Tools for Lean-Agile

Seeing the work and workflow is critical

A key tenet of Lean-thinking is that we must adopt systems thinking and acknowledge that most of the errors we encounter are due to the system. For example, consider how the geographic arrangement of developers and testers affect their work.  How to create good ecosystems is critical. How the ecosystem provides guidance to the people doing the work is often ignored.

In the software world, seeing the work being done is difficult. Creating visibility of the workflow itself is critical. What are the right transition steps to go from say an epic to a feature? How do we get consistency in this and other actions across an organization without requiring a one-size-fits all approach? A tool can readily accomplish this if it is designed to reflect the process being used and that this process is a reflection of what people consider to be the best way of working.  This requires a mindset shift combined with flexibility of the tool. The challenge is not in the tool’s flexibility but in the people using the tool understanding lean workflow and setting the tool properly. A criteria for such a tool is that their first recommended step is to understand the value stream of the organization using the tool. This is the correct focus.

In general, Net Objectives consultants help clients understand how to apply Lean-Thinking to use tools appropriately to realize Business agility. Here are recommendations for tool offerings that are especially helpful for companies engaging in Lean-Agile transformation.

Net Objectives Program Board Builder

In planning events, the program board is intended to be an information radiator for the timing, dependencies, and risks in the program. It shows complexity around dependencies, risks to meeting milestones, teams who have too much on their plate, and dependencies that have not been accepted and committed to yet.

The Net Objectives Program Board Builder supports this critical part of the planning process. [Read more.]

All resources related to tools

Here is a list of resources in the Net Objectives portal related to tools.

Be Clear What Teams Are Working On (Article)
Ensuring Teams Are Working on the Right Stories (Article)
How Value-Driven Organizations Gain Visibility as They Scale Agile (Webinar Session) (Article)
How to Use the Program Board Builder (Article)
The Net Objectives Program Board Builder (Article)
The Purpose of a Tool in Agile (Article)