Tag: Lean

Lean principles, practices and thoughts that help improve productivity & time to market in IT, software development, and service delivery


Transforming from waterfall to agile

Introducing agility into traditional systems development processes is never easy. Firstly, you have got to want to change. Secondly, you need to have a vision of what to change to. Finally, you need the tenacity to forge ahead in the face of stiff resistance. It is usually the third that is the most difficult journey to undertake. The hardest part of the journey is during the transition wherein you show how to bring agility into executing projects. You are walking the fine line between traditional methodology and incrementally introducing change.


The power of pull

Donald, the CEO, sat staring at the phone. He just got off the phone with one of the customers. The project team had missed the delivery for the third time. And this was not the only project that was in trouble. “This is crazy. What”, he thought, “were we doing wrong? Why can’t we seem to get our act together and deliver projects to the plan? We should plan better. I better find Smith and find out what’s going on.” This scenario plays out at countless organizations worldwide across a wide array of industries. Work either waits for people/resource or people/resource wait for work.


Scope creep? Bring it on

Ask any project manager the reasons why projects fail and one of the reasons cited will definitely be scope creep. But is scope creep really that bad? I don’t think so. Your view of the scope creep will depend on how you manage projects. You can manage projects as a contract or you can collaborate.

I think there will be a scope creep when there is a contract between the solution provider and the consumer. For example, it is notorious in the construction industry. In fact, some contractors want the consumer to change the scope in the middle of the project. That’s their way of making money; it is not like you are going to change contractors in the middle of the project. But if both parties collaborate, then scope creep as a reason for project failure just melts away.


You’ve got more capacity than you think

Managing a business today means leveraging your existing capability to maximize throughput. Why am I focusing on throughput? If you think about your organizational value stream, you only make money (or realize revenue) when you deliver a product or a service to your customer. Having a large volume of work within your organizational pipe while not delivering anything means your investments are tied up with work-in-progress inventory. The more work-in-progress inventory you have the more investments are needed. How are you going to fund this investment? The faster your deliver, the faster you realize revenue. Hence, the focus on throughput.

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