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Processes and Measures

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Blameless Post Mortems. Etsy’s Debriefing Facilitation Guide for Blameless Postmortems. In 2012, I wrote a post for the Code As Craft blog about how we approach learning from accidents and mistakes at Etsy.

Etsy’s Debriefing Facilitation Guide for Blameless Postmortems

I wrote about the perspectives and concepts behind what is known (in the world of Systems Safety and Human Factors) as the New View on “human error.” I also wrote about what it means for an organization to take a different approach, philosophically, to learn from accidents, and that Etsy was such an organization. That post’s purpose was to conceptually point in a new direction, and was, necessarily, void of pragmatic guidance, advice, or suggestions on how to operationalize this perspective. Blameless PostMortems and a Just Culture. Last week, Owen Thomas wrote a flattering article over at Business Insider on how we handle errors and mistakes at Etsy.

Blameless PostMortems and a Just Culture

I thought I might give some detail on how that actually happens, and why. Anyone who’s worked with technology at any scale is familiar with failure. Focus Improvement on the Manufacturing Constraint. Core Concept The core concept of the Theory of Constraints is that every process has a single constraint and that total process throughput can only be improved when the constraint is improved.

Focus Improvement on the Manufacturing Constraint

A very important corollary to this is that spending time optimizing non-constraints will not provide significant benefits; only improvements to the constraint will further the goal (achieving more profit). Thus, TOC seeks to provide precise and sustained focus on improving the current constraint until it no longer limits throughput, at which point the focus moves to the next constraint. The underlying power of TOC flows from its ability to generate a tremendously strong focus towards a single goal (profit) and to removing the principal impediment (the constraint) to achieving more of that goal. The Small Batches Principle. The January/February issue of acmqueue is out now Everything Sysadmin System Administration Thomas A.

The Small Batches Principle

Limoncelli. DevOps Kaizen: Practical Steps to Start & Sustain a Transformation. David Anderson Kanban At Q Con. Value Stream Mapping (Lean Tool) Tutorial. Value stream mapping is a lean tool that employs a flow diagram documenting in high detail every step of a process.

Value Stream Mapping (Lean Tool) Tutorial

Many lean practitioners see value stream mapping as the fundamental tool to identify waste, reduce process cycle times, and implement process improvement. Some organizations treat the value stream map as the hallmark of their lean efforts. In analyzing value stream maps, it has occurred to me that some may have been created primarily as heuristic tools to teach lean concepts. It seemed as if the process improvement teams had focused on the method as the end, rather than how to use the method as a means to achieve an end. 8 Essential Online Tools For Getting More Work Done. Know the Difference Between Your Data and Your Metrics. How many views make a YouTube video a success?

Know the Difference Between Your Data and Your Metrics

How about 1.5 million? That’s how many views a video our organization,, posted in 2011 got. It featured some well-known YouTube celebrities, who asked young people to donate their used sports equipment to youth in need. It was twice as popular as any video had posted to date. Success! Zero donations. What happened? You can’t pick your data, but you must pick your metrics. Take baseball. Keep in mind that all metrics are proxies for what ultimately matters (in the case of baseball, a combination of championships and profitability), but some are better than others. Organizations become their metrics. Metrics are what you measure. The only metric that matters. I've been lucky to be part of the early growth of several really interesting and now important networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The only metric that matters

How to Use a Single Metric to Run Your Startup. Collecting data is easy.

How to Use a Single Metric to Run Your Startup

There are lots of tools out there and ways to gather data about everything that’s happening with your business, from lead generation through to customer satisfaction. But what are we supposed to do with all that data? How does it help us focus on the key challenges at hand, provide us insights into our next steps, and drive success? The data you collect may be helpful at some point; but if you can’t cut out the noise, you’ll get buried. Atul Gawande: for the first time in human history, ineptitude is a bigger problem than ignorance. Execution Is a People Problem, Not a Strategy Problem. Paul,* the CEO of Maxreed, a global publishing company, was having trouble sleeping.

Execution Is a People Problem, Not a Strategy Problem

Publishing is an industry that’s changing even faster than most other fast-changing industries, but Paul wasn’t awake worrying about his strategy. He had a solid plan that took advantage of new technologies, and the board and his leadership team were aligned around it. Paul and his team had already reorganized the structure — new divisions, revised roles, redesigned processes — to support their strategy. So what was Paul worrying about? What Every Company Should Know About Agile Software Development. Does your company make medical devices?

What Every Company Should Know About Agile Software Development

How about cars? Or appliances? Or mobile applications? Strategy Maps: A Primer. Constructing a strategy map, as we’ve said, produces many benefits: senior team alignment, clarification of the strategy, ease of communication to employees, and can help generate enthusiasm by employees for the strategy. But in reality, creating a strategy map is just the beginning of the work required for strategy execution. In our book, Leading Strategy Execution, we devote two chapters to what leaders need to do once the strategy map is complete. Organigraphs: Drawing How Companies Really Work. Walk into any organization—not the nice, neat managerial offices but the factory, design studio, or sales department—and take a good look. In one corner, a group of people are huddled in debate over a vexing logistics problem. In another, someone is negotiating with a customer halfway around the world on the Internet.

Everywhere you look, people and products are moving, crisscrossing this way and that. You get a snapshot of the company in action. Ask for a picture of the place, however, and chances are you’ll be handed the company’s org chart, with its orderly little boxes stacked atop one another. An Empirical Framework For Learning (Not a Methodology)