Welcome to Lean Agile Management Podcast - a bi-weekly podcast for business leaders and managers who want to take the mystery out of successful Lean Agile transformation. In every episode of the LAMP, we ask industry thought leaders and top-tier management consultants to shine the light on the toughest issues in management. Learn how experts boost work efficiency, create a culture of high performance, reduce stress in the workplace, and help to build businesses that thrive. Lean Agile Management Podcast is presented by the leading Kanban software for Lean project management, Kanbanize.
How to Fly Your Business at Portfolio Level
Managers often think they need to have agile teams so they could deliver projects faster. But this is a faulty kind of thinking. If you want to deliver faster as an organization, you need to take care of the end-to-end value flow. The question is where do you start? When you fly low, all you see are the little details and try fixing things at personal or team levels. When you fly hight, though, all you see is the bigger picture and general landscape. So how do we find the right way to look at our work? Learn on this episode of the Lamp with Klaus Leopold.
Start managing work, stop managing people.
As the popularity of Kanban grows, so does the cloud of misconceptions and confusion around it. While many people will try convincing you that Kanban is better than Scrum (and vice versa), few can actually explain it in simple terms.
This time on the LAMP, we are joined by Andy Carmichael who helps us find the roots of Kanban. In its essence, Kanban is a way to see and manage your flow of work. All it really asks you to do is look at your work in a different way. Kanban lens helps to summarize that in just four elements. Tune in to learn how.
Portfolio Kanban: When It's Time to Scale Up
Is team Kanban really enough to achieve Business Agility? If you already practice Kanban, you are probably enjoying the visibility and efficiency it brings on the team level. However, the joys of having agility in a siloed team wear off quickly if the rest of the organization is inefficient and slow. The answer? Let me introduce you to Portfolio Kanban.
Today on Lean Agile Management Podcast, we're talking about scaling Kanban to the organizational or the project portfolio level. Some like to say that Kanban is just for small teams. Our guest proves them wrong, as he works with groups as large as 1800 people. In this episode, you will learn how to apply Kanban end-to-end at the system level.
We're talking today to Nader Talai, who is a professional IT manager, the organizer for the London Limited WIP Society and Business Agility Consultant at Value Glide.
In this episode, he walked us through a range of hot topics about scaling Kanban to the portfolio level and making this a change that lasts.
Here are the key questions we've covered:
* How to make Business Agility a change that lasts?
Stop focusing on practices and labels, think about the outcomes and results you are trying to achieve using Kanban or any other tool. Nader tells us how to adopt Portfolio Kanban with the positive outcomes and lasting change in mind.
* What causes a high rate of expedite tasks and how to deal with them
When your team is constantly putting out fires, you need to ask yourself what's the reason behind all of the expedite tasks? Nader walks us through the root cause behind the endless stream of "urgent" tasks.
* Is Kanban effective only for small teams?
Myth or reality? What kind of teams can benefit from Kanban? How can we use Kanban on portfolio level?
* How to do less as an organization to achieve more?
Is it possible to effectively limit work in progress on the organizational level? How to achieve work predictability at the portfolio level with Kanban Pull?
* The unexpected downsides of high resource utilization
While it might seem like the most logical thing to do, aiming for 100% resource utilization (aka keeping everyone and everything busy) can be bad for your organization. We discussed how Portfolio Kanban lets us focus on and manage the Flow of work instead of simply keeping people busy.
* Kanban planning: how to set up realistic goals and expectations
With all the great promises Agile and Lean worlds offer, you might be tempted to "account for it" in your goal setting process. Nader brings up the topic of setting up the right expectations in Kanban planning.
* Adopting Portfolio Kanban: how to get top management buy-in?
Convincing stakeholders that changing the way teams or whole organizations work is not the easiest of tasks. In the interview, you'll learn how to get the top management buy-in for practicing Pull principle and Portfolio Kanban.
Looking for more on the topic of Portfolio Kanban and scaling Kanban to the company level? Here are some useful resources on the topic:
* What is Portfolio Kanban?
* Implementing a Kanban Roadmap
* What are WIP limits and how to use them to boost productivity
* How to Set and Manage WIP Limits on Portf...
Clean Language: #1 Way to Fix Poor Team Communication
"Interpersonal communication is always complex. But in the kinds of environments we working in nowadays there seems to be a greater degree of complexity, a greater potential for misunderstanding, a greater potential for conflict. And that's where Clean Language comes in." - Judy Rees
Today on Lean Agile Management Podcast, we're talking to Judy Rees about effective communication in complex environments to learn how to improve team communication at work using a method called Clean Language. Clean Language was initially devised by David Grove to help therapy clients explore their inner thoughts. In essence, it’s a very specific precision inquiry technique that’s built on the idea of probe request and response. The ultimate goal is to find out what it is that somebody really means by what they're saying even when they don't know themselves.
From the famous feedback sandwich to a Nonviolent Communication method, managers everywhere are eager to find an effective way to overcome the communication hurdles of a modern workplace.
Different cultural backgrounds, distributed and remote teams make it even harder for contributors and managers to communicate effectively. Wouldn’t it be great, if we could just glimpse into someone else's mind and just see why they do things the way they do? See what kind of meanings hide behind the words people say.
The answer you’re looking for might be the Clean Language method.
The key points covered in the episode:
- The biggest challenge for modern management
- How to communicate effectively in highly unstable and complex environments
- Boosting team morale, company profits, and manager’s well-being with good communication
- What is Clean Language and how can it help you deal with business challenges?
- Giving feedback and understanding problematic employees
- Importance of effective communication (listening) skills in conflict resolution
- How to learn what's necessary for people to work at their best.
Business Agility is not an option. It’s a matter of business survival.
“Business Agility is not an option. It’s a matter of business survival.” - Jose Casal
Will your business be around in 10 years or will you be replaced by a newcomer? How long does it take for your business to deliver a new product from the idea to the market? If questions like these make you worried, it's probably time to talk about business agility.
This time on Lean Agile Management Podcast, we are talking to Jose Casal, who is a Business Agility Coach with experience working in both private and public sectors. Jose is a public speaker, chairman of the Agile Methods Specialist Group at BCS Chartered Institute for IT and is the founder of Actineo Consulting.
Business Agility is not an option. It’s a matter of business survival.
In this episode:
Understanding what Business Agility means in practical terms
* Flow & Fit for purpose
3 Myths of Product Development vs 3 Facts of Agile Business Practices
* Myth: Customers know what they want.
Fact: The customers discover what they want as they go
* Myth: We know how to build it.
Fact: We only have an approximate idea of what we want to do. We don't know how we're going to deliver until you actually deliver.
* Myth: Nothing's going to change.
Fact: Everything will change. We should be expecting change.
Culture of Discovery and Learning
* The toxicity of "Follow me" culture vs discovering the right solution dynamically through discovery
* In an Agile business, you need to be learning constantly. How are you learning? Managers should be the agile engine of learning and experimentation culture.
* Allow people to make mistakes. The importance of psychological safety to make mistakes and let people try things. Little by little.
Problems vs Solutions
In traditional management and IT education, we are schooled to be constantly looking for solutions.
Stop thinking about the solutions.
First, we need to be better at understanding the problems, asking about the needs before we start offering solutions.
How to achieve business agility? Which method is best?
* Forget the methods - this is going back to thinking about a solution but what's the problem that you are trying to solve with that?
* Why do we need to change? What's the better kind of world are you chasing?
* We need a regular re-evaluation of our strategy. Traditional strategy lacks reflection, adaptation, engagement of the people who are delivering the change
* The hardest thing to change in an organization is not the culture, process, or boss.
How to approach change management as an agile business?
* How can I encourage others to change?
* How can I get people to do things differently?
Missing out on Business Agility - the answer for the skeptics
* Skipping agile? This is the start of a eulogy of your company
* Old banks vs Agile financial companies. Who wins? Much smaller firms, which are fast to deliver, perform quick experiments are disrupting centuries-old banks
* These little industry disruptors are out there to kill you and they will
* No, it's not the matter of the industry. Banking, insurance and automotive industries are all going agile with or without you
The future of business is agile by default. Business agility is not just an option anymore.
Why You Need Transparency for True Business Agility
Would you like predictability in your projects? Would you like to deliver faster and with higher quality? Business agility is no longer a dream of revolutionary organizations, it's the new requirement of the modern economy and free market. However, how do you get there? The key first step is transparency.
This time on the LAMP, we are talking to Annette Vendelbo about the need for higher organizational transparency in business. She is the director and founder of Xvoto, an accredited Kanban trainer and Agile coach, as well as a passionate public speaker on the topics of business agility and transparency. In this episode, you Annette explains why transparency is a quintessential part a healthy organization and why it is an unavoidable step towards real business agility.
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