February 5, 2014
Robert Sutton is one of the business writers this blog discusses the most. A professor at Stanford Management School he made himself famous in the business literature with his best seller No Asshole Rule. Though an excellent book and provocative read, #Hypertextual still prefers The Knowing Doing Gap he wrote together with Jeffrey Pfeiffer which, in my view, really nails down what management success is all about.
Another key question for leaders is being dealt with in Scaling Up Excellence (“spreading constructive beliefs and behavior from the few to the many”) an essay he wrote with Huggy Rao. A very interesting read with a spectacular amount of examples from all different types of industries and professional activities (hospital, education) you may think of, and many inspirational thoughts from psychologist and behavior researchers … Read the rest of this entry »
I am fortunate enough to count Antoine Contal and Régis Médina as my colleagues. We have been discussing this extensively, especially following Régis breakthrough on the topic (check his enlightening interview on InfoQ) and the dedicated panel Antoine moderated during the last Lean IT Summit in Paris.
Interestingly enough, we have somehow followed a similar path, though they were ahead of me by a few years. We found with Agile Methodologies a way to solve the same vexing issues while managing software development projects. How to better align software development with business value, how to release on a regular basis, how to build-in quality, how to engage development teams, how to embrace change : agile has helped us a big deal in answering these questions.
But still, we all bumped into some roadblocks that Agile alone can not tackle. We needed to go beyond and extend the reach of our improvement to include management, leaders, operations, marketing, problem solving and make continuous improvement a daily issue. And this is how Lean extends Agile reach in the enterprise …
January 6, 2014
I’m an IT guy. I’ve been working for 25 years in this business doing just about any job you can think of. I’ve been working in different industries, different countries, using different types of technologies, from IBM Mainframe technology built in the 60s to 00′s avant-garde mobile start-ups.
My strategy to survive in this fast-pace changing business has been to think in patterns. This comes from IT industry standards called Design Patterns. The baseline is : for every problem that will slow you down you while designing a software solution, someone has already bumped into it and standardized a generic design solution.
This is both a bless and a curse and here’s why … Read the rest of this entry »
December 17, 2013
“The preponderance of what is written for managers about management is bad theory and should not be trusted (…) But this is probably the most insightful book about quality and process that has ever been written” (Clayton Christensen)
When professor Christensen states that a management book is insightful, it might be difficult to argue with him : it actually is a wonderful book, the first that abstracts Lean management out into 4 four core principles that can be found in other thriving companies, which are not actual Lean companies (Alcoa, Southwest Airlines …). However, rather than defining it as a book about quality and processes, I would rather position it at the intersection of processes and organizational learning.
Beyond the great academic work, what separates Chasing the Rabbit (How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch Up and Win) from the rest is that the author, Steven J. Spear, has been working on the shop floor in different companies during the preparation of this book. This in order to make to make sure he fully understands what he writes about and he asks himself the real questions : what is the job ? what is the product ? what is the process ? how does the company practically deal with problems ?
This approach protects his perspective from preconceptions and the Halo Effect : this is the whole point of going to see on the Gemba to make sure he writes about actual facts. (A virtuous approach Scott Berkun has also put in practice while preparing his latest best seller The Year Without Pants …)
An essay #hypertextual could not help but writing about …
November 18, 2013
Giuseppina Allegretti is head of risk group in IT Department at Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. During the 2013 edition of the European Lean IT Summit, she made a very inspiring talk about Lean leadership and gemba walks. What I really enjoyed in her talk was the quiet yet determine tone, completely in line with her relentlessness approach of digging for new continuous improvement opportunities.
She also presented one of the most appropriate slide I have seen related to leadership in general and lean leadership in particular with the following principles : How we manage little things is how we manage big things / Reality is not always what we imagine / A long way starts with a little step / Go and See = Coaching people / Attention is the best way to care about people.
She has been kind enough to discuss gemba walks, leadership, change management and more with us in this video interview. So thanks to her for the conversation, and as usual with this interview series, thanks to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project, and to Supernormal for the music.
November 16, 2013
Hakan Forss is Lean and Agile coach at Avega Group. Hakan is one of the many Agile coaches that, while digging deeper into agile practices, has reached the shores of Lean, what he calls the fountain of knowledge. In this short video interview he shares his insights on how lean can help improving agile teams.
His Lean IT Summit presentation this year on how to apply Toyota Kata principles to agile teams has been very inspiring as he offers a lean approach to agile continuous improvement. While doing so, he brings lean deep thinking to agile practitioners and he builds another bridge between the two approaches. (Refer to #hypertextual Toyota Kata book review for more information of what the principle is).
Hakan has been kind enough to allow us some time to discuss his journey, how to articulate agile and lean and how Legos can help in building great slidedecks. Many thanks to him for the conversation, to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project, and to Supernormal for the music.
November 15, 2013
Here is the second video interview of the European Lean IT Summit Interview Series. Daniel Breston defines himself as a IT Service & Operations Management Improvement Advisor & Coach. We’ve first met during the Lean Masterclass by Steve Bell in 2012 and we have kept in touch since.
Coming from an ITIL background, Daniel passion about the topic of Lean is quite contagious. His Lean IT Summit 2013 presentation has been extremely well received : his return of experience of implementing Obeya in a Lean IT project in a support team was quite telling.
In this exciting video interview, the Texan talks about his lean journey, ITIL and this project.
Many thanks to him for giving us some time for this conversation. And as usual for this series, thanks to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project in such an efficient way, and to Supernormal for the music.
As part of the European Lean IT Summit, Roberto Priolo (Managing Editor at the Lean Global Network) and myself did some video interviews of the speakers. It was a great opportunity to discuss lean concepts further with these practitioners and, incidentally, to try this new type of exercise, far more complicated than it seems to be.
First of this series is Michael B. Jones who presented at the conference how, as a Senior Manager Digital Content at eBay, he uses lean and agile to manage their digital content and to enable commerce by creating content customers love. An engaging interview with someone working in one of the major online company.
Many thanks to Michael for sharing his insights with such enthusiasm, to Camille Brunat for directing and editing the videos, to Florence Préault, for coordinating this interview series project in such an efficient way, and to Supernormal for the music.
October 16, 2013
As part of the European Lean IT Summit, Institut Lean France organized a couple of master classes. One topic was the Obeya (by Sandrine Olivencia, Pierre Jannez and Dominique de Premorel), the other was on the A3 by Catherine Chabiron.
I was fortunate enough to attend the latter. This blog post about what I have learned while studying the very core of Lean thinking, the tool that allow to develop people before developing product, the formalized support of the scientific method of problem solving : the A3.
Warning : this post is only about the theory content of the training : it misses half of it which is the class studying a real case and working its way on the A3. In other word, reading this post will not train you : you need to do A3 and do the training to make sure you avoid common pitfalls …