Mattias Skarin

Mattias Skarin

Continue reading: 12 seemingly normal things Agile people do

12 seemingly normal things Agile people do

Last week, I got this great question from Faraz (a manager for an energetic customer support crew) who is experimenting a lot with getting more Agile. “What seemingly normal things do Agile people do?” I realized that we rarely talk about the small things that effective Agile people do. What makes a great difference is rarely the big sweeping change programs, but rather, the small everyday things we do without thinking about it.

So here’s a list of 12 seemingly normal things Agile people do which we don’t pay much attention to that can make a big difference.

Whiteboard problem solving

Agile Behaviours - Whiteboard

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Continue reading: #slowtofast podcast with Nordnet CIO Dennis

#slowtofast podcast with Nordnet CIO Dennis

Hi! I recently did a podcast together with Dennis (CIO Nordnet) on #slowtofast. I walked into the podcast thinking it was going to be about Kanban and Enterprise Agile. Right! 🙂 Dennis hit me with these simple questions.. The essential elements of proper Product Management The management principles of an Agile leader How the Swedish culture is

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Continue reading: Kanban and Scrum – now with Polish translation!

Kanban and Scrum – now with Polish translation!

The Kanban and Scrum minibook is now available with Polish translation. Great thanks to Zbigniew Zemla for the translation! Pobierz tutaj (aka  polish for “get it here” ): http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook Cheers Mattias

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Continue reading: 5 ways to find slack when your team is under pressure

5 ways to find slack when your team is under pressure

I recently recorded a webinar where I walk through 5 ways to find slack (to invest in critical improvements),  when a team is under high pressure. Enjoy! http://leankit.com/blog/2015/11/real-world-kanban/  

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Continue reading: Video – Learnings from applying SAFe @ LEGO

Video – Learnings from applying SAFe @ LEGO

Hi! Here’s the video me and Eik’s presentation – “Learnings from SAFe @LEGO”  (presentation at LKCE – Lean Kanban Central Europe, Nov 2015). Best quote: “..this looks exacly like what my 6 year son does in kindergarden” 🙂 Cheers Mattias

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Continue reading: LKCE 2015 Slides – Learnings from applying Safe @ LEGO

LKCE 2015 Slides – Learnings from applying Safe @ LEGO

Just back from Lean Kanban Central Europe 2015. A great conference that keeps pushing the limits. At the conference I gave a talk together with Eik aka “Captain Agile” from LEGO. We walked through how they introduced SAFe, how they involved other departments and most important, how they experimented their way forward.  (Me and Henrik iterated as coaches

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Continue reading: Real World Kanban – interview on InfoQ

Real World Kanban – interview on InfoQ

InfoQ has just released an interview regarding my latest book Real World Kanban. In this we walk through the reasons behind writing the book plus why Kanban needs to be matched by long term thinking to improve over time  (aka behaviours like “don’t pass bad quality forward” matters) Check it out:  http://www.infoq.com/articles/book-review-real-world-kanban ps: For anyone interested in the book, I have

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Continue reading: Slides from Lean Kanban France 2015

Slides from Lean Kanban France 2015

  Just back from Lean Kanban France where I gave a presentation on “Learnings across Kanban case studies, and what happened next” and introduced Skarin’s law: ”The number of improvement initiatives in a kanban system is proportional to the trust members have in that systems purpose” (.. it’s never too late to introduce your own law 🙂

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Continue reading: Kanban tool walkthrough video

Kanban tool walkthrough video

Are you thinking about electronic Kanban tools? Do you need transparency to end-to-end flow? Do you work across multiple sites? Tired of managing work states in Jira? Here’s a short video demonstrating visualisation, analytics and key features in Swift-Kanban & Leankit. Both combine “simple and flexible” with “enterprise ready”. I also mention an interesting runner up – Obeya. Some things I

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Continue reading: How do you develop awesome products?

How do you develop awesome products?

For  this year’s Stop Starting conference, we asked ourselves three questions: How do you develop awesome products? How do you bootstrap a successful mega project using Agile contracts? How do you use Agile and Lean thinking to turn a stagnant company around? We then picked the brains of people from real companies who have been

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Continue reading: Using Agile in Hardware To Develop New Products In One Day

Using Agile in Hardware To Develop New Products In One Day

Team developing new productsCan you develop new products from scratch in one day?

This challenge was taken on by the Medical HW manufacturer Optinova in August. Over the course of two days, we pushed the limits of “what is possible” by applying Agile in a HW environment.

Our hypothesis was that Agile would be a good fit in product development and innovation scenarios. And the result so far from the work that we have been doing with Optinova is promising.

Cross-functional teams, focus, rapid prototyping, close customer feedback and visual overview work just as well in hardware as in software. The training setup we used was as follows:

  • Day 1 – Learn basic Agile practices and principles
  • Day 2 – Applying them – developing three product ideas from scratch in one day, in a rapid prototyping workshop.

The result: All three participating teams managed to take an idea to working prototype in a day. One team went so far as submitting a bid to a real customer the following day based on their prototype. That’s high speed, even in software terms. But the most important thing wasn’t the result, it was the lessons learned. When we asked the participants if they wanted to continue to build products this way, the votes were unanimously in favor. If we can get it to work, this would help build a competitive and innovative company.Continue reading

Continue reading: Hur Wunderkraut håller budget och skapar långvariga relationer med hjälp av Agila kontrakt

Hur Wunderkraut håller budget och skapar långvariga relationer med hjälp av Agila kontrakt

Vi har byggt en sajt där med goda exempel, för att inspirera företag, myndigheter och verksamheter på väg in i en upphandling att ta steget till Agila kontrakt. Check it out – agilakontrakt.se. Eller följ oss på twitter: @agilakontrakt. Turen har kommit till att berätta om Wunderkraut, som använt Agila kontrakt sedan 2010. Det intressanta är hur de i den ombytliga

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Continue reading: Real World Kanban – now on Amazon

Real World Kanban – now on Amazon

My new Kanban case book now ships from Amazon (as hardcover or in Kindle format). Learn how we: Improved the full value chain by using Enterprise Kanban. (Find out how we improved time to market and shifted focus from Sprints to Flow to deliver customer value in a traditional company.) Boosted engagement, teamwork, and flow in

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Continue reading: Slides from Hookedfest

Slides from Hookedfest

Just back from Hookedfest – a conference for product people. It’s refreshing to see and discuss product development from a market and product perspective, in contrast to the “what can we build” perspective we all to often resort to as engineers. It was interesting to see other speakers (for example the Google guy) share similar experiences on

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Continue reading: Book release: Real World Kanban

Book release: Real World Kanban

My new book – “Real World Kanban” is now available. Here’s the plot in a nutshell: What happens when Kanban is used in real projects? Kanban has few rules, but an infinite number of strategies. What seems easy in theory can become tangled in practice. So there’s nothing like learning from real world cases. Learn how

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Continue reading: Learning Lego Serious Play

Learning Lego Serious Play

Three months ago I stumbled upon a question which needed an anwer: Could Lego be used for business strategy development? I just had to go to London to find out the answer.

With a group of 12 I spent the full weekend.. building Lego! When was the last time I did that? (hint: some 30 years ago..). The real interesting part is of course the stories we tell about the models. Each time we do, the team moves closer towards a shared understanding and also generate new insights. That’s cool!

Below: Team members walking through our shared model.

lsp_walkingthroughmodels

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Continue reading: Kickstart workshops with energizing exercises

Kickstart workshops with energizing exercises

Do participants fade away in a long “zzz..”  or the perfect time to update yourself on what your friends are doing on FB? No more! Check out the Energizer bible for nifty tricks for keeping up the energy level during workshops and trainings.

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Continue reading: Agila kontrakt och effektstyrning – Slides från frukostföreläsning för It-chefer

Agila kontrakt och effektstyrning – Slides från frukostföreläsning för It-chefer

I morse höll vi (Mia och Mattias) ett lyckat föredrag för morgonpigga IT-chefer och andra som hade kommit till Crisp för att lära sig lite mer om hur man kan använda Agila kontrakt för att förbättra beställningar, relationer och leverera produkter och tjänster som skapar önskvärda effekter. Föreläsningen var ett smakprov på vad vi kommer

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Continue reading: The impact on quality and predictability of Agile and XP

The impact on quality and predictability of Agile and XP

It’s always nice to look at real data and these two studies are worth their read.

  • “Impact of Agile” from Rally compares the effect of WIP and estimation techniques on productivity and quality.
  • “The State of Developer Productivity” by Rebel labs examines the effect of XP style techniques on quality and predictability.

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Continue reading: Agila kontrakt – slides från Devlin 2014  (swe)

Agila kontrakt – slides från Devlin 2014 (swe)

Här är mina slides om Agila kontrakt från Devlin 2014. Jag hoppas det skall inspirera fler företag och myndigheter att börja använda sig av dem, då de medför väsentligt lägre risk än traditionella kontrakt. (Använder du Agila kontrakt idag – tveka inte att höra av dig!) Vi har i Sverige dåliga practicies för upphandlingar och

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Continue reading: Video – product development without the product owner

Video – product development without the product owner

Crisp’s Youtube channel has made a new release – introducing Concepts. Concepts is used to let passionate people run with ideas, a different approach than that of traditional product ownership. If you do use in conjunction with a product owner, it allows that person to spend more time on the field with customers. Ps: The

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Continue reading: Vad du inte visste om LOU – Lagen om offentlig upphandling

Vad du inte visste om LOU – Lagen om offentlig upphandling

(this post will be in Swedish since it is a response to Swedish legislation describing how to sell and buy software. If you still are interested, Google Translate is your best friend 🙂

LOU – Lagen om offentlig upphandling är fröet till många katastrofer för statliga och kommunala mjukvaruprojekt. Tänkt som ett verktyg för att hushålla väl med statliga medel, genom att konkurrensutsätta erbjudanden bidrar LOU tyvärr till att skapa dåliga förutsättningar för att lyckas med mjukvara.

Det knasiga med LOU är de felaktiga incitamenten: Om vi antar att de funktioner som är användbara är relativt okända i ett tidigt stadium av projektet så är default practice vid användandet av LOU att funktionerna skall specas i början och sedan skall billigast leverantör väljas. Det vanligaste sättet att jämföra leverantörer är att skapa en lång lista av den sammanlagda funktionaliten i deras produkter och sedan låta dem bjuda på minsta kostnad. Inte oväntat kommer vinnande leverantör efter kontraktet’s inskrivande att snabbt flytta på senior kompetens ur projektet till fördel för junior och vips befinner både kunden och leverantören i en långsam dödsdans där kundens användare blir förlorarna.

LOU innehåller dock ett antal möjligheter som du som upphandlare kan nyttja smart.

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Continue reading: Slicing cheatsheet

Slicing cheatsheet

One of the key challenges for any organization moving to a Lean flow is learning to slice bigger things to small. If you practice this long enough this becomes second nature and you stop thinking about how you do it.  The good news is this skill can be taught and to show the dimensions available

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Continue reading: Slides from Stop Starting Lean Kanban Nordic 2014

Slides from Stop Starting Lean Kanban Nordic 2014

Had a great day at Stop Starting Start Finishing – Lean Kanban Nordic. It is cool to see how far companies have come in applying Lean in software, especially experimenting with how to tie together the full value chain. Saku Tuominen really challenged us to think make innovation actionable and not put it into a

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Continue reading: A good decision process

A good decision process

A fundamental component for fluid operations is an organization’s ability to solve problems and make decisions. Any change or transformation cannot move faster than it’s ability to make decisions and communicate these. This is key if we realize that living with changes is the future status quo of operations.

Many years ago when I was still at University I got to meat a leader at production facility at Volvo, he asked us,

“How long time does it take from when the management team has made a decision and a worker on the shop floor grasps what this means?”

“Three years”.

Without a doubt, this is way to slow for product development and software. But it puts a finger on the starting point for a normal, traditional company, before any lean or agile transformation begins. So, in order to succeed with a transformation that will challenge existing (often plan based structures) we need a better decision & communication process.

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Continue reading: Slides from Mix-IT

Slides from Mix-IT

Just back from Mix IT in Lyon. A bit rare to visit a French conference so was cool to meet people from the French community and see what they are up to. Some reflections: Saw a cool presentation on Prioritizing portfolios using Cost of Delay by Özlem Yüce. No doubt mr Don had an idea

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Continue reading: The lean conference of the year – Stop Starting 2014

The lean conference of the year – Stop Starting 2014

Stop Starting Start Finishing . Lean Kanban Nordic 2014

This years Lean Kanban Nordic conference will be something extra. The focus in on improving the full value chain, from concept to cash. You will get an unique opportunities to listen and discuss with practitioners sharing their experience of how they have improved their companies using Lean thinking. For example, learn:

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Continue reading: Why you are better off using a developer than a lawyer when purchasing software

Why you are better off using a developer than a lawyer when purchasing software

The use of traditional contracts when purchasing software carry a flawed assumption – thinking the contract is the right mean to regulate risk.

The insight is key risks are : skill of the provider, the maturity of the client (yes you!) and ability to communicate honestly during the project. Few of these are effectively regulated using traditional contracts focusing on features, time and money.

Which are the key risks when purchasing software?

  • Lack of provider skill
  • Lack of customer maturity
  • Lack of ability to utilize late learning
  • A one time shot to get any IT updates in my environment
  • I win, you loose approach – no shared economic incentive
  • Lack of communication, during execution

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Continue reading: Coaching questions for a kanban team

Coaching questions for a kanban team

Kanban is easy to set up,  maintaining and improving is harder! When I visit a kanban team, I use these questions to check they know what they are doing. They are helpful since they are not tool focused, rather verifies that there is a  tactic being used. After each question I add “please show it

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Continue reading: Catch 22 – The egoless, present and curious leader

Catch 22 – The egoless, present and curious leader

Every successful implementation of Lean or Agile I have seen has an ingredient that is almost a contradiction. A leader who has low ego (not interested in putting himself first) is present (he/she has active conversations with teams and other leaders such, as change never comes as a complete surprise) is active (he takes part

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