Practicing Lean depends upon fostering a student mentality — recognizing what you don’t know, and approaching the unknown with a curious, humble mind. Whether you’re new to Lean or a seasoned expert, reading about the experiences and practices of others is an excellent way to practice a key Lean concept: continuous improvement. At LeanKit, when people ask us how to learn more about Lean, we often direct them to these excellent Lean books, written by our esteemed colleagues in the Lean community.
Different companies have different cultures, but timesheets are almost universally abhorred by the work force — and yet they continue to stick around. Why? Because timesheets are acutely intertwined with traditional IT budgeting processes. While workers may be peeved at the inconvenience of timesheets, leadership is looking to them to answer vital questions. Questions like:
- How predictable are we — do we consistently deliver value?
- Are we efficient — what is the capacity utilization of the staff?
- Are we straying from our budget — projected cost vs. actual cost?
- Is the headcount and skillset right — does the current staff level serve the organization well?
What is Lean Thinking?
“Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.” — Eric Ries
Testing, like Lean thinking is a mindset. Both are required to achieve a practice of continuous improvement. Consider how you “provide benefit to the customer”. The last work decision you made: was it to prioritize one piece of work over another, change a certain feature, or tweak your marketing messaging? How did you make that decision? And most importantly, how did you know that what you decided is what the customer actually wants?
Testing is the vehicle through which the accumulation of experience, insight, education and the constant reassessment of our assumptions allows us to better understand our target across all facets of their journey, first as a buyer and then a customer. It’s the method of eliminating waste by approaching our work with a curious, humble, and methodical mindset. These three key characteristics power the testing mindset needed to achieve continuous improvement.
In my last post, you learned how hiring for a healthy remote team requires a thorough process, a clear vision, and honest communication. You know how to select great candidates. Now how do you make sure they have what they need to contribute meaningfully to your team?
Now more than ever, companies are experimenting with allowing their employees to work from home. Some companies don’t have a physical office at all, while others maintain a balance of onsite and remote employees. Allowing remote teams gives companies access to talent all over the world, opening the organization to new opportunities, networks, and skill sets than would be available to them in their local area. Being part of remote teams also presents new challenges, for team members and managers alike.
Great remote teams don’t just happen; they’re built. Building a great remote team begins with strategic, intentional hiring practices. In order to scale your business, this process needs to be thorough, well-documented, and effective at both identifying strong candidates for remote work, and surfacing any potential issues before you make your decision.
In my fifteen years of experience as an App Development and Development Manager, I’ve worked with and managed all types of remote teams. In a series of posts, I’m going to share the important lessons I’ve learned about how to keep remote teams cohesive.
Continuous improvement is one of the pillars of a Lean environment. It sounds pretty lofty, doesn’t it? “I work for a company that’s always evolving,” is a great blurb for LinkedIn, but what does that even look like? How is a company sure that they’re practicing continuous improvement in Lean ways? This article will discuss two techniques that you can use to build the right mindset across your organization for continuous improvement in Lean.
In September 2015, we launched the first-ever Lean Business Survey to gain insight into how people were applying Lean across all disciplines of knowledge work. In two short months, we gathered responses from more than 3,000 executives, consultants, and team members in a variety of industries, hailing from 75 countries across the globe.
Thanks to the strong response to our survey, we’re pleased to announce the release of our inaugural Lean Business Report. This report is the first of its kind, and this exclusive research has never been released until now.
92% of teams surveyed experienced moderate to significant improvements after implementing Lean. Download the report to learn what practices and principles are guiding them to success.