9

The simplest answer to this will likely be the answer you least like. Don't... In the last fifteen or so years we have seen an ever increasing level of transparency in the work place. This crosses all industries, all job levels and all work styles. Agile hasn't gained the traction it has because it is the best methods of development ever. Agile has been ...


6

Scrum is not Agile. :) It is one way to do agile, it doesn't fit all situations. Based on what you've described, a straight Kanban approach is going to work much better for you. When supporting a live service, when you need to make a change, it is often something that needs to be changed "yesterday". Waiting for the next sprint to add it to the backlog is ...


5

While I can't give you a specific idea about it being too early, I'd suggest strongly making sure that your team fully appreciates the concepts of agile development and also wants to have a useful process in place. Right now I am working on a team of 4.5 (3 full stack devs, an intern, and me, the PM/BA). I wanted to get us started with the agile concept ...


5

If you reduce or remove a non value adding activity the overall outcome won't change, but the process time will be reduced. Often the non value adding activities take some time, but they can be caused by unnecessary transportation, doing things again etc. In Lean production they are called waste. A couple of examples: corrections: when you have to fix ...


4

Excessive complexity in processes is called "Red Tape" You can see the Merriam Webster definition of red tape here: Official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction. The term originates from the red tape formerly used to bind legal documents in England. You can see the Wikipedia definition of red tape here: ...


4

The contract type is another factor to consider. A firm-fixed price (FFP) contract can provide you the opacity which is your stated desire. The specification is set in the statement of work or statement of objectives. The product is evaluated for acceptance against the specification. To cut against opacity, the buyer can require "key person" clause requiring ...


4

Kanban for maintenance and Scrum for development What would be the best way to manage this team so the load is level across all resources, we work at a sustainable pace, and we have a somewhat-defined goal to guide our development efforts? If I were you I will start with the following straw man proposal and refine it from there: About half the ...


3

Bureaucratization Tendency to manage an organization by adding more controls, adherence to rigid procedures, and attention to every detail for its own sake. Red tape is about right, but it refers to the outcome not the process. I found Bureaucratization here. This is the correct meaning but the word is a mouthful and certainly not commonly used.


3

Since you're arguing for a situation where (at least some of) your employees will benefit from the anonymity, I can only think of one option: Code Names Create a culture of 'ninja squads' or some similar metaphor on being super-talented. All your devs are remote, so they won't cut though it F2F. You can instill each, individually, with the way that the ...


3

Joel spoke well. As someone with this same issue, however, here's how I approach the dilemma: Relationships, not abilities, matter. I only hire excellent people, engineering or otherwise. So my goal with employees, most of whom are contracting through me, is to have an excellent working relationship with them. If they want to leave, that's too bad for me, ...


3

Based on past experiences, I would agree with the other posts above and recommend starting with a flow-based approach like a kanban board for the ongoing support apps, and maybe look at Scrum for the ones in heavier ongoing/feature development. I would also recommend starting with a board that matches your actual step by step flow and not an idealized flow, ...


3

TL;DR You should continuously inspect-and-adapt your entire system as an integral part of running a successful Kanban implementation. To successfully manage growth, you will need to make changes to your processes if you expect to reduce (rather than increase) lead time as your input queues grow. Workload as Empirical Data Kanban is a great framework for ...


3

TL;DR One way to think about project management is that it isn't necessarily about adopting a specific process, framework, or set of practices. Rather, it is most often a tool for managing expectations and making sure that project-related communications are effective. It is never too early to manage expectations, or to start communicating effectively. The ...


2

"Should a process be put in place?" Yes. Even with a team of two I've found that it is useful to put a process in place. To tell the truth, I put a process in place when the team size is 1 (just me). I make mistakes, and process is one of the tools I use to compensate for my fallibility. Should the process be adjusted based on the size of the team? Yes, ...


2

One of the principles of good project management is to tailor your approach to the needs of your project. Looking at it from this perspective you should always have a PM process, the question is more along the lines of how formal it needs to be for the current project. By all means develop a culture that embraces PM, but trying to implement and enforce some ...


2

To get to point B, you are going to have a process. The question really is, do you want to think it through and formally design it, with control points, rules, assignments, and expectations, or just wing it. There are benefits and costs/risks to both alternatives. What you will likely find is your performance will be less than desired. That will trigger ...


2

Who is your Product Owner? To me, it sounds like what you are struggling with is that you don't really have a product owner defined for this software. When doing software development, even if you're writing software that is market facing, someone has to represent the product ownership role as you develop your software. Otherwise, you're developing ...


2

From my experience in managing new product development, I think the first step should be to find a launching customer. No launching customer = no reference case, no inside knowledge, IT-driven product, will hardly succeed in a satured market. In your case I would recommend finding at least two launching customers that are willing to spend time and money, ...


2

All such projects should start with a Business Case (BC). The BC should state the problem you want to solve or the opportunity you want to exploit. It should state the cost of undertaking the project (in resource and in hard cash terms) and the benefits that the business believes will arise from undertaking the project. In your case, since the nature of the ...


2

This actually is a very good question. I've found that visual representations of system processes can really help people who don't write code understand system designs. Yet, I've also found people are hesitant to maintain and reuse such documentation. Here I present an incomplete list of reasons why reuse and sharing my be true in the hopes that someone on ...


2

TL;DR Sometimes the production of an artifact is the focal point of a process. Other times, artifacts are a byproduct of the process or they're not created at all. In some cases, it's simply a matter of perspective. For example, is a piece of working code an artifact, a change in product state, or the meeting of a requirement or goal? Pick any three. :) ...


2

By making sure you have cross functional teams. If there are sales or marketing actions that need to happen before release, then you need representatives on the team to make sure they happen on the right cadence. Make a list of all the things that need to occur in order to release a feature. This is your “definition of done”. Do you have all the people and ...


1

I think it's just called waste. I never heard of a specific term other than waste being used. Look for TIM WOODS in your organization: T: Transport I: Inventory M: Motion W: Waiting O: Over producing O: Over processing D: Defects S: Skills These are the eight areas where you can lean your process.


1

A common approach is to use Process Failure Modes and Effects Analysis in conjunction with a happy path process map. The purpose of P-FMEA is to identify potential ways each step in the process may fail, the impact of failure, and the ability to detect that failure has occurred. Once a P-FMEA analysis has been conducted for a process, then the list of ...


1

Service and training are two examples. There is a state change-a customer being served and a change in knowledge or skill-without having a product being produced necessarily.


1

An Event-based gateway can manage subprocesses with dynamic paths based on intermediate events: Event based gateways are a special case of deferred choice pattern where the process chooses a specific sequence and branch depending on the interaction with an external environment thereby allowing for true dynamicity. This is different from the exclusive ...


1

On the surface, it sounds like you are looking for freely available UML diagrams. There are plenty available online. If you search for "UML tutorial", you will find many tutorials, such as this one or this playlist on YouTube. Although you asked for free, I would also like to point out an abundance of books - I usually recommend UML Distilled, but there is ...


1

I would suggest that the reason why you find such models hard to find is because they aren't being produced. With the growing popularity of functional programming, test driven development and agile, iterative development techniques, the days of trying to design an entire system via UML diagrams has long gone. Some people might still use UML as a way of ...


1

Many Paths to Process Improvement Processes can be improved in a variety of ways: Speed. Quality. Cost. Cycle time. Lead time. and probably tons of other dimensions, too. If your process is repeatably two hours faster, rather than a statistical outlier, then you could certainly say your new-and-improved process is 10.5% faster than before, but it may or ...


1

Maximize the contribution margin from your constrained resource To grow such a business you want to maximize the contribution margin. Contribution margin is the selling price minus the variable cost per unit. In a job shop business of this type your key decision point is the desired product mix you shoot for. For example, if you would like to get more orders ...


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