How Long is “Continuous”? – On PDCA

VultureCartoon-newSome people have problems with anything that requires patience: they want it all, and they want it now, as Queen was once singing. What does PDCA mean to them?

Actually, PDCA should be the darling of these people, as it will almost for certain lead to getting something almost now, and in the long run they will get all that is possible to get out of it. A traditional project will in any case take a long time and most likely fail.

But still, “continuous” sounds like “endless” and this idea seems too difficult to grasp for a lot of people. Continue reading

Posted in Change | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Sharing Thoughts Requires Thinking

Dilbert%20comicsMost communication is thoughtless! Or maybe it isn’t, but it is based on simplicity – because a trend nowadays is to believe that a complex message will not be understood.

Simplicity can be great: boiling down a long discussion to its essential meaning and conclusion is often needed in order to even know what that conclusion might be. But trying to save time by jumping right to it is not the way forward. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Which Leadership Approach is Better?

184103_strip_sunday

Dilbert is very clear on this topic! Still, I cannot help feeling that it would be a pity if business leaders would stop reading those books on “the rules of leadership”. Some of them never read anything, and maybe some of them are natural talents – born leaders – who cannot learn anything from others. But most of them both could and should… Continue reading

Posted in People, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Lean IT and ITIL – Stopping the Negative Spiral

research-noTxtGood news for those who are hungry for more books about Lean IT and ITIL! Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Value Stream Management and Readiness

Frog-not-readyThis evening I did something which is seemingly a bit foolish, but which is nevertheless characteristic for me: instead of reading one of the 200 books I have piled up for future reading I again browsed through one of those I have already read.

I did that on a sudden impulse: what struck me was that even this magnificent book was of the silver bullet kind, proposing a fixed solution to whatever your problem is. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lean and ITIL – Closing the Gap

bridge-builders2bAfter some years with IT Service Management and ITIL being the main topic for improving IT departments, a new word has appeared: Lean.

Lean and ITIL, ITIL and Lean. It looks so obvious that both should be considered together – Lean with its focus on slimming processes to produce just-in-time, just-enough, and just-what-the-users-need together with ITIL and its focus on service and how to deliver it. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Philosophy of a Storm – Timing your Change

The ship was in trouble. A storm had suddenly appeared, and it was worse than any storm the ship and the crew had ever experienced before. “What should we do?”, the captain shouted desperately. One of the navigators came to rescue and said “We must paint the ship red, because then, according to statistics, we have a 10% reduced risk of going down. It is written here in a best-selling new book, which everybody is talking about.”

how-to-swimWhat a stupid story! I don’t even want to know how it ended! Who would ever do such a thing in a storm? Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Change, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What is your problem?

First published in Danish at No Crisis-bloggen.
 

Problems exist in large amounts everywhere around us. They make a basis for frustrations, sorrow, hard work, discussions, accusations, and – tabus.

Do problems actually exist?

no-problems-only-challenges

“There are no problems, only challenges,” some people say. And others take it even a step further: “there are no challenges, only opportunities.” The word “problem” has itself become a problem and is now often considered taboo. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Change, People, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Formula for Successful Change and Projects

During the last few days I posted philosophies and real world stories alike, and the most striking thing when looking at all of it together is that it doesn’t sum up to one worldview! So what was it all about? Did I change my mind during these days?

These posts and pages were, among others:windmill-factory

The philosophies show how good people are and that we should just treat them well and with respect in the right environment – then each and every project and change program has a good chance of success.

Real world practice, on the other hand, shows how people cheat, steal and destroy wherever they go, and often they deliberately do things that will endanger or directly kill the project, meaning that each and every project and change has a miserable chance of success. Continue reading

Posted in Continuous Improvement, Philosophy, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Change is a direction – not a goal

When an organization decides to change it is important to understand, first of all, who is deciding? If the whole organization is supposed to change – then the whole organization should make the decision! That way everybody can cooperate on making it happen.

circle-of-collaborationAnd then everybody involved must understand that the decision is also a commitment. The change is not about reaching a particular goal. Maybe it is possible to pin out some expected benefits and predict when they will be achieved, but most often the change is simply a change of direction and the journey will then reveal its benefits on the way.

So, you change direction – you look ahead, it looks promising, you walk a bit. And then you stop. Why? Because you thought that you were executing a project. Continue reading

Posted in Change, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Did you deliberately murder the project?

The world is full of problems. Why? We keep looking for answers, and we certainly find some – but as we keep looking in the wrong places we will never find the right answers.

network-societyA project might be tying people together in a complex web, but that will not prevent anyone from murderish acts that will kill the project and cut off the branch they and others are sitting on. Continue reading

Posted in People | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Top 10 reasons for never improving your processes

Some people claim that it is necessary to improve all the time – continuous improvement, they call it. Continuous learning should make you wiser all the time, they say, and you can use that new wisdom to improve the way you work, the processes.

But you know better! You will never even think about improving anything, because: Continue reading

Posted in People | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Lean IT – Read All About It!

The No Crisis Company Blog is currently running a Lean Literature Quiz, and even though the quiz at the time of writing is only a few days old, it already shows a clear bias towards knowing a lot about “old-school lean” but little about Lean IT.

So I would like to give some hints on getting started. These are just my suggestions, and if you have a better idea or something to add – please tell about it! Continue reading

Posted in Lean Project Management, Lean Service Management, Lean Software Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Inspiration for Adidas – how should they build a learning organization?

“Organizations do not learn – people do”, someone said. But people in the organization do share the knowledge gained from learning, and in this respect the organization may acquire and structure knowledge and thereby learn.

The core of working with learning in an organization is this understanding: that each individual must participate in the learning organization on the conditions suitable for the one. Adidas put this nicely in a crowd-sourcing blog post, stated as the ambition for their new learning program (emphasis by Adidas):

We believe we need to further and more drastically transform the company into a learning organisation by creating a culture of life-long, self-driven learning in a collaborative environment: an environment in which all employees equally teach and learn, and acquire knowledge and skills in a variety of ways to best suit present and future generations – “I LEARN, WE GROW”.

Continue reading

Posted in Process | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Project is Forever

maintenanceFirst published in Danish at No Crisis-bloggen.

Today’s project management philosophy is largely about reducing the scope of, and finishing the projects. It seems like if success is to be found in simply carrying out the project, no matter what it actually delivers to the organization.

“We did it! On time, on price and with agreed functionality” is what all project managers are expected to shout exactly at deadline. Mentioning that projects must continue is considered heretical by the project management society, since it is the main feature of projects that they end.

But honestly: which value does it bring to the organization that the project has ended? Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Systems Development | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments