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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. Hi, I’m Paul! Trainer. Maker. Stakeholder. @paulmgower
  4. 4. Maker. I’ve been writing code since 1994. @paulmgower
  5. 5. Started by fighting with conventional memory @paulmgower
  6. 6. Stakeholder. I’ve owned my own business since 2014. @paulmgower
  7. 7. Accidental leader. I wanted to protect my team from bad leadership. My leadership style was chaos and the death march was my methodology. @paulmgower
  8. 8. I needed to find a better way! I became a student of Lean and Agile. @paulmgower
  9. 9. Today’s Big Idea @paulmgower
  10. 10. Stakeholders and Makers @paulmgower
  11. 11. How does a team typically respond when asked to increase efficiency? They work harder and longer. @paulmgower
  12. 12. Efficiency @paulmgower
  13. 13. —Jon Terry If you optimize for efficiency, you’ll get gridlock. If you optimize for flow, you’ll get efficiency. @paulmgower
  14. 14. Flow is the active ingredient of every successful team. @paulmgower
  15. 15. @paulmgower
  16. 16. What metric could they use to guide the discretionary time of their employees to achieve growth? @paulmgower
  17. 17. Time in the air. @paulmgower
  18. 18. What metric could be used similarly for knowledge work teams? @paulmgower
  19. 19. Flow Efficiency. The percentage of time spent adding value to the work we do. @paulmgower
  20. 20. What is the average Flow Efficiency? @paulmgower
  21. 21. 4-6%That can’t possibly be true, I’m always busy! @paulmgower
  22. 22. Teams are either a river or a flood. A river has somewhere to go. A flood has no predictable direction. One delivers life and the other takes it. @paulmgower
  23. 23. 3 Key Concepts To Help Us Achieve Flow Lightning fast introduction to Kanban. Discuss focus and how to improve it. Learn about the affects of ownership on your team. @paulmgower
  24. 24. Introduction
  25. 25. Kanban is a set of organizing principles and practices that clarify how to unhide work and optimize its flow. @paulmgower
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. Kanban Board A simple way to communicate progress that everyone understands. To Do Doing Done We’ll explore the disguised sophistication of Kanban systems. @paulmgower
  28. 28. Mindset. @paulmgower
  29. 29. You don’t have to stop working to start Kanban. @paulmgower
  30. 30. Start with what you do now. Kanban is a no overhead capstone that fits atop how you work today. @paulmgower
  31. 31. Kanban favors evolution over transformation. @paulmgower
  32. 32. Kanban manages work, not people. Great organizations lead people and manage work. Flow is valued over resource utilization. @paulmgower
  33. 33. Favors finishing over starting. Focus on finishing. @paulmgower
  34. 34. Focus
  35. 35. Busy @paulmgower
  36. 36. @paulmgower
  37. 37. Chaos is valuing activity over results. @paulmgower
  38. 38. To Do Doing Done @paulmgower
  39. 39. —Greg McKeown The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It stayed singular for the next 500 years. @paulmgower
  40. 40. Limiting Work in Progress Work that flows consistently produces higher output. 23 4 Options Design Develop Test Release 8 @paulmgower
  41. 41. 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
  42. 42. Ownership
  43. 43. TestDevelop DoneBacklog @paulmgower
  44. 44. @paulmgower DriveThe Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
  45. 45. What are the three factors employers can use to motivate employees? @paulmgower
  46. 46. Autonomy. @paulmgower
  47. 47. Mastery. @paulmgower
  48. 48. Purpose. @paulmgower
  49. 49. What is motivating this developer? @paulmgower
  50. 50. TestDevelop DoneBacklog @paulmgower
  51. 51. All makers have growth-driven impulses.
  52. 52. Push @paulmgower
  53. 53. TestDevelop DoneOptions @paulmgower
  54. 54. Work can be assigned to everyone and owned by no one. @paulmgower
  55. 55. What is the primary function of an automobile? @paulmgower
  56. 56. —Elon Musk “Most cars are only in use by their owners for 5% to 10% of the day.” @paulmgower
  57. 57. You cannot reduce delay if you are not actively measuring it! @paulmgower
  58. 58. Traditional thinking recognizes work in three states. Unstarted. In Progress. Done. @paulmgower
  59. 59. Work actually exists in four states. Unstarted. Underway. Waiting. Done. @paulmgower
  60. 60. A common source of delay is when work is waiting for the next activity to occur. That work is called pullable. @paulmgower
  61. 61. One simple behavior change. Insert an interrupter to prevent your impulse to learn and grow from taking over! @paulmgower
  62. 62. “I’m finished and I’m waiting for this work to be taken from me.” @paulmgower
  63. 63. 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
  64. 64. A pull system is an ownership- driven system. @paulmgower
  65. 65. There’s more! Before pulling new work, insert a second interrupter. @paulmgower
  66. 66. Look for opportunities to improve flow. @paulmgower
  67. 67. Self healing. A healthy Kanban system preserves itself. @paulmgower
  68. 68. Pull System + WIP Limits Eliminates overburdening! @paulmgower
  69. 69. Outsmart the instincts that create delay by mastering flow. @paulmgower
  70. 70. Improve the entire system. Not just the parts which you are most frequently involved. @paulmgower
  71. 71. UXRefine WriteOptions Edit Design Approve Develop Test Accept Done True agility. @paulmgower
  72. 72. Recap. @paulmgower
  73. 73. Instincts. Spaced repetition yields behavior change. @paulmgower ‣Efficiency ➜ Flow ‣Busy ➜ Limit WIP ‣Push ➜ Pull “I’m finished and I’m waiting for this work to be taken from me.”
  74. 74. We teach Kanban. Paul Gower @paulmgower @hugeio