Key Insights from SAFe 4.0

I’m a big fan of Dean Leffingwell and his work on the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). He’s been bringing lean thinking to software development for some time now. I work in a massive IT organization that has identified SAFe as how we’d like to develop software going forward.

Listen for these key concepts in the video below.

  • The Customer and the Value Stream are key to the framework
  • Value streams are the central organizing construct for SAFe.
  • SAFe as a model, organizes around value, and this helps speed delivery
  • Funding value streams vs. funding Agile Release Trains (ARTs)
  • When Requirements are needed vs. the concept of Solution Intent
  • General purpose solutions vs. ‘bespoke’ solutions

Over the past few years, I have heard many software development professionals say things like, “It’s a pretty good concept, but it doesn’t work in the real world.” or “SAFe doesn’t account for Architecture or other enablers.” 

If you are in IT, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed not just on SAFe, but on the underlying lean thinking concepts that are driving it. If you don’t, you risk getting left behind both organizationally, and in your IT career.

Bob H – April 28, 2017


Key Links

Scaled Agile Framework home: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/

Lean-Agile Mindset Abstract: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/lean-agile-mindset/

Value Streams Abstract: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/value-streams/

Team Kanban Abstract: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/team-kanban/

 

What to Look for in 2012

I’ve become a raving fan of Matthew May’s work. He is a lean thinker without apology and without pretense. His messages are cogent, concise, and adaptable. I’ve been happy to share his work with others in the course of my day to day kaizen in AT&T’s vast IT landscape. In his blog post, “6 Important Marketing Trends To Watch In 2012” Matt gives us some insight on the coming months. I really enjoyed the post, (re-posted below) and I hope you will find it useful as well.
Bob H
03 Jan 2012

6 Important Marketing Trends To Watch In 2012

Every year around this time, we shift our focus from “the year in review” to “the year ahead.” Trend reports abound, and with a bit of searching you can usually find one targeted to whatever your specific business niche might be. Too often, though, these trend reports get delivered in overwhelming PowerPoint decks crammed with head-spinning data, charts and graphs.

The renowned brand strategy consultancy Landor saves us that migraine in their look ahead with an eminently digestible article that looks at a host of different marketing areas–naming, demographics, image sharing, China, mobile technology, on-demand media, design, innovation, change, and the notion of trends itself–and answers three simple questions: What can we expect in 20102? What is the impact on brands? What brands stand out?

Here are the most relevant trends for entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses for 2012, in the context of marketing and branding.

1. Abstract is the new concrete. Names–for products, for companies–will get more abstract. “Finding a name that is unique, memorable, and–very important–ownable, has become increasingly challenging,” states Jason Bice of Landor. “Names that are coined, abstract, or arbitrary stand the greatest chance of clearing the multiple hurdles involved in the naming process.”

The implication is that you need to become a better storyteller. “Coined names come with zero baggage,” continues Bice. “Unfortunately, they also come without a built-in meaning. Couple that with brands being increasingly accountable to a very vocal and socially networked public, and story becomes a crucial part of what a name needs to deliver.”

2. Boomers–they’re baaack! The 47-65-year-old demographic, aka Baby Boomers, is an afterthought for most marketers. That means the estimated 77 million boomers in the United States are undermessaged and underserved.

“They control over 50 percent of discretionary spending and enjoy 80 percent of all leisure travel,” writes Landor’s Susan Nelson. “They represent about 40 percent of regular Facebookers. But the percentage of marketers targeting the boomers? Neglible.”

That sounds like opportunity calling. A few smart brands are catching on and catching up, but “so many consumer packaged goods and media brands seem stuck in the fallacy that early adopters are all young and cool,” Nelson states. “They don’t get that there are a lot of boomers with plenty of money to spend.”

3. Trending is trending. Hockey great Wayne Gretsky was once quoted as saying “I don’t skate to where the puck is; I skate to where the puck will be.” It’s become a bit of a cliche, but customer and market trends are changing at the speed of a hockey puck on ice. One of the things that’s changing is trending itself.

“The emergence of ‘what’s trending’ is itself an upcoming trend impacting what we see (Charlie Sheen’s #winning), what we don’t see (#occupywallstreet trending blocked by Twitter), and ultimately how we interact with content online,” advises Karl Isaac, Landor’s Executive Director of Digital Branding. “Facebook’s change to feeds organized by top stories sent a clear signal that trending is an increasingly significant influencer of user interaction.”

Easy ways to hunt for trends via Twitter include Trendsmap, Topsy, and Trendistic.

4. The photo’s the thing. It’s true: a picture’s worth a thousand words. Over 90 billion images have been uploaded to Facebook. The ultra simple app Instagram is experiencing exponential growth, and even behemoth GE used it to post “behind the scenes” photos of manufacturing plants and distribution channels to foster a sense of consumer intimacy and authenticity.

According to Russ Meyer of Landor, “Brands that can harness these emerging social behaviors to their advantage, much the way American Express did when it partnered with Foursquare to offer special deals, will see breakthroughs in their relations with the public. To be successful in 2012 and beyond, brands will have to follow the trail blazed by consumers in regularly sharing relevant images online.”

5. Tablets, tablets everywhere. “The tablet is the first true crossover device for use both at home and out in the world,” writes David Keefe. “And brands are starting to understand the tablet’s relevance to retail: Their owners increasingly take them to grocery stores, pharmacies, and car dealerships.”

Keefe’s advice? “Start today. Migrate your audience. Think video. Understand how to integrate tablets into places that intersect with existing brand touchpoints. For example, many new cars will soon be equipped with tablet-like devices.”

6. Creativity takes center stage. According to Landor, the burning question for 2012 is this: How can companies rapidly and efficiently infuse innovation across their entire culture, capitalize on the new ideas they spawn, and create value for customers and equity in their brand?

“It’s no longer enough to move the line,” states Landor’s Allen Adamson. “Companies must reinvent it. For example, Uniqlo has taken the basic Gap formula and made it better, more fun, and more edgy. This trendy Japanese retailer, with its amazing new flagship store in New York, can make anyone look cool, and for a very cool price.”

The implication is that if your company’s DNA doesn’t carry the gene for nimble creativity, you may not make it to 2013.

You can read the full article here. What might the potential impact of these and other emerging trends be onyour business? How will you respond in 2012?


Reprinted from my OPEN Forum column.

About mm

Author, The Shibumi Strategy, In Pursuit of Elegance, and The Elegant Solution. Columnist, OPEN Forum Idea Hub.

THIS ENTRY WAS POSTED IN STRATEGY. BOOKMARK THE PERMALINK.

Re-posted from Matthew May’s website, matthewmay.com

Visual Management Principle: In a Glance

This post on Pete Abilla’s blog “shmula.com” is a great (and very sad) example of visual management. In this case, it refers to the idea that a good visual management system should be easy to understand, “at a glance”.

from www.shmula.com

Visual Management Principle: In a Glance

Posted by Pete Abilla

June 15, 2010

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Visual Management Principles
Visual Management Principles

Visual Management Principle: Make Problems Visible Visual Management Principle: Make it Obvious Visual Management Principle: There Must be a Standard Visual Management Principle: In a Glance Confusing Hospital Visual Management

Similar to the principle of “Make it Obvious“, and “Make Problems Visible“, this principle is more about delivery than content. The content must be delivered “In a Glance” – that is, the user must look at it and understand immediately what he/she is looking at, know what he/she should do with that information, by when, and who are involved.

As an example, In a Glance, this site tells us how how many dead birds, dead sea turtles, and dead mammals there are from the BP Oil Spill; how many oiled but alive and how many cleaned and released.

bp-oil-spill-dead-wildlife-abilla-shmula

In a Glance,

bp-oil-spill-dead-wildlife-tally-abilla-shmula

Straightforward. Simple. Informative. Very sad.

Read More: http://www.shmula.com/2975/visual-management-principle-in-a-glance#ixzz0rUNO5ALb

Andon

Andon (アンドン, あんどん, 行灯) is a manufacturing term referring to a system to notify management, maintenance, and other workers of a quality or process problem. The centrepiece is a signboard incorporating signal lights to indicate which workstation has the problem. The alert can be activated manually by a worker using a pullcord or button, or may be activated automatically by the production equipment itself. The system may include a means to stop production so the issue can be corrected. Some modern alert systems incorporate audio alarms, text, or other displays.

At Toyota, each team member is a quality inspector. At any time during the production process, any team member who spots a problem can stop production by pulling the “andon cord” located next to the assembly line. An andon board (left) lets supervisors know the location of the problem with a blinking light and a distinct musical tone.

An Andon system is one of the principal elements of the Jidoka quality control  method pioneered by Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System and therefore now part of the Lean approach. It gives the worker the ability to stop production when a defect is found, and immediately call for assistance. Common reasons for manual activation of the Andon are part shortage, defect created or found, tool malfunction, or the existence of a safety problem. Work is stopped until a solution has been found. The alerts may be logged to a database so that they can be studied as part of a continuous-improvement program.

The system typically indicates where the alert was generated, and may also provide a description of the trouble. Modern Andon systems can include text, graphics, or audio elements. Audio alerts may be done with coded tones, music with different tunes corresponding to the various alerts, or pre-recorded verbal messages.

Usage of the word originated within Japanese manufacturing companies, and in English is a loanword from a Japanese word for a paper lantern.

References

Liker, Jeffrey (2004) “The Toyota Way” New York:McGraw Hill ISBN 0-07-139231-9

Learning to See the Whole

One of the most important things that continuous improvement practitioners must to is to help people learn to see the enterprise as a whole.

This is the best example I have ever seen of optimizing one part of the process, but sub-optimizing the whole process.

While this is an old clip, the “workers are the problem” attitude of many managers is alive and well many years later