Tag Archives: Lean


Professional Scrum Master I Certification

Certificate Professional Scrum Master I

Certificate Professional Scrum Master I

Maybe you noted that there was a growing number of post on subjects like Scrum, Agile and Lean on my blog. Because of my renewed experience in this field. I decide to go for certification on the subject.

Besides the Scrum Guide and a training, you can find additional Scrum resources i like here. While studying I created a mind map using the scrum guide.
As you can see in the picture in this post I succeeded.

Congratulations on passing the PSM I assessment! You have demonstrated a fundamental knowledge of the Scrum process. This qualifies you for certification as a Professional Scrum Master I.

LAC2011 – Speed and Innovation

Still wanted to share some thought and ideas with you I took from the LAC 2011 – the largest symposium in The Netherlands on architecture in the digital world. The larger part of this post is taken from the key note on Speed and Innovation through Architecture by Jan Bosch. He states:

Speed trumps any other improvement R&D can provide to the company.

Speed and time to market deliver far more value than increasing the efficiency of a process. This especially holds for non-repetitive process like (software) product creation. To increase the speed and reduce time to market we should focus on the following aspects:

  • Small teams
  • Architecture
  • Release process

Small teams

Small teams work on the people side because a team member can experience the fruits of his or her individual efforts while on the other hand they contain the rewarding social element of camaraderie. Both are necessary for people to see their work as fulfilling.
On the process side, small teams increase speed because of the lowered need for coordination within the team and the existence of complexity. A team larger than three is required because of the need to learn from each other, the ability to deliver significant work and enable preservation of knowledge from the feedback the team has encountered. To get speed in the team at a high level the team needs to be self directed and managed.

Architecture – Keep it simple

First and foremost make sure your architecture enables you to simplify things! Keep in mind that rules and constraints can create complexity. And that is something you wanted to avoid when you started with architecture in the first place.

Architecture provides simplicity, compositionality and is designed in parallel with software development

An example would be to limit the number of things a team has to worry about during development. This could be done by applying the 3 API rule and there are other ways as well. Allways ask the questions whether the architecture enables the development team to perform.

Release process

In order to get speed into your development process you need to know/measure what people do, not what they think. Factor out opinion and chose data. To get proper results here you need a short PDCA cycle. Check and measure to get results back into your development process. This requires that you release early and often. Which in turn demands automated deployment and test.

Scrum – additional resources

scrumThe basics of Scrum can be found in the Scrum Guide. Besides that there are loads of resources available on the subject. In this post I’ll share a few Scrum resources with you I recently discussed with my colleagues:

Besides these the online lean and Scrum resources library of one of my colleagues gives some other great hints. You might also like to read his selection of 10 from ‘Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines’.

Lean Integration Presentation

Just uploaded the presentation I gave at the Seminar “Lean & Agile IT: beter resultaat, betrokkenheid en IT volwassenheid” (Dutch) on Lean Integration. Besides the aspect of getting a lean process to create integrations we also focused on how integration is lean in the sense that it can create value.

Presenting at Seminar “Lean & Agile IT: beter resultaat, betrokkenheid en IT volwassenheid” (Dutch)

Martin van Borselaer asked me to present at a seminar he is organizing on Lean and Agile IT. I’ll be presenting on Lean Integration and will probably also offer a peek into the Integration Factory.

This seminar will take place on Thursday September the 15th at our Whitehorses head office in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. It’s in Dutch and aimed at our customers or potential customers. More information on the seminar program.

We’re looking forward to share our ideas with you. Hope to see you there!

Motivating without money

Some of the RSA talks are distilled by the folks at CognitiveMedia into abridged animated versions – RSAnimate. Here is one om motivation and drive:

There are loads of examples in litterature but also in more popular books like Freakonomics that:

People respond to incentives

In the animation you’ll see the kind of incentives that work well for tasks that go beyond mechanical skills and that require rudimentary cognitive skills (like conceptual and creative thinking). These incentives include the following aspects :

  • Autonomy – Which demands engagement instead of management and control.
  • Mastery – It is great fun to learn things and sometimes even be (really) good at something!
  • Purpose – Humans are purpose maximizers even more than money maximizers.

Please note that money isn’t one of them. So motivating without money should be possible. In short for organizations and managers it boils down to:

Treat people as people!

Let me know what you think on this subject in the comments….

Group Development and a Lessons Learned session

Yesterday I attended a Lessons Learned session for a Software Development project where I’ll be involved in the upcoming phase. All participants shared their opinion on the negative and positive experiences. What went well and what needed improvement. Putting all these opinions expressed on Post-It notes in perspective I realized that the major part of the negative experience where from the early days of the project. Whereas the positive experiences seemed to be from the most recent period. This brought me back to one of the models I was taught on Group Development while taking training and coaching courses. It suddenly made sense to me that there had to be a relation with the Tuckman’s Group Development Model.

Tuckman’s Group Development Model

Tuckman Group Development ModelThe Group Development Model that was proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965 has four phases:

  • Forming: Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships. Processes are often ignored. Members test tolerance of system and leader.
  • Storming: Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles.
  • Norming: Agreement and consensus is largely forms among the team. Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities.
  • Performing: The team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. There is a focus on over-achieving goals.

More in this PDF on Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.
So in which phase do you think the most fun, excitement and productivity is? And as you guessed this was reflected in the Lessons Learned session mentioned: The negative experiences were during the Storming, and the positive experiences during the Performing phase.

Note that:

These phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results.

It is important to realize this because sometimes a group of people in a meeting go through these same four phases. And if your a real goal oriented person you could try to skip the first two of three steps. That in will have a severe impact on the buy in of the group / team.
The teams that don’t get out of the Storming phase usually deliver no or very low quality software…