Kanban for SAFe Teams

Alex Yakyma is a thought leader in the SAFe community and this is a great article on the how’s and why’s related to kanban within the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

 Kanban for SAFe Teams

By Alex Yakyma


The use of Kanban techniques for managing workflow is growing in software, as well as in other industries.  Originally a technique derived from lean manufacturing, Kanban is a lightweight way of visualizing and managing work of any kind. It’s easy to adopt and provides sophisticated constructs for continuing improvement as teams master the method.

While not a software-specific method by original intent, its application in software development can be quite useful. It provides a more granular view of the flow of work through the team, illustrates bottlenecks and delays to be addressed, and increases flow by application of work-in-process limits.  Properly used, Kanban provides a powerful set of constructs that every software enterprise should be able to apply in the scaled systems context. This article describes how Kanban can used by SAFe Teams in the content of their Agile Release Train.

Continue reading

Apple unveils Apple Pay

This is a great overview from on ZDNet on the new Apple Pay… this might prove to be very interesting!

Apple unveils Apple Pay, its long-awaited entrance into mobile payments

Natalie Gagliordi

Summary: The iPhone and iPod maker finally made the leap into the mobile payments space with the launch of Apple Pay, an NFC-based contactless payment system.

Apple Launched Apple Pay

Apple has finally made its long-awaited leap into mobile payments.

The iPhone and iPad maker held another one of its insanely hyped product reveal events at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California on Tuesday, and along with confirming the anticipated launch of larger screen iPhones with a bevy of new specs and features, the consumer tech giant rolled out a comprehensive mobile payments platform that many in the industry have been waiting for.

“I would like to talk about an entirely new category of service and it’s called the wallet,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We have created an entirely new payment process and we call it Apple Pay.”

Continue reading

Up Close on Baseball’s Borders – NYTimes.com

This is an outstanding example of data visualization.


Up Close on Baseball’s Borders – NYTimes.com.

Baseball Map

Toyota is Cutting the Andon Cord?

This is a great post from Mark Rosenthal at the Lean Thinker.




I’ve had three or four people forward various links to a story from Automotive News titled “Toyota Cutting the Fabled Andon Cord, Symbol of Toyota Way.”

Most of those people didn’t read past the headline.

I’ll quote from one paragraph into the article:

“In its place are yellow call buttons perched waist-high within easy reach along the line for workers to hit when a problem pops up requiring help or the line to be stopped.

Toyota switched to the buttons last year at its flagship Tsutsumi assembly plant in Toyota City, during a factory renovation. In Japan, the buttons were first used by a vehicle-assembling subsidiary, Toyota Motor East Japan Inc., at a Miyagi plant.”

The implication?

They got tired of the overhead rope getting in the way of flexibility in how they arranged the line, material, work flows. They improved their system. It is easier for a worker to initiate a help call (which leads to a line stop if the issue isn’t resolved quickly).

They first saw an obstacle (rope in the way) to another improvement (flexibility). They ran an experiment (at the Miyagi plant), wrung out the details, then put it into place in Tsutsumi for a larger scale trial.

What is totally consistent here is the approach to improvement.

We, once again, have confused the artifacts (overhead ropes, work documented a certain way, a method for distributing parts, an approach to tracking quality issues) with the purpose: Making gaps between “what should be” and “what actual is” every more clear so the can work on getting to the next level.

I suppose a headline that read “Toyota Replaces Overhead Rope With Buttons for Improved Flexibility” wouldn’t garner the same number of hits, nor would it trigger blog posts across the lean community, so I guess that headline worked for its intended purpose.

Here is what the andon is all about:

If anyone is looking for evidence that Toyota is somehow abandoning the principle of “Stop the line before passing along bad quality… this isn’t it.”

Written by August 7th, 2014 at 9:13 pm


bh 2014-09-03

FIP: A Simple, Predictive Stat.

Bob Hubbard:

I love seeing people combine things we already understand into something new. Baseball fans know that ERA (Earned Run Average) is a pretty good way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance. While most of us can’t recite the formula to calculate ERA, we do know that lower is better. We also know that there is lots of randomness (luck) related to ERA. I’m not sure if I’m ready to sign on to FIP as the next big thing in baseball statistics, but I am intrigued!

Originally posted on Mozeliak for MVP:

Many different, complex statistics have been created over the past couple decades that tend to overwhelm the average fan. It’s impossible to memorize all of them, and they all speak at so many different levels that the average fan often doesn’t know which one to listen to. The result: all the stats just get thrown out the window. However, the Fielding Independent Pitching statistic (a pitching statistic abbreviated as FIP) does a fantastic job of capturing the essentials of pitching in one stat, while keeping it in layman’s terms. FIP essentially asks this question: what would a pitcher’s ERA look like based on the stats he directly controls, like walks, strikeouts, hit by pitch, home runs, etc? FIP attempts to take defense completely out of the equation, while adjusting the stat to make it look like an ERA. However, with the above definition in mind, FIP should do an even…

View original 373 more words

Atlanta Braves 2014 Preview: Aging Trajectories

Bob Hubbard:

While this post does not fall into what I would traditionally call ‘lean’ thinking, it does point out great ways to use statistics to interpret the world. Plus, Jay went to UGA for grad school… and as a former Bulldog myself, I felt duty bound to “Like” and “Reblog” this great post about the baseball team I’ve been following since 1966.

Originally posted on Living In The Sprawl:

Atlanta Braves Home Run Leaders

The home run rate (home runs divided by at bats) of the top 12 home run hitters in Braves history.

Being a consumer of sabermetric analysis, a member of a fantasybaseballkeeper league, and a die hard Braves fan, the age of players is extremely important. You want youth with enough production that it makes sense to take the 23-year-old over the 30-year-old veteran.

When the Braves signed five of their young stars this off season to long-term deals, the team got their best players at below-market value for their most productive years, the mid-20s. They didn’t attempt to re-sign free agent Brian McCann, probably the second best offensive catcher the last five years (and the captain of the Baseball Police), who is 30. These moves show their fans and baseball that the front office actually knows what they’re doing and recognizes that you can’t build a…

View original 563 more words

See how many Lean Practices you can find in this video! 

Southwest Airlines The Making of Florida One 

Uploaded to YouTube on Apr 22, 2010

Go inside Boeing as the newest Specialty Plane is unveiled!



Lean Practices in Action at Boeing