Using Lean Thinking to Develop a Testing Mindset

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.

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Keeping Remote Teams Cohesive, Part 1: 6 Steps to Hiring Remote Employees

remote-teams-cohesive

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.

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Continuous Improvement in Lean

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.

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Do You Have 5 Minutes? The True Cost of Context Switching

context switching

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?”

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