The Atomic Rules of Kaizen

Neat little article: The Atomic Rules of Kaizen.  From the article:

Systems that are internally consistent and externally pragmatic stem from just a few rules.  Systems with exceedingly many rules typically fail or will not endure….

In Kaizen, it is important to have fidelity to just a few atomic rules, from which a range of behavior will originate.  Below are the rules that I subscribe to:

  1. Spend no Money
  2. Add no People
  3. Add no Space
  4. Add no Steps (Touches)

I like the idea of having simple rules like this.  The short list is memorable.

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Agile Successes and “Failures”

Here are the results from a bit of web research that I just did for a client:

Successes:

Capital One:

Agile 2007 Conference Presentation – “The Growth of an Agile Coach Community at a Fortune 200 Company”

*Mishkin Berteig (http://www.berteigconsulting.com/MishkinBerteig) worked with co-author Kara Silva on a large-scale Agile implementation

2005 Information Week article

Salesforce.com:

Agile 2007 Conference Presentation

“Failures“:

It’s generally really hard to get people to talk openly about failure.  I assert that Agile itself never fails, rather organizations fail to implement Agile.  But that’s for another article. Here are some anonymous stories:

http://www.agileadvice.com/2007/08/09/agile-case-studies/a-cautionary-tale-delaying-agile-adoption/

http://www.cio.com/article/442264/Cargo_Cult_Methodology_How_Agile_Can_Go_Terribly_Terribly_Wrong

This one includes successes and failures in China:

http://www.infoq.com/articles/Agile-adoption-study-china

Another interesting article about the concept of failure:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures/?p=494

So cheeky, so true:

“How to Fail with Agile” by Clinton Keith & Mike Cohn

Interviews on adopting Agile:

http://www.infoq.com/bycategory/contentbycategory.action?idx=2&ct=2&alias=adopting-agile

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Agile Group for Twitter

Gerry Kirk introduced me to an agile group for Twitter that he set up, and has a page on his site with instructions about how to use the group.

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Agile Guidance Engineering – Applying Agile to Writing Projects

Thanks to Christian Gruber of Geek in a Suite for pointing me to this fascinating use of agile on writing projects: Agile Guidance Engineering.

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Certified Scrum Product Owner training – New Seminar

We are pleased to announce a new seminar: CSPO – Certified Scrum Product Owner.  We have found in our coaching assignments with our various customers that they were struggling to find qualified and well trained Product Owners.  Therefore we are offering this new seminar.  During this seminar we will train the participant how to do the fundamental tasks of the Product Owner in the Scrum environment.  The attendees will learn how to develop a comprehensive Product Backlog, competently add value to the Scrum team during the Sprint, fully understand how Scrum works and their role within it.  With a maximum class size of five people, this seminar is designed to allow participants to dig deep into the role of the Product Owner.  The first day will be an introduction to Scrum slanted towards the role of the Product Owner.  The second day will be an in-depth look at this role.  Our first CSPO seminar will take place soon.  Please refer to our website http://www.berteigconsulting.com/CSPOCourseDescription to reserve space for yourself or others on your team.

We look forward to adding value to your team!

Upcoming Certified Scrum Product Owner training seminars:
April 23 – 24, 2009 in Newmarket (Berteig Consulting Office)
June 25 – 26, 2009 in Newmarket (Berteig Consulting Office)
July 23 – 24, 2009 in Newmarket (Berteig Consulting Office)
August 20 – 21, 2009 in Newmarket (Berteig Consulting Office)
September 17 – 18, 2009 in Newmarket (Berteig Consulting Office)

If you would like more information contact us at sales@berteigconsulting.com

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Agile Productivity Measures

Scott Ambler has written a couple good articles about measuring productivity with velocity.  Acceleration: An Agile Productivity Measure. and Examining Acceleration.

From what I understand, this is a measure of the effect of agile on the relative improvement over time of a team.  I would beg to differ that it is a measure of productivity.  Productivity is value delivered over time.  If team A is delivering $5/week and team B is delivering $5000/week, then knowing that team A is accelerating faster than team B isn’t terribly important, particularly if the market can’t bear to absorb $6/week of whatever team A is producing.

Measuring productivity is hard.  I would love to hear from people who have tried various means to measure productivity.  I measure productivity in our business, but I can do that because we are small and everything we do has a direct effect on the bottom line.  Does your business run with that transparency?  If not, why not?

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