Modus List 3: Our Five Estimate Pathologies

Business runs on estimates.  How long do you think that might take? we naively ask. Then when someone tells us how long they think something might take, we write that down and hold them to it. Webster says the very word “estimate” means to roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of something. “Roughly” … “judge.” We know that estimates are always wrong … Read More

Jim BensonModus List 3: Our Five Estimate Pathologies

Modus List 2: The Seven Deadly WIPS – What Destroys Your Ability To Finish?

Modern business drowns in overhead it can’t even see. I’ve seen companies spend hours denying an expense request on a $20 book. I’ve seen teams spin for weeks planning projects that change dramatically in the first week due to a simple implementation lesson. I’ve seen people overworked and therefore missing deadlines pulled into long meetings to talk to them about … Read More

Jim BensonModus List 2: The Seven Deadly WIPS – What Destroys Your Ability To Finish?

Modus List 1: Top Ten Reasons I Hate Top Ten Lists

Lists are contrived conveyances of information. And they work. They are quite effective at providing a quick framework to get a complex point across. This post is the beginning of a series of posts that are, specifically, lists. Every one of them will detail a number of points about something of extreme importance to how we work as people, as … Read More

Jim BensonModus List 1: Top Ten Reasons I Hate Top Ten Lists

Fresh Perspectives on Lean Coffee

The following is a guest post by Victor Bonacci. Question #1: Do you like coffee? I do. I enjoy it warm or on ice. I love the smell. I get excited with the neurochemical reactions it stirs in me. I find calmness in the process of brewing a cup. It’s a fun word to say: “coffee.” Coffee is a casual … Read More

Victor BonacciFresh Perspectives on Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee Through The Deming Lens

Lean Coffee and Deming: This is a post geeking out on the intersection of W. Edwards Deming and our Lean Coffee format.  It is brief and assumes some prior knowledge of the System of Profound Knowledge and Deming’s 14 Points. If you don’t know these yet, please go to the sources. Deming’s writings have had a profound influence on the … Read More

Jim BensonLean Coffee Through The Deming Lens

On Distributed Teams – Kaizen Camp Bangalore

Trust is not between teams, it is between individuals. ~ Sunil       I am in the world’s epicenter of offshoring, Bangalore, India. We just spent several days running a Kaizen Camp and keynoting SolutionIQ’s sold out Lean India Summit. We work a lot with distributed teams and not surprisingly the Kaizen Camp surfaced a lot of issues around offshoring or … Read More

Jim BensonOn Distributed Teams – Kaizen Camp Bangalore

Estimation Requires Attention

Last month I was conducting a series of Boardwalks with a large company in Australia. These people had an amazing array of kanban and other visual controls guiding their software development. Most important to me, they had achieved a culture not of continuous improvement, but deep curiosity and introspection. They were looking for any way to get their organization to … Read More

Jim BensonEstimation Requires Attention

Why Limit WIP

Everywhere I go, people are suffering from overload. Information, workload, emotional load, political load … all above capacity. People, probably you as well, start sentence with, “If only I had time to…” or “If I could just…” or “If I were in charge I’d….” We all feel stretched to the point of snapping. In the office, this overload means missed … Read More

modusWhy Limit WIP

Fundamental Misunderstandings Lead Directly to Malpractice

Yes, I know I know, Somebody’s Wrong on the Internet!   I am somewhat ranting this morning, because the screenshot to the right is so disappointing. The redacted person is responsible for implementing Lean in his organization, but I see this with all types of systems. The redacted person, let’s call him Micro, has a fundamental misunderstanding of the guiding … Read More

Jim BensonFundamental Misunderstandings Lead Directly to Malpractice

Your Specific is Highly General

Years ago now, William Rowden and I owned a business. In that business we wanted to build amazing software for our clients. We adopted several practices to help us do this. One of the central practices we employed was Test Driven Development – a practice that essentially says you write software like this. Figure out what you want the code to … Read More

modusYour Specific is Highly General