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.
The dreaded question, “Do you have five minutes?” seems to be relatively harmless on the surface; who doesn’t have five minutes to spare? Everyone wants to be helpful — which is why you’re always willing to put down what you’re doing to hear your coworker’s burning questions. Then, you struggle to wrap your head around the context of their issue, and engage in the inevitable knowledge transfer required to catch up to their thought process.
Somehow, five minutes has turned into 20 minutes. You’ve deposited your answer and they leave content with the outcome. You finally get back to your computer, ready to pick up where you left off — but you get stuck: “Where was I again?”
At LeanKit, Lean isn’t just the product we sell. It’s in our name because we passionately believed in it when we founded the company, and we still do today.
By embracing Lean across our company, we’ve adopted a customer-centric approach — not only in our product development, but also in every other department, from finance and accounting to sales and marketing.
What Lean Teams Can Learn from Crew
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 20 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.
People are talking about the misaligned middle. How can it be that executives understand the value of emerging practices in IT Operations, such as Lean and DevOps, and individual contributors in the trenches get it, but the middle managers just don’t seem to? Are they unaware? Stubborn? Is it learned helplessness?