Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

Toyota Kata by Mike RotherTwo days ago, I read the book Toyota Kata by Mike Rother. Like most management books, the central message is hammered home by repetition. Some people, like me, may find that a bit annoying. That does not make this book any less a must read though. If you’re interested in making Lean/Agile really work in your organization without running the risk of organizational gravity eroding all your hard efforts over time, this book has the answer on how to do that. I’ll be incorporating the concepts of the Toyota Kata in my consulting from now on. Empower yourself. Read this book now! Or at least check out my summary of it.

Sketchnoting For Absolute Beginners

I’ve taken up sketchnoting recently, and I love it! So, what is sketchnoting? Why is it useful? And how do you get started?

The answer to the first question is pretty straight-forward: Sketchnoting is a way of note-taking that involves not just notes, but also sketches. Mike Rohde, the godfather of sketchnoting, defines it as taking rich visual notes, mixing handwriting and drawing to create a more appealing set of notes. And that’s exactly what it is.

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Agile Project Planning In Twelve Easy Steps

  1. Create a list of all your requirements in Epic format (think Product Breakdown). 
  2. Break down each Epic into work items in User Story format (think Work Breakdown).
  3. Determine which Epics and/or User Stories have dependencies. 
  4. Visualize dependencies in a network diagram.
  5. Create an estimate for each User Story using Planning Poker Points, NESMA Function Points, Gummy Bears, anything but time and/or money. 
  6. Assign business value to all Epics and divide this value between the User Stories based on their point-estimate. 
  7. Sort the list of User Stories based on priority, dependencies and business value per point-estimate (triage). Having trouble sorting the list using triage? Pick another prioritization technique. 
  8. Take an educated guess (assumption) about the number of hours per point you’re likely to spend, based on a representative sample of User Stories taken at random. 
  9. Calculate duration based on your assumption. 
  10. Use the calculated duration as input for a Monte Carlo analysis to create your first rolling wave planning.  
  11. Correct the assumption every sprint based on the progressive average of the actual hours per point ánd a new Monte Carlo simulation for the remaining duration. 
  12. Report regularly, preferably in a reporting format currently in use by the organization.