Posts: Value Streams

Directing Flow

Jan 5, 2021

Introducing organizational change is a tricky business, especially when it involves new technology. Even seemingly innocuous changes to technology can have a far-reaching impact on your organization, disrupting the ways you work. Your initial vision of a smooth implementation, rapid adoption, and a high return on investment is easy to say, not so easy to achieve. For example, it is widely discussed that 70% of transformations fail.

The problem is not a technological one. There is no silver bullet that will untangle the mess that is your adoption of new technology, you also need to adopt new ways of working. The typical approach of applying a framework that worked elsewhere often fails. To create lasting change, we need to take a different approach and invite people over inflicting change on them. In turn, finding a path to a way of working that fits your people and teams.

With that many buzzwords in a sentence, this must be an important topic! Of course, we have an approach to help achieve this. Below I break down this approach that we’ve used to help organizations:

  • Get clarity on where to best invest your time
  • De-risk their program roadmaps
  • Determine how to realize the benefits from their technology investment

To achieve this, we focus on generating outcomes-focused roadmaps, creating visibility into how work is flowing, and identifying how to make continual improvement sustainable. What’s more, in the process we help the people in your organization create the passion and flow they need to sustain the transformation.



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Automating Governance

Nov 30, 2020

Governance is something of a dirty word. It often generates a visceral reaction in people, conjuring up images of red tape, bureaucracy and time-consuming audits. These are seen as roadblocks to progress, innovation and adoption of new ways of working. This is especially true when we are looking to accelerate the rate of change or delivery speed, such as commonly occurs when adopting DevOps or Agile practices.

Below, I will discuss why we have governance, how it gets applied and some immediate approaches you can look at to help change your ways of working.


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Knowing where you are on your digital transformation journey

Apr 19, 2020

How many of you have been through something labelled as a digital transformation in the past 5 years? Many hands go up, and several people groan. It seems like we are in a constant state of transformation, which is true. Change is the new normal and transformation is the grandiose title given to the work we build around it. 

Yet many transformation efforts stall or even fail. We encounter many reasons for this, including market pressure, hierarchy and blame culture. Even gut instinct being the primary way to make decisions comes into play! Core to most digital transformation efforts is aligning technology to business goals, which often creates problems with delivering the desired change due to their different goals.

When technology departments drive the transformation, they often need help explaining the value. Ensuring stability to reduce rework through innovative techniques and tools may not resonate. Still, we do require change through transformation for our businesses to thrive. Without change, we struggle to keep up with the market and build the adaptive organizations we need. Executing a transformation is a journey, not a destination. Below I discuss three typical stages organizations find themselves in on that journey, how to identify them and what to do next. I call them Getting Started, Underway, and Where to go next.


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Project vs Product

Mar 9, 2020

We talk about this a lot but do not always do a good job of explaining why it is so important. I would argue not understanding this difference and developing this mindset can cause your whole transformation to stall.

So what do we mean when we say project vs product and why is it so critical?

Read below for my thoughts on the topic.

Here's the product

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Identifying the bottleneck

Mar 2, 2020

Often when we first engage with organizations, we find they enter the conversation with a clear idea of what their problems are. Sometimes they get it right and other times - more often in my experience - they are focusing on their own belief of where the problem lies.

For example, if the problem is the deployment process, why does the automated script take 5 minutes to run. Having successfully worked with development teams to automate deployments of their major platforms, being told deployment is the issue seems like the wrong place to focus. If it still takes weeks to get code into production, the problem lies elsewhere. Perhaps our test verification takes five weeks?

Ok. Well, if deployment of code isn’t the issue and testing is, let’s focus there I hear the cry! Well, let’s see…


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What throughput can tell you about your team

Nov 3, 2019

Last Friday I presented a session on outcome based metrics at the Lean Agile Network meetup in Toronto. Based on the popularity of the session and the questions which we didn’t have the time to address, the topic is clearly on many people’s mind. More to come on metrics in future posts, but for now we’ll focus on what you can learn from the simplest metric of them all: throughput.

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Assessing maturity of a technology department

Apr 4, 2019

Our ultimate objective is to help our customers be successful. We have strong opinions on what successful companies look like and what is important for an organizational culture to support sustainable success, but that is a topic for another time. For the technology organizations or departments we work with, our objective loosely translates to

help our customers get the biggest return of their IT investment.

Many organizations put their faith in Agile and DevOps practices to achieve this, but fail to get the results they are hoping for.

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