Application Development Manager: Standard Work

Standard work is a documented agreement between practitioners about the current best approach for doing work. Standard work reinforces innovation and makes improvement possible. It is essential for continuous improvement – moving from one standard to a better standard without slipping back.

Standard work describes the work involved achieving a particular solution. It articulates who, what, when, and where work is done. It focuses on content, sequence, timing and outcomes needed. Standard work is intended as a basis for improvement. It is not a prescription or record of what’s to be done. Rather, it is an identification of steps or activities of the best, currently known approach to achieving a solution, within the boundaries established by the organization; it entails visibility (visual controls) and discipline.

Standard work is not static, and when a better way is found the procedure is updated. Continually seeking ways to improve, one must understand the purpose of the standard, and improve the standard, while adhering to its purpose. As you perform standard work, you will find things you don’t like and you will think of one improvement after another. You should implement these ideas right away and make this improved description the new standard. Embrace practices that are proven in real life.

See an overview of standard work.

Accountability Which involves….
Focus Delivery of technical functionality with integrity: Extensibility and maintainability

System evolution, architecture and design including environment, code quality (developer standards), and managing dependencies and/or collusion points

Determine appropriate required skills/expertise for technical development

Responsibilities Thinking and acting at the system level

Building the system holistically

Providing guidance and establishes clear technical boundaries to empower the team

Holistic integrity of the technical solutions / system products; Sets technology boundaries, policies, and engineering practices and standards for system evolution and integrity

Ensuring implementation and testing integrations across all subsystems

Coordinating work across multiple teams to ensure integrity, manage collusion, and manage collaboration and dependencies

Quality, performance, and reliability

Ensuring the engineering practices / standards support the team in its completion of incremental work and that engineering practices are being followed

Resolving impediments that are beyond a team’s scope

Reviewing status of maturity assessments and planning maturity development

Knowledge, skills, traits Deep understanding of technical architecture

Confident, unafraid to set direction for the technical architecture



Willing to share power


Fair and impartial


Cool under pressure

Staging Provide guidance and establish clear technical boundaries to empower the team.

Ensure holistic integrity of the technical solutions and system products.

Set technology boundaries, policies, and engineering practices and standards for system evolution and integrity.

Identify technical issues, constraints, risks, and challenges.

Manage system initiatives and how they will be addressed through the product backlog.

Every release Identify enabling stories required per release increment (MBI).

As technology sponsor, represent the enabling stories to ensure the Product Manager prioritizes them appropriately.

Every iteration Work with the Product Owner(s) to ensure proper priorities are identified.

For large projects:

  • Coordinate collaboration of teams
  • Coordinate sharing of retrospective information.
Weekly Encourage teams to deliver highest Business value first.

Work with Team Agility Masters to maximize team velocity:

  • Identify and remove issues that reduce team velocity.
  • Encourage role-sharing, training, and other techniques that will promote greater velocity in the long-term.
Daily Read the information visibility boards for signs of problems with the iteration and for signs of failing agility.