I had a second article published today on InfoQ : Seven changes to remove waste from your software process.The first one being quite popular (a few weeks in the site top articles) Ben asked me to write another one, which I gratefully did.

It can be seen as another technical (and, I hope, actionable) article on my journey towards Lean while scaling agility to a full organization.

Thanks to Ben Linders for editing and Ana Maria Ciobatoru for her work in making it look great.

I have been in charge of implementing Lean Software Development in a software vendor house for about 2 years. During this time I have been coaching a large team throughout the development of two successive versions (let’s call them V2 and V3) of our enterprise solution.

We have gradually implemented seven major changes in our organization that have helped our R&D department to remove waste from our software development process with encouraging results. This essay is about implementing these seven changes, the results we obtained and what we have learned during the journey.

Read the article here.

Jim Womack has co-authored  two of the most important management books of the last thirty years : The Machine that changed the world (1990) and Lean Thinking 1995. In Gemba Walks, the Lean Expert has curated about 60 short essays he has written between 2001 and 2010. These were originally e-letters dedicated to the observations he made while visiting the shop floor (the Gemba) of companies on their way to become lean ones.

This is a very inspiring book and a strongly recommended read for anyone interested in the core mission of managament. Jim Womack defines it as fostering a creative tension between management two main axis : functional and vertical towards the CEO and horizontal and value stream driven towards the customer. Read on for enlightening thoughts …

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berkun

Scott Berkun was in Paris for a few days as he was invited to speak at USI 2014. That was a great opportunity to meet him and to discuss about his books, his time at Microsoft and WordPress, how and where he grew up and how it feels to be a writer in the 21st Century. Scott has been kind enough to allow us some of his time, the most important thing he can give as he wisely writes in Mindfire.

A great dinner at the terrace of La Mauvaise Réputation, in Montorgueil neighborhood. And a few drinks as well : champagne, Armagnac, beers and a bottle of St Estephe 2011 for good measure: a bit young, but we still managed to work it out. It was so inspiring, I’ve still managed to remember just about everything despite the drinks. Yet, if I remember well the ideas, the transcript may not gives good justice to Scott verbal skills and precision in the words he uses.

There are not so many opportunities to meet one of #hypertextual heroes and that evening has been a milestone in the history of this blog. This is how the conversation went …  Read the rest of this entry »

Ed Catmull is co-founder and president of Pixar. After having reached his life long goal (creating the first computer animated feature film) with Toy Story in 1996, Ed faced a terrible dilemma : what should be his next goal ? Looking at smart leaders and once successful companies stumbling and collapsing, Ed soon identified this new goal : overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration.

This is what this book is all about. Sure there are some delightful back stories of some of the most inspiring animated movies of all time. There also are the little secrets of working closely with Steve Jobs. But the most valuable takeaways of this book are elsewhere.

They are in the way Ed Catmull (with the helped of Amy Wallace) describes the path that a rather successful leader in a creative industry followed to protect Pixar and then Disney Animation from these unseen forces and to make both company strive. Interestingly enough, the core of his management and leadership practices lies in Deming principles and Japanese management : a book hypertextual could not miss … Read the rest of this entry »

Alors que l’édition 2014 de l’USI approche à grands pas, un petit retour sur une des sessions les plus marquantes selon Guillaume Plouin (cf l’entretien qu’il a accordé pour #hypertextual) avec Luc de Brabandère, intervenant que nous retrouverons dans l’édition 2014.

Une présentation essentielle en ce qu’elle donne des définitions claires et précises de ce que sont la creativité et l’innovation. Avec ces définitions et un humour absurde et tongue-in-cheek, le conférencier apporte un éclairage sur les approches qui permettent (et empêchent) de faire advenir ces deux carburants de l’économie du 21ème siècle.

Quelques extraits retranscrits ce dessous … Read the rest of this entry »

guillaume p

Alors qu’approche la nouvelle édition de l’USI (les 16 et 17 Juin à Paris ) #hypertextual a rencontré cette année encore un des membres d’Octo les plus actifs dans la préparation de cet évènement. Après François Hisquin (2012) et Ludovic Cinquin (2013), Guillaume Plouin cette année.

Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas encore cet évènement organisé par Octo Technology, l’USI est la conférence autour du numérique que l’on peut qualifier sans aucun doute de plus passionnante de l’hexagone, voire d’Europe. Les disciplines présentes sont variées (technologie mais aussi prospective, sciences dures ou sciences humaines, management, leadership, ou philosophie) et les intervenants sont prestigieux : Ray Kurzweil, Michel Serres, André Comte-Sponville, Chris Anderson, Leo Apothecker, Bjarne Stroustrup, Neil Armstrong ou Philippe Starck. Et la liste va s’allonger cette année encore avec des personnalités telles qu’Edgar Morin, Patrick Dixon, Isaac Getz, Nancy Duarte, ou encore mon collègue d’Operae l’excellent Antoine Contal …

L’occasion au travers de cette rencontre de se pencher de plus près sur les grands moments qui ont marqué l’USI et s’attarder sur la mécanique interne de l’organisation d’une conférence qui célèbre sa septième édition cette année…

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sk8 2

I was doing an Enterprise 2.0 Masterclass to a group of technical national directors at INSEP (French national institute of sports) and one of the attendee asked me this question : “How can I quickly assess my organization culture ?”

It has just occurred to me that this can be carried out very easily, asking just one question, so I asked them :

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Un petit retour sur une conférence Lean Summit 2014 qui s’est déroulée à la cité internationale de Lyon les 2 et 3 Avril. Plutôt passionné par les technologies et tendances du numérique, il s’agissait d’uns conférence de laquelle j’attendais peu. La surprise ne fût que plus belle, avec un évènement qui s’est avéré être un des plus marquants auxquels j’ai assisté, et pas seulement en raison de la fontaine de chocolat.

La raison en est toute simple : il ne s’agit pas d’une autoroute pour consultants, experts ou éditeurs mais d’un espace dans lequel des dirigeants racontent leur histoire, celle de leur entreprise et expliquent comment le lean leur a permis non seulement de survivre mais d’obtenir des résultats exceptionnels tout en impliquant leurs équipes.

A une époque où, à grands renforts de propagande, le Lean est dépeint comme un outil d’assujetissement à la productivité et où le Made in France évoque plutôt une résignation désuète ou un pleurnichage institutionnel, cette conférence rafraîchissante et tonique a clairement rappelé qu’il s’agissait surtout d’une alternative crédible pour continuer à créer de la richesse de façon soutenable dans notre beau pays …

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In the fall of 2009, at the time I started digging deeper into Enterprise 2.0 and the management principles this organization approach implied, I set up a list of 10 management principles and how it differentiates with management as we know it.

About 12 months later in November 2010, Jim Womack, co-author of The Machine that Changed the World or System Lean, wrote a piece called Lean Management Vs Modern Management where the author applies a similar approach and compare 10 key Lean Management principles with the corresponding approach in Modern Management. Read the rest of this entry »

This is an excerpt from Time article about “How an unlikely group of high-tech wizards revived Obama’s troubles HealthCare.gov website”.

This excerpt focus on the three rules theses wizards apply when rescuing the project a set of IT services companies has lead to disaster. All Agile principles : stand-up meetings, developers get the call, get managers out of the way, solving problems completely, reduce work in progress etc …). An awesome story.

Rule 1: “The war room and the meetings are for solving problems. There are plenty of other venues where people devote their creative energies to shifting blame.”
Rule 2: “The ones who should be doing the talking are the people who know the most about an issue, not the ones with the highest rank. If anyone finds themselves sitting passively while managers and executives talk over them with less accurate information, we have gone off the rails, and I would like to know about it.” (Explained Dickerson later: “If you can get the managers out of the way, the engineers will want to solve things.”)
Rule 3: “We need to stay focused on the most urgent issues, like things that will hurt us in the next 24–48 hours.”

cube

This is a conversation I had together with #e20 super-connector Luis Suarez on Twitter whilst at the E20 Summit.

During the engagement panel, he stated that employee engagement was a problem, an idea you can find in many management books (Year without pants by Berkun or Flat Army by Pontefract are recent examples) articles or talks. Even this blog elaborated on that subject a while back, a post which, in restrospect, might seem a bit shallow.

Most of these resources draw on Gallup study who claims that this costs about $US400 Billion per year to the US economy, which, I agree, is a terrible human and financial  waste.

But I wonder : is this employee engagement a problem or a symptom ? Luis insisted that Social Business will help in fixing this. This is where I come to have a rhetoric issue … Read the rest of this entry »

kongress media

Having gained some momentum on the topic of video interview with the last Lean IT Summit, I have been delighted to help Kongress Media mogul and #e20 organizer Bjoern Negelmann in doing some others within the scope of this year edition of the Enterprise 20 Summit. Thanks to Jan Grüb for shooting and editing those.

I was lucky enough to engage in video recorded conversations with #e20 rising star Céline Schillinger, Wirearchy father Jon Husband and IT strategy über-expert and visionary Dion Hinchcliffe.

A huge honor to have access to their expertise and a great opportunity to discuss issues such as the alleged death of Social Business the struggle to implement #e20 successfully and their main takeaways from the conference.

Last but not least, a great opportunity to notch up some more trophies to #hypertextual interviewees record.

Sorry people, I did not have the chance to edit myself out just like I did for the Lean IT Summit ones so I’m afraid you’ll have to cope with my fast talking and body language hyper-activity … Read the rest of this entry »

williquet e20s

(Illustration by Frédéric Williquet)

The E20 Summit was celebrating its fifth edition in Paris in the stimulating premises of ESCP, and just like Jon Husband said on Facebook : “I have been having a blast”. Notice that it’s rather challenging to be somehow unbiased since I am an ambassador of the event and I always am longing for the opportunity to exchange ideas, stories and drinks with the E20 mob.

Unfortunately, I could only attend the first day of this year edition. Despite my absence I have still been able to follow the conversations of the second day thanks to the “#E20 peeps Tweeting like maniacs” as Lee Bryant noticed.

Some may have expressed their regrets that their were not so many new ideas but I don’t really share this perspective. The main impression I have brought back home is this : we are reaching some kind of maturity on the topic as some patterns of successful implementations emerge. It is great to have thought leaders discussing ideas, principles and concepts but the main value out of these conferences from my perspective are the returns of experiences : those were very inspiring indeed.

Inspiring to such an extent that I after 5 years into the topic, I eventually found my one tweet definition of Social Business … Read the rest of this entry »

mba zanetti

#hypertextual a eu la chance de croiser la route de Mariana Zanetti, auteure de The MBA Bubble qui vient d’être traduit dans la langue de Geneviève Fioraso sour le titre Le MBA est-il un investissement rentable chez les Editions Maxima.

L’ouvrage a ouvert une discussion de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique ou Mariana est citée par le Fincancial Times aux côtés de personnages aussi important dans le monde des écoles de management que le professeur de Stanford Jeffrey Pfeiffer (co-auteur d’un des livres de chevet de ce blog : The Knowing Doing Gap).

Il n’était pas envisageable que #hypertextual soit absent de cette conversation car le sujet de l’enseignement du management aujourd’hui réside à l’intersection des thèmes de ce blog : management, culture et 21ème siècle. Un sujet traité indirectement dans de nombreux billets et fontalement dans la revue d’un autre ouvrage polémique sur le sujet : Managers not MBAs de Henry Mintzberg. Tout comme ce dernier ouvrage, Le MBA est-il un investissement rentable s’avère être une lecture indispensable pour ceux qui envisagent ce cursus ou qui souhaitent prendre du recul sur le sujet après l’obtention de ce diplôme.

Mariana a eu la gentillesse de nous expliquer pourquoi : c’est ici et maintenant … Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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