Well, with a lot of manual work, and without a lot of computers. Yes, that’s correct. Toyota only automates dangerous work and the work that involves heavy loads. All other work is done by humans, because humans can improve the way they work. This is a fascinating account of a factory which produces 40000 vehicles, without a lot of automation, with 6000 employees. And yes, they do stop assembly lines there. This article is from 2008, but Toyota works to a 50 year plan, so they’d only have improved the process by now.
Is design a matter of personal taste? There are generally agreed principles that can help us identify good design from bad. Especially the technical design. That’s Kent Beck’s argument, and a pretty good one too. Martin Fowler seems to agree with it. This and other arguments form the basis of xp and TDD. These are a good read, whether you are involved in hands-on design or not.
Is it just the semantics? Products are what deliver value to the customers and essentially to the organisation delivering these products. Generally speaking, projects are delivery vehicles which are used to deliver these products – a combination of activities that need to happen to enable the organisation to deliver the products. So how do roadmaps and constraints matter in this context? Should return on investment be measured in case of the products or projects or both?
Changing cultural habit is tough work. We are creatures of habit. Adopting new habit is very difficult at personal level. It takes huge amount of will and discipline to adopt new habits. How about forming habits in an organisation? This means changing cultural habits of an organisation. Tough, tough, tough. Here are tips that help you instil new habits in your organisation.
Are your Retrospectives suffering from lack of interest, lack of attendance, lack of enthusiasm, lack of purpose? Suffering from monotony? Any or all of these? Fear not. Here are some tips you can use to breath a new life in your Retrospectives.
AGILE GAMES, VIDEO
I am terrible at drawing. But that shouldn’t stop me from putting visual thinking into practice, right? A picture is worth a thousand words, or more. Visual thinking is a powerful technique. Let’s say you are working with a team, or facilitating a session and you want to encourage people to start thinking visually. This 5 minute video introduces you to a game that you can use to kickstart a visual thinking session.
Remember all different techniques of building and launching an MVP from the Lean Startup book. How about a few more examples? Wouldn’t it be fun if the examples are illustrated? Here’s a poster crisp has produced to achieve just that.
Your computer is at its productive best when the cpu and memory are utilised 100%, right? No, of course not. Everyone knows that. So is your team at its productive best when all the team members are utilised 100%? How do we improve productivity without worrying too much about utilisation?
Now and then we come across the question – whether Scrum would work in sales, or marketing or any other non-software development environment? Well, would it? How would planning, review and retrospective work? How about the Scrum board, the Product Backlog? Here’s an interesting take on how to use Scrum in sales.