Why a good tool may be more useful than a good framework

August 31, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Culture is important but it's a reflection of decision & reward policies in a company. To be able to change it you must change the way decisions are made and rewarded. Three foundations of Lean are:

  1. take a systems-thinking point of view & recognize the system causes most of your problems
  2. respect &trust people
  3. management (via servant leadership) improves the system within which people work so that they can work autonomously on a well stated objective

The challenge with software is that it is not visible while it is being built. The greatest diff between Kanban & Scrum is Kanban's insistence on explicit workflow which adds to Scrum's visibility of the work in process

An Agile product management tool's primary purpose is to create visibility of both workflow & of artifacts (epics->stories). One doesn't follow a tool, rather this visibility reflects what people are doing. If one understands lean-flow, the tool assists people in making good decisions

Good frameworks are merely proxies for good Lean-thinking. Tools designed around frameworks miss the opportunity to teach Lean-thinking. Frameworks can be good "tools" in the sense they give a good starting point - but you should outgrow them. A good tool will always be useful

Al Shalloway

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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