Moving to the United States

An opportunity has arisen for me to travel to the United States to help out with a large transformation using Scrumban (combining Scrum, Agile and Lean Kanban).  CodeGenesys a company that specializes in consulting in this area has invited me to come over and help out with the transformation at a large Health Insurance company.  CodeGenesys also make a online visualization board called ScrumDo which I have written about in the blog articles Managing work with ScrumDo – Part 1 and Managing work with ScrumDo – Part 2.

About Agile still operates and the courses and training are still available.  They will be available on an as needed basis in Australia and elsewhere and will be subject to my availability.  So inquiries are still welcome. I hope to give training in the United States as well.  I will look to schedule public classes again after settling down in the US and the picture becomes clearer.

My relationship with CodeGenesys will be a symbiotic relationship.  I hope to learn a lot from my secondment to the US  and spread new knowledge on my return back to Australia.  Training from CodeGenesys will be combined with the About Agile courses to offer a greater suite of courses.

These will combine with consulting and coaching to provide a full array of services to help out with transformations and ongoing improvement efforts.

My time in the US will be at least 6 months and depending on conditions could go on for longer.

Please stay in touch through my email address info@aboutagile.com.  I tweet through the handle @n_zdunic.


Check Your Spots

A few weeks ago a friend pointed out a spot on my shoulder that looked a little odd to her.  I just thought it is was a freckle.  If it weren’t for her I would have ignored it.

Do you have a spot like this?  When magnified they look worse.  See the color difference?

Do you have a spot like this? When magnified they look worse. See the color difference?

It turns out that I went and had it checked – it’s in the picture above. The doctor at my local GP practice wasn’t sure either but he suggested erring on the side of caution and we had it cut off and sent for testing.  The test results indicated that it was malignant and to take another 5 mm section out.  This was done this week and the test results are negative.

My advice for you is avoid long exposure to the sun, especially in Australia.  Cover up and use 50+ sun block when in the sun.  Use the molescan service or similar checkups to check your spots.  Have your friend or partner check for you.  Everyone can also take notice of any spots and alert friends and partner’s to anything that looks odd.

I’m not totally out the woods even though the result was negative.  There is another spot on my back to be removed and tested.  The picture of that one is below.

leftmidback

Be be removed – notice the same sort of uneven discolouration as the first picture?


Knowing who your Customer Is, Is Useful

Most people involved in the development of solutions, be it software or otherwise, don’t get exposed to the customer or get a view of the customer that is filtered through someone else’s eyes like a Business Analyst or Product Manager.

Agile methods recognize that involving everyone in the process is useful to gain insights and empathy toward the customer.  For some not used to this it can feel ‘weird’.  Who needs this soft stuff.

However knowing the soft stuff is going to help deliver the hard stuff with greater accuracy (not precision).

A tool that assist is the Customer Empathy map that I have attendees to my Fundamentals of Agile course undertake.  They don’t feel confident about it, they feel like it’s ‘weird’.  However during the course of the exercise they soon pick up on the idea and find out things that they probably would not have thought of otherwise.

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Even if the answers feel wrong, persist in this exercise.  That feeling of uncertainty or ‘weirdness’ will build to confidence and a feeling that we know more of the purpose of the product that we want to produce.

Hopefully we all feel happier with the end result, customer and supplier alike.


Hans only wanted to better himself

Hans, not his real name, was a colleague I worked with who was wrongly maligned by management and others as well.

He wanted to improve and seek out other areas to be involved in. His style was wrongly interpreted. Management regarded him as someone to have a chuckle about, behind his back. He was told he could get what he wanted but that was just a smokescreen.

When he wasn’t around he would come up as a subject of mirthful derision and ridicule. For instance, “I can’t wait til he finally leaves, ha ha ha” which drew some nervous laughter from others and downright agreement from others.

This was bad behaviour. Why would management not want to encourage someone to become better. Why should his reasonable human reactions be cause for further derision.

Instead of blaming the individual, seek to create the environment and conditions for him and others to further excel. That’s leadership and is sorely missing in many workplace environments.

Mentoring, Training, Support are words that immediately come to mind. Recognition that Hans was misunderstood is a step in the right direction.

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Lean Coffee Meetup in Perth 21st May 2015

Nick:

For a first time run it went pretty well. The meetup link at http://www.meetup.com/Agile-Perth/events/222524234/ has photos of the topics we discussed in the photo album.

Great discussion from all attendees and all would agree that they went away learning something new from the event and also meeting some new folks in the Agile and Lean space.

Hopefully there will be interest to hold this type of meetup again in the future.

Thanks Agile Perth and Lean Perth Meetup Groups for helping to promote the meetup and AgWorld for sponsoring the event.

Good to see cross pollination of Lean and Agile folks in the same meetup space.

Originally posted on Nikola Zdunić:

For those of you in Perth, there will be a Lean Coffee Meetup next Thursday the 21st of May 2015 starting at 5:45pm.

AgWorld are sponsoring by providing the space and some drinks and snacks. They are centrally located in Leederville and there will be parking on the street available for those driving or it is easily accessible from Leederville train station.

A Lean Coffee is a formal, yet informal, discussion where you come with your ideas and requests and start a conversation.

The meetup link gives a bit more information. You’ll find out more on the night and it promises to be an engaging evening.

Please signup via the meetup link. http://www.meetup.com/Lean-Perth/events/222450260/

There will be a limit of 15 attendees.

Hope to see some of you there.

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Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse

Nick:

To quote Stephen Parry @leanvoices – ‘The soft stuff is the hard stuff and if you don’t do the soft stuff you wont get the hard stuff’ .

The quote is quite apt because technical refactoring is the hard stuff and organisational refactoring is the really, really, really hard stuff to execute.

Originally posted on Steve Blank:

Startups focus on speed since they are burning cash every day as they search for product/market fit. But over time code/hardware written/built to validate hypotheses and find early customers can become unwieldy, difficult to maintain and incapable of scaling. These shortcuts add up and become what is called technical debt. And the size of the problem increases with the success of the company.organizational debt

You fix technical debt by refactoring, going into the existing code and “cleaning it up” by restructuring it. This work adds no features visible to a user but makes the code stable and understandable.

While technical debt is an understood problem, it turns out startups also accrue another kind of debt – one that can kill the company even quicker – organizational debt. Organizational debt is all the people/culture compromises made to “just get it done” in the early stages of a startup.

Just when things should be…

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Complete my collection of Croatia Soccer Jerseys

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Pictured is my collection of Croatian Soccer Jerseys taking up most of the closet – LOL.  They don’t get worn and some still have their tags.

But I’m missing some.  Can you help me find them.  Responses please in the comments.  One’s in good condition please.

Here’s a list of Jerseys throughout the years that I know of.  The years I have are in bold.

1990

1994 – first accepted into FIFA – but did they have a jersey?

1996 – Used in Euro 1996

1998 – 2000 – although missing the blue away jersey

2002 – 2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

Here’s a snap shot taken from Wikipedia.  I think the 1990 one doesn’t look right.  It was a smaller check pattern was it not? 1940 would be a rare find I imagine!

Croatian Kit History


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