LeanKit's founding team had a strong Lean-Agile background from previous careers. So, in the early days of the company, we just instinctively did things in a Lean way with as few formal processes as any startup. But, like any growing company, we eventually did have to start clearly defining how we do things. And like anyone, we were tempted to become more bureaucratic - with lots of scheduling, coordination, meetings and estimates.
Instead, we developed our FSGD (Frequent Small Good Decoupled) approach. This LeanKit way of working has provided our teams with a simple yardstick for making effective decisions without a lot of cross team scheduling and coordination. It has simplified abstract Agile concepts into something everyone easily understands and cheerfully applies on a daily basis.
FSGD isn't a replacement for Kanban, Scrum, XP, etc. We strongly believe in and spend lots of time teaching our teams about the Kanban Method as well as standard Lean and Agile principles, tools, and techniques. But FSGD distills what we think are the key decision making elements of those methods into something everyone can remember.
We apply this model to all of our teams: design, development, testing, operations, sales, marketing, finance, HR. Indeed, we believe that applying it as broadly as possible makes it work most effectively.
Indeed, that's part of why the model doesn't reference software directly at all. It's meant to be generally applicable. One sub-concept included in the slides TLDR (Tested, Logged, Documented, Reviewed) is more specific to the technology context.
We have seen significant improvements in our delivery speed across multiple teams since rolling out the FSGD approach. We want to help other people gain the same benefits.
Jon Terry is co-Chief Executive Officer of LeanKit. Before LeanKit, Jon held a number of senior IT positions with hospital-giant HCA and its logistics subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. He was among those responsible for launching HCA’s adoption of Lean/Agile methods.
Jon earned his Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and his Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. He is a Project Management Professional, a Certified Scrum Master, a Kanban Coaching Professional, is certified in the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner Method, and trained in the SAFe Lean Systems Engineering method.