At the recent ASQ Charlotte Section Annual Conference 2013, Quality Conference of the Carolinas, I was facilitated a breakout session on “Team Kanban”. I created this mind map for an outline which I share below.
Three books that I recommend for future reference, they are all in my library.
I have been around Kanban for a while. Both David Anderson and Jim Benson are regular visitors to the podcast along with around a dozen others who have participated in the Kanban theme. Kanban’s simplicity is what makes it so attractive. When you think of the two basic rules that Jim states in the Persona Kanban book. Limit Work in Process and Make Work Visible, it sounds to simple. However, these philosophies force us to understand our work. That is the basic tenant of Kanban. When we get in a team environment, the transparency of Kanban makes everyone accept the current way they do work. I find many people and organizations struggle with this.
It is the basic philosophy of the Lean Practice of Standard Work. Once we understand how we do our work and how much work we can accomplish it sets a standard. Many people in the Kanban world shy away from the words Standard Work, and they will use terms like “making policies explicit” but the premise is still the same. Setting this standard is the key to improvement.
As we have all come to understand from the words of Taiichi Ohno:
“Without a Standard, there can be no improvement.”
P.S. A recent InfoQ blog post, Implementing Kanban in Practice with Dr. Arne Roock, author of a 30 page book on Kanban, Stop Starting, Start Finishing! . I thought the article and book were quite insightful.
I will admit that I use a PowerPoint more often than not. It is not because I am trying to dazzle anyone, it is mostly for the sake of being my notes for the process. Seldom do I use a tremendous amount of wording on them, but I need a few key prompts to get me through most presentations. I blame this reliance on lack of preparation or procrastination; I am not sure which is more powerful or more to blame.
Recently, I was viewing a few George Carlin presentations on YouTube, and it reminded me, have I ever seen a comedian use a PowerPoint? If you study comedians, you will find them quite professional in their delivery. A list that I created with help from the Wikihow on How to be a Comedian:
- Original Material
- Ability to read an audience
- Relate to the average person
- Remember to walk the stage
- Respectful attitude
- Watch others and emulate one you like
- Practice body language and timing
- Practice in front of others and notice their reaction
- Watch classic presenters like Steve Jobs, Johnny Carson, Jack Welch, Dr. Deming
- It’s not a monologue
The single most important point is PRACTICE. I think that is the difference over everything else. Steve Jobs was a great presenter and maybe even more a great practitioner of his art. He practiced and rehearsed, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.
It is the art of practice, or rehearsal that separates good talks from inspiring talks. I think that is what separates comedians in most instances also. They are well rehearsed to a point they seem to be making it up as they go. Do your presentations come out that way?
George Carlin Talks about “Stuff” (there may be some inappropriate language)
There has been a resurgence or maybe recognition of the use of theOODA Loop as a basis for much of the current ideas surrounding Iterations, Rapid Development Cycles and Decision Making. What makes the OODA Loop such a popular subject? When we first think of the OODA Loop, we think of fast competitive cycles needed by a fighter pilot to gain a differential advantage. Is that the reason?
Business is a dogfight. Your job as a leader: Outmaneuver the competition, respond decisively to fast-changing conditions, and defeat your rivals. That’s why the OODA loop, the brainchild of “40 Second” Boyd, an unconventional fighter pilot, is one of today’s most important ideas in battle or in business.
Bower and Hout’s classic example — and one that Boyd also studied — was Toyota, which designed its organization to speed information, decisions, and materials through four interrelated cycles: product development, ordering, plant scheduling, and production. Self-organized, multifunctional teams at Toyota, they observed, developed products and manufacturing processes in response to demand, turning out new models in just three years compared with Detroit’s cycle of four or five.
Systems like Toyota’s worked so well, Boyd argued, because of Schwerpunkt, a German term meaning organizational focus. Schwerpunkt, Boyd wrote, “represents a unifying medium that provides a directed way to tie initiative of many subordinate actions with superior intent as a basis to diminish friction and compress time.” Employees decide and act locally, but they are guided by a keen understanding of the bigger picture. In effective organizations, Schwerpunkt connects vibrant OODA loops that are operating concurrently at several levels. Workers close to the action stick to tactical loops, and their supervisors travel in operational loops while leaders navigate much broader strategic and political loops. The loops inform each other: If everything is clicking, feedback from the tactical loops will guide decisions at higher loops and vice versa.
Many organizations start practicing the tools of Lean and fail to understand that it is the people side that makes Lean effective. I have seen where organizations will develop the skill set of Value Stream Mapping, A3 Problem Solving or even Hoshin Planning. But spend little time developing a Lean attitude around the most basic concepts of Visual Management, Overlapping Responsibilities or Individual Kaizen. As a result, they simply do not act like a Lean Company. They are a collection of their tools not a collection driven by culture. The mistakes that you were trying to correct by instilling Lean continue to happen. Teamwork is non-existent and individual silos remain. Leader Standard Work is the foundation required for flexibility. It provides the foundation, structure, to adapt.
Jim Benson, author of a Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life made the following quote: A system that is not malleable, is brittle. A process which cannot adapt to context is waste. One size does not fit all Terry Barnhart, in a Business901 podcast, Applying the OODA Loop to Lean expanded that thought….Have you heard about anti-fragility? Taleb’s account is brilliant; it is like the package that says, “Anti-fragile: Please handle poorly, it will improve the contents.” This means a flexible system, but one that builds additional flexibility as brittleness is found. It means an adaptable system that gets more adaptable in adapting to emergent issues. It means a size that adjusts by itself.
The OODA Loop when observed is actually the CAP-Do cycle when applied to Lean Language. The strength of OODA Loop is in the first two steps, Observe and Orientate. Just as Check and Act are in CAP-Do. In Boyd’s terminology, the D in the OODA Loop stands for Decision or formulating the Plan to carry out the Hypothesis. He uses A, act to perform the hypothesis or the Do cycle. I believe CAP-Do, the OODA Loop, is the best way to apply Lean in an external environment.
For more information on Leader Stand Work, Review the Business901 Training page.
For more information on applying CAP-Do and the OODA Loop attend the Lean Sales Method Webinar