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Overcoming Delay: How The Best Developers Increase Productivity


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In the software industry, it’s common to be on a project with an aggressive timeline. Even if the schedule was correct, plans don’t always go the way you expect and become off track. Teams end up working more extended hours, try to add people to the project or make other heroic efforts to try and “save the day’ and finish on time. In my experience, rarely have those efforts worked and when it did, the team was so burned out it took several weeks to get motivated to tackle another project.
There should be a better way to complete projects on time, so teams feel a sense of accomplishment and are excited to take on the next project. In this session, we discuss three key behaviors you can do with your team, unlocking a better way to work to help the team succeed.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Overcoming Delay: How The Best Developers Increase Productivity

  1. 1. Overcoming DelayHow the Best Developers Increase Productivity @paulmgower
  2. 2. Please don’t reuse these slides without permission This presentation is copyrighted.
  3. 3. Paul Gower Maker. Stakeholder. @paulmgower
  4. 4. Maker. Started my journey playing video games. @paulmgower I’ve been writing code since 1992.
  5. 5. Stakeholder. @paulmgower
  6. 6. Bridge Both maker and stakeholder perspectives @paulmgower My leadership style was chaos and the death march was my methodology.
  7. 7. I needed to find a better way! I became a student of Lean and Agile. @paulmgower
  8. 8. Today’s Big Idea @paulmgower
  9. 9. Outsmart the instincts that create delay by mastering flow. @paulmgower
  10. 10. Kanban @paulmgower
  11. 11. Kanban is a set of organizing principles and practices that clarify how to unhide work and optimize its flow. @paulmgower
  12. 12. Kanban Card A fast way to articulate the work that needs to be done. As an online banking customer, I want to create an account online so that I can check my balance. XL Paul Gower8/6 @paulmgower
  13. 13. Kanban Board A simple way to communicate progress that everyone understands. To Do Doing Done @paulmgower
  14. 14. Stakeholders and Makers @paulmgower
  15. 15. How does a team typically respond when asked to increase efficiency? They work harder and longer. @paulmgower
  16. 16. @paulmgower Efficiency 1
  17. 17. @paulmgower
  18. 18. What metric could they use to guide the discretionary time of their employees to achieve growth? @paulmgower
  19. 19. Time in the air. @paulmgower
  20. 20. What metric could be used similarly for knowledge work teams? @paulmgower
  21. 21. Flow Efficiency. The percentage of time spent adding value to the work we do. @paulmgower
  22. 22. Busy means I’m needed. 2
  23. 23. What is your association with busy?
  24. 24. @paulmgower
  25. 25. @paulmgower
  26. 26. To Do Doing Done @paulmgower
  27. 27. —Greg McKeown The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It stayed singular for the next 500 years. @paulmgower
  28. 28. Limiting Work in Progress Work that flows consistently produces higher output. 23 4 Options Design Develop Test Release 8 @paulmgower
  29. 29. Little’s Law If the team isn’t busy, do more. If the team is overburdened, do less. In both cases, the team will increase output. @paulmgower
  30. 30. Outsmart the instincts that create delay by mastering flow. @paulmgower
  31. 31. TestDevelop DoneBacklog @paulmgower
  32. 32. @paulmgower Push 3
  33. 33. @paulmgower DriveThe Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
  34. 34. What are the three factors employers can use to motivate employees? @paulmgower
  35. 35. Autonomy. @paulmgower
  36. 36. Purpose. @paulmgower
  37. 37. Mastery. @paulmgower
  38. 38. What is motivating this developer? @paulmgower
  39. 39. TestDevelop DoneBacklog @paulmgower
  40. 40. All makers have growth-driven impulses.
  41. 41. What is the primary function of an automobile? @paulmgower
  42. 42. —Elon Musk “Most cars are only in use by their owners for 5% to 10% of the day.” @paulmgower
  43. 43. You cannot reduce delay if you are not actively measuring it! @paulmgower
  44. 44. Traditional thinking recognizes work in three states. Unstarted. In Progress. Done. @paulmgower
  45. 45. Work actually exists in four states. Unstarted. Underway. Waiting. Done. @paulmgower
  46. 46. TestDevelop DoneOptions @paulmgower
  47. 47. Work can be assigned to everyone and owned by no one. @paulmgower
  48. 48. One simple behavior change. Insert an interrupter to prevent your impulse to learn and grow from taking over! @paulmgower
  49. 49. “I’m finished and I’m waiting for this work to be taken from me.” @paulmgower
  50. 50. It’s called a Pull System. The only way work moves is if someone pulls it. Team members are always communicating availability. Cards are never lost because they always have an advocate. @paulmgower
  51. 51. A pull system is an ownership- driven system. @paulmgower
  52. 52. Outsmart the instincts that create delay by mastering flow. @paulmgower
  53. 53. Pull System + WIP Limits Eliminates overburdening! @paulmgower
  54. 54. There’s more! Before pulling new work, insert a second interrupter. @paulmgower
  55. 55. Look for opportunities to improve flow. @paulmgower
  56. 56. DoneOptions TestDevelop @paulmgower
  57. 57. UXRefine WriteOptions Edit Design Approve Develop Test Accept Done @paulmgower
  58. 58. Self healing. A healthy Kanban system preserves itself. @paulmgower
  59. 59. Recap. @paulmgower
  60. 60. Instincts. Spaced repetition yields behavior change. @paulmgower ‣Efficiency ➜ Flow ‣Busy ➜ Limit WIP ‣Push ➜ Pull
  61. 61. Before starting new work, look for opportunities to improve flow. Interrupters. @paulmgower “I’m finished and I’m waiting for this work to be taken from me.”
  62. 62. Outsmart the instincts that create delay by mastering flow. @paulmgower
  63. 63. We teach Kanban. Paul Gower @paulmgower