Lean: It’s About Pulling Together

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I was working on a conference presentation the other day and found a picture of a crew team. It reminded me of a similar picture our marketing team has used on the LeanKit website, and how well that metaphor fits both Lean and me personally. I was in crew in high school. I still have my team jacket in my closet twenty years later. That may be corny nostalgia, but it speaks to the impact of the experience.

I rowed in quads. Quads are the boats where each rower faces backwards, with an oar in each hand, and there’s a coxswain in the back of the boat facing forward to guide the crew. It’s a wonderful metaphor for successful Lean teamwork.

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Evolving Your Daily Standup with Kanban

As an Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) and coach, I work with teams every day who are evolving their understanding of Kanban as well as the level of maturity at which their teams practice it. One of the most frequent questions I hear from the teams with whom I work is:

Do daily standups really need to happen every day?

It’s important to take into account the first principle of Kanban, Start with what you do now, when considering such a question. I decided that this would be an excellent topic for my second webinar with LeanKit. In case you missed it, you can watch the recording below. Keep reading to learn more about how teams find themselves conducting unproductive standups, day after day — and how to determine if your team is ready to graduate to less frequent standups.

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Can “Bad” IT Metrics Ever Be Good?

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In my last post here on the LeanKit blog, I wrote about the hidden dangers of vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are those metrics that make us feel good about what we are doing and provide interesting information, but don’t pass the “So What?” test. A common characteristic is that they measure activity instead of progress.

In this blog post, I will dive deeper into the topic of vanity metrics. Specifically, I will answer the question: Can vanity metrics, or any other “bad” IT metrics, ever be used for good?

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FAQ: What Are My Options For Board User Access?

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My name is Ryan MacGillis and I’m a Customer Support Specialist here at LeanKit. A lot of the questions we receive are from people who want to get the most out of LeanKit’s features — that’s where I come in. Periodically, I’ll be blogging about some of the most frequently asked questions I hear. Our first LeanKit FAQ explains how board user permissions work.

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Metric-Driven Coaching

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W. Edwards Deming said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” But how do you know if you’re measuring the right things? All too often teams fall prey to misleading metrics, missing invaluable opportunities to grow and improve.

In this webinar, I’ll show you how to choose the right metrics to measure your team’s effectiveness and encourage the right behaviors. Then, I’ll explain how metric-driven coaching can help teams understand their process and highlight areas for improvement.

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Why Vanity Metrics are Dangerous: Holding a Mirror Up to Your Measures of Success

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What are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity, as an adjective, means “produced as a showcase for one’s talents” — i.e., a vanity production. When we showcase our own talents, we choose what makes us look good and ignore what doesn’t.

In this post, we’ll look at an IT Operations team that is caught in an interesting, though not uncommon, situation involving vanity metrics. Then, I’ll discuss the dangers of vanity metrics, and present a quick test you can to do to evaluate your own success measures.

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The New School of Information Security: Lean Perspectives

Lean Principles for Information Security - LeanKit

Hello, my name is Tyler Welton. I am a Security Engineer at LeanKit and I love it. I spend a large portion of my time fulfilling both defensive and offensive security duties for our web application, infrastructure and security culture.

Information security is hard. Providing good security is even harder. Agile development methodology and the practice of Lean principles has allowed industry leaders to produce and deploy software faster and more frequently than in decades before. Naturally, our diligence to protect this software, and our ways of doing so, must evolve too.

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