adding more people to the team to handle the additional workload. But adding personnel also adds costs: recruiting, onboarding, training, extra workspace & equipment, never mind salary and benefits. Hiring the wrong people escalates the costs and slashes ROI – think dismissal, turnover, and going through the whole recruitment, onboarding, and training process again. While hiring new people is sometimes inevitable to keep pace with… Read More »Creating Capacity with Kanban
Nearly all leaders have a hard time learning when to say no. With so many people in an organization making demands for their projects to take priority, it’s easy to be pressured into saying “yes” prematurely – or worse, hedging and saying “maybe” to avoid conflict. But learning that it’s ok to objectively prioritize can prevent unnecessary interdepartmental conflict. Saying no when it’s necessary is akin to being honest. It… Read More »Learning to Say Yes to Saying No
Are you mature enough for your customers? You may find the question to be absurd. Of course, professionals in software and FinTech companies are almost certainly fully functioning adults. Nonetheless, the businesses they work for and run are often woefully immature. It’s a challenge faced by a surprising number of companies. Allow me to explain what I mean by levels of maturity in business, as described by David Anderson in… Read More »Are You Mature Enough for Your Customers?
The name Blizzard is an internationally recognized name in the world of skiing. They have also been recognized for their rapid improvements in the IT department after implementing Kanban. At the sixth annual CIO & IT Manager Summit in Vienna, Blizzard’s CIO, Eric-Jan, received the “CIO of the Year” award. Anyone who is struggling with customer complaints can learn from Blizzard’s IT Department’s dramatic improvement. Their IT department was a… Read More »How Blizzard’s IT Department Eliminated Multitasking and Customer Complaints Using Kanban
I spend a lot of time explaining the Kanban system and how it works to people who have never heard of it. However, I also encounter a lot of misperceptions among people who think they understand Kanban, but really don’t. These misperceptions hold people back from really embracing the Kanban Method and achieving optimal results. The first misperception is that Kanban is just a board that hangs on a wall,… Read More »Kanban Is More than Just a Board
Your customers love what you do, you’re doing pretty well, you’re delivering effectively and reliably, but you know you could be delivering better. You want to do better for your customers. You want to see if you can cut your delivery time even though you don’t necessarily need to because you want to double the value for your customers. This is certainly the ideal situation, and if it describes you,… Read More »For Leaders Who Just Want to Do Better
Your organization may be treading water or even floundering. You may be losing customers due to being unable to deliver work on time, or customer acquisition and satisfaction are dropping. Whatever the case may be, you recognize that changes must be made. In my recent blog post, “Revolutionary Change: What is it? Why is it Risky?” I explain that there are two opposite approaches to bringing about change in a… Read More »You’re All Fired! (Just Kidding)
Zipper merges drive me insane. The highway has a sudden bottleneck – one minute you’re driving with several lanes open, and suddenly six lanes collapse into four or two. And while some people politely wait their turn to merge, aggressive drivers pass everyone up and zip into the merge lane at the last minute. (It’s infuriating, but actually, that’s also totally correct.) The result is often road rage, loud horns,… Read More »I Hate Zipper Merges!
Most of the advice out there I read on the Kanban method tells you to limit work-in-progress. It seems simple, but in practice, it can be hard to achieve. In this article, I’m going to help you understand how to succeed with limiting work-in-progress and answer the critical question, “How do I determine what WIP limit to use”? What Are Work-In-Progress Limits Stop Starting, Start Finishing Limiting work-in-progress is about starting… Read More »5 Easy Steps to Limit Work In Progress and Accelerate Delivery
Does Your Team Look Like This? They identify as a team, yet team members tend to work separately. If asked, they say they value collaboration but don’t appear to be behaving that way in practice. They focus on getting things done and are quick to blame each other when a team member’s work is running behind. Leaders manage individuals. They depend on and need heroes to take on certain types… Read More »8 Steps to Increase Productivity and Reduce Overburdening of Your Team