All posts by Gene

01/24-LeSS Talks: Experience Report: Navigating Self-Incorporated Consulting (Panel Discussion)

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01/15-LeSS Talks: System Modelling in LeSS with Robin Hyman


Miro Board Export

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01/10-LeSS Talks: Lead and Serve Others: Focus on the Team, Not Individuals, by Johanna Rothman

 

Materials | Live Chat Transcript

A very relevant resource: Gap Between Science and Business

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01/24-LeSS Talks: Experience Report: Navigating Self-Incorporated Consulting

Recording – TBD

Optional Pre-Read for this event.

 

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12/06-LeSS Talks: Using Product Canvas in LeSS Product Definition

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Should Teams Use Kanban, Instead of Scrum or LeSS?

Can Kanban be used in conjunction with LeSS (or instead of LeSS)?– this is the question that we hear all too often.

Since LeSS is Scrum (nb: organizational design impact of LeSS is much stronger), perhaps, the above question can be also re-phrased into:  Can Kanban be used with Scrum (or instead of Scrum)“?

First, we need to understand what is the reasoning behind this question. What makes Kanban more attractive than Scrum to people?

Here are some possible scenarios:

Scenario 1: Kanban greatly increases efficiency of work management, by its focus on:

  • Throughput-based forecasting
  • WIP limits and one-piece workflow management
  • Queueing Theory and Little’s Law
  • SLA-level escalation (e.g. L1-L3) mechanism
  • Enterprise-wide Convergence and divergence of flows
  • Management of Lead Time, Cycle Time, aging etc
  • Balance between holding costs vs. shipment costs
  • Batch-size optimization

or…

Scenario 2: Kanban is simple and too forgiving, with respect to:

  • NOT mandating a customer/feature-centric way of working
  • NOT mandating a real Product Owner and product definition
  • NOT mandating  a dedicated full-time Scrum Master
  • NOT mandating  cross-functional, self-managed teams
  • NOT mandating  commitment and participation by a business community (e.g. Product Owner, users and customers)

 

The first scenario implies that we really value some of the goodness that Kanban brings to the table, most of which could be still swiftly leveraged within every sprint: by a single team (Scrum) or by up to eight teams (LeSS).

The second scenario implies that we are looking for short cuts, for “forgiveness” – NOT to address organizational design challenges that Scrum (and LeSS) expose. Going immediately, to ‘Plan B’ (Kanban), because it is simpler, easier to fit in a current organizational construct, electronic tooling, etc…. instead of trying to understand why Scrum (or LeSS) does not work, would most likely mean that soon even Kanban’s light rules will be also compromised.


Scrum is a light framework, used by single team to develop a product. LeSS is Scrum-based organizational design framework that enables large-scale, lean and agile product development by up to eight teams (NB: In LeSS Huge, more than eight teams work within separate product requirement areas – and it may involve hundreds of people).

Both, Scrum and LeSS  require a clear product definition, well defined priorities (vision, strategy), well -focused customer-centric approach and dedicated engagement by business and technology.

Making a right decision around choosing Kanban over Scrum (or LeSS), requires good understanding and seeing a distinction between Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 above.

12/13-LeSS Talks: Case study about a LeSS adoption in Business Lending, by Cesario Ramos

Materials | Chat Script

Some of you may have seen this publication a few years ago, by Cesario Ramos: “… [Company] improves on the so-called Spotify Model using LeSS” that shined some light, from the inside, on what really took place.
[NB: As many people probably know, “Big Bank Spotify Model” success stories are being used by many large consultancies and companies that followed the advice]. Please, read about it: https://www.scrumwithstyle.com/ing-improves-on-the-so-called-spotify-model-using-less/

Synopsis:

“How do we use LeSS to further optimize the Spotify model; How to tackle scaling challenges with less. We will share our experiments, mistakes, and learning we got from adopting LeSS in a cross-border, dispersed team setting without Continuous Integration.”

Continue reading 12/13-LeSS Talks: Case study about a LeSS adoption in Business Lending, by Cesario Ramos

12/06-LeSS Talks: US Army’s Intelligence Staff Director COL Candice Frost on Crisis & Leadership

Colonel Candice Frost:

Synopsis:

  • An 80% solution on time is far better than a 100% solution late
  • Defining Problem Statement
  • Demonstrating a desire to create change
  • Providing a clear Vision into the Future
  • Leading by Example
  • Clearing Paths to Achieve a Common Goal
  • Changing is Constant
  • Building Strong Relationships
  • Providing Consistent & Continual Feedback
  • Giving Transparency

  • How excessive organizational layers, processes and approvals can lead to missing an opportunity
  • Importance of mentorship/education, as means of spreading knowledge laterally, to many people
  • Significance of striking a healthy balance between being a Specialist (know one discipline really well) and being a Generalist (knowing other disciplines fairly well)
  • Benefits of building long-lived teams
  • Keeping levels of “undone” work to a minimum and thriving to drive it to zero
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LESS TALKS: Uncovering the Agile Mindset, with Heidi Araya and John Turley

 

 Materials

Synopsis:

“Agile transformations fail regularly, despite many putting their best efforts forth. And dominant focus continues to be on agile as a process, addressing the important need for an agile mindset and culture only in passing. While Agilists feel that someone’s mindset is absolutely critical to agility, the agile mindset is not actually defined anywhere. Even Steve Denning, in a May 2020 article, said, “is it possible that we in the Agile community have been putting too much emphasis on such an undefined and ambiguous term [mindset]?”

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