Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to pick a mentor

I would not be where I am today if it were not for a few key people who took time out of their busy schedules to help me in my career. Some of them helped me when I wasn’t even … Continue reading

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The 5 coaching kata questions to ask as a manager

To coach someone (or yourself) to learn the Toyota Kata, there are 5 simple questions. 1. What is the target condition? 2. What is the actual condition now?* 3. What obstacles do you think are preventing you from reaching the … Continue reading

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Your stance towards learning

In Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata, he describes the approach that managers and executives have towards PDCA as a management system. Quote: “If we assume that at any time anything we have planned may not work as intended, that is, that … Continue reading

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Your IT Project may be riskier than you think

Massive budget and schedule overruns continue to plague business and government projects alike. Flyvbjerg and Budzier’s recent research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that among the 1400 projects surveyed, on average they were 27% over budget. Even more … Continue reading

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12 Questions for Better Presentations

I recently had to put together a presentation. While I enjoy putting together presentations, sometimes I forget that I’m not the audience. ¬†While my technical knowledge of how to conduct a meeting, plan an iteration, or hatch an evil plot … Continue reading

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Leader Standard Work & The Team Kickoff Meeting

Leader standard work is a concept in Lean Management, popularized by David Mann in his book “Creating a Lean Culture”, that creates standard work for managers. For many in the Agile community, the notion of “standard work” brings a repellent … Continue reading

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Do unmade decisions cause you stress?

Decision Time, or is it? At the last Lean Software Meetup, Jeffrey Fredrick quoted a line in David Allen’s book Getting Things Done book that stuck in my mind: “Decisions not made cause stress.” As someone who has been on … Continue reading

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Good to Great now not so Great

Esther Derby tweeted a great question that stuck in my noodle the last week: estherderby: skimming Good to Great. some profiled companies ain’t so great anymore. Since Good to Great provided great inspiration for me, this caused me some consternation. … Continue reading

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Action your impediments daily for continual improvement

Here is a very clear blog article by Chris Sterling outlining the rationale behind capturing and assigning actions for impediments at the daily standup. He explains the connection to the continual improvement philosophy of Kaizen. Spot-on, Chris. We’ve used this … Continue reading

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Leading from the Middle

“The Key role of middle management is reinvention.” Tom DeMarco Often I hear of Agile Adoption best occurring top down. Salesforce.com did that, from zero to Agile overnight. Other times I hear about bottom up Agile , or Agile in … Continue reading

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