Delivery

Better standups

How to improve your standups - a write up from a lightning talk I gave to our engineering community of practice

Read

Team metrics

I’ve been thinking recently about team metrics, continuous improvement experiments, and consent. - written up from a twitter thread

Read

How to support pairing

This post is about how delivery managers (and product managers) can encourage and supporting pairing. It has come up a few times in discussions I’ve had about good practice on delivery teams, and there still seems to be reluctance to champion it, or even embrace it. Sometimes this comes from the delivery manager themselves, but more often from a general feeling that their organisation won't accept it. I’ve had on one occasion a delivery manager tell me that pairing is something that can’t be done in government. With a better understanding of how to support pairing, delivery managers might feel more confident in advocating for their team.

Read

Prioritising as a team

Your whole team should be involved in prioritisation of their work. Providing their knowledge as input directly, and empowering them to decide on their own work produces better software and better teams

Read

Funding service teams rather than projects

Part 2 of service teams rather than project teams, this time with the practicalities of how to govern their spend

Read

Being on a service team rather than a project team

The benefits for me of having a service team rather than project teams are team stability, the service stability, and the long-term strategy it enables at the team level. These are all enabled by having service teams that support a coherent set of services for their full life. Funding teams is a necessity to be able to provide this model.

Read

Donald Rumsfeld estimating

For a long time, I have avoided estimation. I’ve generally found that story count and cycle time has served me well enough if I do need to provide forecasts, and I have only provided ‘how long might this particular feature take’ forecasts, rather than “when will I get all of this” forecasts of large numbers of features.

Read

Balancing long term vision with short term delivery priorities

I’ve been thinking recently about how our team balances the effort we put in to putting together designs for the long term vision for our service, with the work we need to do now to deliver our minimum viable product and the private beta of our service.

Read

Reducing time spent in queues

Many teams across DWP and government are now using kanban boards to visualise the work going on in their team. However, this is only one part of kanban. Whilst it is an important first stage to map out the flow work takes to delivery, and to visualise what work the team has going on, the main value of kanban comes in using it to then improve the flow of your work. The way kanban does this is through limiting work in progress. It is the most important aspect of kanban, but it is often neglected.

Read

Types of work on our kanban board

One of the things that often gets discussed during our daily team stand up is whether a piece of work should be on our kanban board, and whether the work on the board accurately reflects what the team is working on. To get the most out of kanban, we should be reflecting all the work the team is doing on the board so that we can ensure that the work in progress limits are having the right impact, and improving the flow of delivery.

Read

Why we walk the wall rather than asking for individual updates

My team started out using the standard stand up format of answering the 3 questions; What did I do yesterday?, What will I be doing today?, What are my blockers?. As a fairly large team we started finding this to be very repetitive.

Read

The anatomy of our kanban board

I previously wrote about the reasons my team is using kanban to organise our work. Here I go into further detail about how our board is set up and why.

Read

Why my team uses kanban

Using kanban has improved our visibility of what work is being done by the team, and prevented each stage of work on a feature from becoming uncoupled from each other.

Read