söndag 22 november 2020

Kanban for Software Development consists of three rules only (my memory told me anyway)

The three rules (in my head)

Kanban used for software development has in my mind been built on the three rules below.
  • Visualize the workflow
  • Limit Work In Progress (WIP)
  • Measure the lead time
And depending on the situation the team exists in, the rules can be narrowed down even more. Like, if the predictability isn't a big concern, the rule about measuring lead time can be left out. 
And also, if team members are conscientious enough about not starting too much new work before finishing already initiated work, the WIP limits don't seem to add much.
In that case, the only thing needed is to visualize your workflow. But if you don't do that either, then I find it hard to get anything out of Kanban.

So, that's the reason that one day when it became obvious that the tasks on my team's Kanban board was out of sync with reality, I told the developers:
- "If we don't keep the Kanban board in sync with reality, we follow none of the three rules only of Kanban!" 
One of them responded teasingly:
- "Well, what do you expect from a bunch of we'll-do-as-we-pleases?"
(The word used was "rättshaverister", but I can't translate that into a word that describes what I think the person meant).

There was no further discussion and the board was adjusted after a while. But having referred to rules brought up from my memory, I also remembered that when reading about them a few years ago I hadn't got a good grip on where they come from, what their original source is. So, before banging them in anyone's head again, it was time for a bit of research :)

The closest source: Kanban and Scrum, making the most of both

I remembered that I read about the rules in the book Kanban and Scrum, making the most of both by Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin. 

So I began with trying to find more info there. There they were, with a short explanation for each rule. But I lost the word "rules", because the only thing the book says about them is "Kanban in a nutshell" and then lists the three points. Not a word about "rule".



Next up: Crisp's homepage

Both Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin works at Crisp, so I took a look at Crisp's homepage. And yes, the same points are mentioned there, with just a touch of more context: 
"There are many flavors, but the core of Kanban means:"
Ok, so there are different flavors?! Like "Standards are good, everyone should have their own."?



On the page I also found this:
At Toyota, Kanban is the term used for the visual & physical signaling system that ties together the whole Lean Production system. Most agile m­ethods such as Scrum and XP are already well aligned with lean principles. In 2004, however, David Anderson pioneered a more direct implementation of Lean Thinking and Theory of Constraints to software development. Under the guidance of experts such as Don Reinertsen, this evolved into what David called a ”Kanban system for software development”, and which most people now simply refer to as ”Kanban”.
Wow, a pioneer, David Anderson seemed as a promising track to research further!

David Anderson, a pioneer

Crisp's homepage linked to the book Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David Anderson. 

"If there is any book that will bring clarity to this, it will be this one!", I thought. 

What I found was:
Kanban uses five core properties to create an emergent set of Lean behaviors in organizations. These properties have been present in every succesful implementation, including the one at Microsoft described in chapter 4.
The five properties are:
  • Visualize Workflow
  • Limit Work-in-Progress
  • Measure and Manage Flow
  • Make Process Policies Explicit
  • Use Models to Recognize Improvement Opportunities
Ok... so "Properties", not "Rules". 

But five instead of three? The first three properties maps well to the ones mentioned before, but what do the two extra mean and why did Henrik and Mattias drop them? 

What the two "new" Kanban properties means

Make process policies explicit
This can be done by agreeing on and writing down the "Defintion of Done" policies you use between the different stages in your process. and perhaps putting them up on your board for good visibility.

Use models to recognize improvement opportunities
Your process can probably be improved by reducing "waste" or finding and act on bottlenecks. There are models for doing that, as David says:
Common models in use with Kanban includes the Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, an understanding of variability through the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, and the concept of muda (waste) from the Toyota Production System. The models used with Kanban are continually evolving, and ideas from other fields, such as sociology, psychology, and risk management are appearing in some implementations.

Why were they dropped?

David's book predates Henrik's, why has the number of properties gone from five to three? I asked that question on Crisp's Facebook page. None of the original authors answered me, but another author did, he pointed me to the next book, Kanban in action.

Others have been pondering this too in Kanban in Action

At first, reading the book Kanban in Action by Marcus Hammarberg and Joakim Sundén made it even
messier! But also revealed interesting info.

There is a section titled
Three principles? I thought it was five properties. Or was it six practices? 
which indicates that others have had a hard time finding their way to getting clarity about this. That section contains the text below.
The three basic principles we describe in this section make up the foundation that kanban is based on. Recently, David J. Anderson and others have extended the three basic principles to five properties and later six practices; these are now referred to as the core practices.

Anyway, this info and Google led me to David Anderson's latest defintion, called Principles and General Practices of Kanban.

A blog post about Principles and General Practices of Kanban

In March 18, 2020, David Anderson added a post on his blog, from where I've copied the text below. In his post he also examines each point a bit deeper.

In my book, Kanban – Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business, I identified what I called the “5 core properties” that I’d observed to be present in each successful implementation of Kanban.

Since the book was published, we’ve expanded this list and they are now known as the Principles and General Practices of Kanban.

Principles of the Kanban Method …
  • Start with what you do now
  • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
  • Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities & titles
  • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels in your organization
General Practices of the Kanban Method …
  1. Visualize (the work, workflow and business risks)
  2. Limit WIP
  3. Manage Flow
  4. Make Process Explicit
  5. Implement Feedback Loops
  6. Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally (using models & the scientific method)


But Three, where did Three come from?

Well, I can't tell for sure. I've already put too much research effort into this and I think I can live without knowing that, although it doesn't feel like full closure... :) Anyway, now I know more about the  history of Kanban used in software development, which I hadn't if I hadn't tried finding the root of the Three Kanban rules in my mind.

Please, do leave a comment if you have interesting info regarding this! :)

fredag 30 oktober 2020

The guest quotes about Clean Code in the book Clean Code

Clean code and code quality

The introduction of the book Clean Code by Robert C Martin begins with the image below, which I find funny beacuse its true. Even when the code is good, you can get wtf moments, but maybe more of surprise of becoming aware of odd things the program has to handle or usable stuff in the framework you didn't know existed than of strange or overcomplicated solutions.





What is clean code?

The focus of this post is on the content of the first chapter, which contains answers from other well-known and deeply experienced programmers on what they think defines Clean Code. Just to have all the quotes in a single place and easily retrievable.

Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++ and author of The C++ Programming Language
I like my code to be elegant and efficient. The logic should be straightforward to make it hard for bugs to hide, the dependencies minimal to ease maintenance, error handling complete according to an articulated strategy, and performance close to optimal so as not to tempt people to make the code messy with unprincipled optimizations. Clean code does one thing well.

 

Grady Booch, author of Object Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications 

Clean code is simple and direct. Clean code reads like well-written prose. Clean code never obscures the designer's intent but rather is full of crisp abstractions and straightforward lines of control.

 

"Big" Dave Thomas, founder of OTI, godfather of the Eclipse strategy

Clean code can be read, and enhanced by a developer other than its original author. It has unit and acceptance tests. It has meaningful names. It provides one way rather than many ways for doing one thing. It has minimal dependencies, which are explicitly defined, and provides a clear and minimal API. Code should be literate since depending on the language, not all necessary information can be expressed clearly in code alone.

 

Michael Feathers, author of Working Effectively with Legacy Code

I could list all of the qualities that I notice in clean code, but there is one overarching quality that leads to all of them. Clean code always looks like it was written by someone who cares. There is nothing obvious that you can do to make it better. All of those things were thought about by the code's author, and if you try to imagine improvements, you're led back to where you are, sitting in appreciation of the code someone left for you - code left by someone who cares deeply about the craft.

 

Ward Cunningham, inventor of Wiki, inventor of Fit, coinventor of eXtreme Programming. Motive force behind design patterns. Smalltalk and OO thought leader. The godfather of all those who care about code.

You know you are working on clean code when each routine you read turns out to be pretty much what you expected. You can call it beautiful code when the code also makes it look like the language was made for the problem.


And the longest last...

Ron Jeffries, author of Extreme Programming Installed and Extreme Programming Adventures in C#

In recent years I begin, and nearly end, with Beck's rules of simple code. In priority order, simple code:
  • Runs all the tests;
  • Contains no duplication;
  • Expresses all the design ideas that are in the system;
  • Minimizes the number of entities such as classes, methods, functions and the like.

Of these, I focus mostly on duplication. When the same thing is done over and over, it's a sign that there is an idea in out mind that is not well represented in the code. I try to figure out what it is. Then I try to express that idea more clearly.

Expressiveness to me includes meaningful names, and I am likely to change the names of things several times before I settle in. With modern coding tools such as Eclipse, renaming is quire inexpensive, so it doesn't trouble me to change. 

Expressiveness goes beyond names, however. I also look at whether an object or method is doing more than one thing. If it's an object, it probably needs to be broken into two or more objects. If it's a method, I will always use the Extract Method refactoring on it, resulting in one method that says more clearly what it does, and some submethods saying how it is done.

 Duplication and expressiveness take me a very long way into what I consider clean code, and improving dirty code with just these two things in mind can make a huge difference. There is, however, one other thing that I'm aware of doing, which is a bit harder to explain.

After years of doing this work, it seems to me that all programs are made up of very similar elements. One example is "find things in a collection". Whether we have a database of employee records, or a hash map of keys and values, or an array of items of some kind, we often find ourselves wanting a particular item from that collection. When I find that happening, I will often wrap the particular implementation in a more abstract method or class. That gives me a couple of interesting advantages.

I can implement the functionality now with something simple, say a hash map, but since now all the references to that search are covered by my little abstraction, I can change the implementation any time I want. I can go forward quickly while preserving my ability to change later. In addition, the collection abstraction often calls my attention to what's "really" going on, and keeps me from running down the path of implementing arbitrary collection behavior when all I really need is a few fairly simple ways of finding what I want.

Reduced duplication, high expressiveness, and early building of simple abstractions. That's what makes clean code for me. 

Rather watch the movie instead of reading the book?

Here you have hour after hour with uncle Bob (Robert C Martin), speaking about that same things that's in the book.

måndag 26 oktober 2020

My glasses crackled within a year...

I saw something that looked like lots and lots of tiny scratches on my glasses. They are almost invisible in bad lighting, but clear when looking at them in sunshine. The seller didn't even care to look at them, just told me surface treatment probably had crackled. She also said that heat is often the culprit, like using them in the sauna.

But I hadn't been using them in the sauna and had also avoided the steam coming out from the oven when opening the oven door. Also been really careful when cleaning them. 

I tried to find images of crackled glasses on the web to compare with, but found nothing. So, to provide the web with content, here are images of my old, probably crakled glasses and of my new ones for comparison.

Glasses with crackled surface treatment.




Because it hadn't passed a year since I bought them, I got new ones on warranty. And they looked like this:


And a few swedish words for the search engines :)

Krackelerade glasögon. Krackelerad ytbehandling.

söndag 8 mars 2020

Har du en gmail-adress? Känner du till att du då har många adresser?

Ett konto, flera adresser

Gmail hanterar e-postadresser lite annorlunda än andra, de har en mer "förlåtande" hantering av punktplacering.

Nedan är deras egen beskrivning från supportsidan Punkter spelar ingen roll i Gmail-adresser:
Om någon skickar ett e-postmeddelande till dig och råkar lägga till punkter i adressen skickas meddelandet till dig ändå. Om du till exempel har e-postadressen erikjohansson@gmail.com äger du även alla versioner av adressen med punkter:
  • erik.johansson@gmail.com
  • erik.johans.son@gmail.com
  • e.r.i.k.j.o.h.a.n.s.s.o.n@gmail.com

Användandet av punkter måste ändå följa e-postadresstandarden, så adressen får inte börja eller sluta med en punkt och en punkt får inte åtföljas av en punkt.

Förutom att det kan vara bra att känna till, kan man dra nytta av det? 

Tja... 

Man kan ju på vissa abonnemangstjänster som använder e-postadressen som kontoidentifierare registrera sig flera gånger med olika varianter av sin adress för att få tillgång till flera gratis prova-på-perioder. Om man känner sig sparsam. Och inte läser tjänstens villkor för noga.

Man KAN ju också använda det som ett trubbigt verktyg för att upptäcka hur din adress sprids/säljs vidare av någon du ger den till. Anta att en sajt erbjuder nåt du får ladda ner gratis, om du bara ger dem din e-postadress. Om du då använder en variant av din adress som är unik för den sajten och du sedan börjar få spam till ditt konto, riktat till just den adressen, så är det stor sannolikhet att det var just den sajten som inte skyddade din adress som de borde. Sen är frågan vad du kan göra med den informationen...

Behöver du ännu fler adresser?

En annan sak som gmail har stöd för är adresser med "kategorier". Du kan lägga till en kategori i din adress genom att skriva ett plus följt av ett kategorinamn, såhär:
dinadress+valfri_kategori@gmail.com
Det här kan dras nytta av på samma sätt som den fria punktplaceringen, men också för att hålla ordning i din inkorg. Du kanske är med i två föreningar och får många mail från dess medlemmar. Då kan du ge dem två olika adresser

  • dinadress+minigolf@gmail.com
  • dinadress+bowling@gmail.com

och sedan sätta upp sorteringsregler för var de ska läggas i din inkorg.

Plustecknet är fullt tillåtet att använda i e-postadresser, MEN det är inte så vanligt förekommande och därför kan din adress anses ogiltig av vissa sajter och program.

För att kunna skicka från en "plus"-adress så måste den först sättas upp som ett alias.

Användbart?

Det känns som att det finns potential att göra smartare saker med detta än vad jag tagit upp. Kände du till det här och använder det på nåt intressant sätt? Det vore kul att veta, så skriv gärna en kommentar om det!

fredag 14 februari 2020

Känner du till topp fem nyckelelement som särskiljer effektiva team enligt Googles forskning?

Den som söker, finner (ibland nåt annat än den tänkt sig)

Google ägnade två år till att bland annat titta på fler än 250 attribut hos 180 team för att försöka hitta den perfekta mixen av personligheter och färdigheter som leder till ett dream team.

Det visade sig att de letade efter fel saker...
Vem som är med i ett team spelar mindre roll än hur teammedlemmarna interagerar, strukturerar sitt arbete och ser på vad de bidrar med.

De upptäckte fem nyckelelement som särskiljde de framgångsrika teamen från de andra:
  • Dependability
    Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  • Structure & clarity
    Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  • Meaning of work
    Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  • Impact of work
    Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Men det mest intressanta är det femte nyckelelementet, som beskrivs som överlägset viktigast samt grundläggande för de övriga fyra, och det var: psykologisk trygghet 
  • Psychological safety 
    Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

Men vad är psykologisk trygghet egentligen?

Jag hittade beskrivning nedan i bloggposten Så blir ni mer agila – börja med psykologisk trygghet, en beskrivning jag tycker stämmer överens med vad Amy C. Edmondson skriver i sin bok
Psykologisk trygghet handlar om känslan av att jag kan vara mig själv, att jag kan uttrycka vad jag upplever, känner och tycker, att jag kan ställa ”dumma” frågor, presentera nya idéer och erkänna misstag utan att riskera att bli bestraffad.

Öka psykologiska tryggheten - värt att prova? Hur?

 Texten nedan beskriver vilka effekter Google upptäckte att en hög psykologisk trygghet har.
Individuals on teams with higher psychological safety are less likely to leave Google, they’re more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they bring in more revenue, and they’re rated as effective twice as often by executives.
Tidningen Chef beskriver vad Amy Edmondson upptäckte.
Amy Edmondson ingick tidigt i sin karriär i ett forskningsteam som skulle undersöka effekterna av fel och misstag på ett antal sjukhus. Hon fann till sin häpnad att de mest framgångsrika teamen rapporterade flest misstag, fler än de mindre framgångsrika teamen.
Så småningom upptäckte hon dock att de bra teamen hade en större öppenhet vilket gjorde det lättare att erkänna och diskutera misstag. Bra team gör med andra ord inte fler misstag, de bara rapporterar dem oftare – och lär sig av dem.

Så effekterna är bland annat högre trivsel på jobbet och färre gjorda fel, men öppen och förlåtande inställning till dem när de väl råkat göras. De effekterna verkar ju värda att sträva efter, men hur gå tillväga, ja, det är frågan jag själv håller på att gräva i. Det mest gedigna är förmodligen att försöka mäta dagens nivå av psykologisk trygghet i teamet, sen prova på något som ska öka den psykologiska tryggheten och sen mäta igen och se om det haft nån effekt.

Det enda sättet att "mäta" jag hittat hittills är frågorna nedan, vilket känns lite tunt, men jag har heller inte testat dem.
  1. Känner du dig trygg i vår organisation?
  2. Om du gör ett misstag, kan du berätta om det utan att bli bestraffad eller kritiserad?
  3. Upplever du att ledarna i vår organisation erkänner sina misstag?
  4. I din relation med dina kollegor, kan du vara dig själv?
  5. Vad skulle göra att du kände dig (ännu) tryggare i vår organisation?
Och än så länge så är det Orangino Work jag testar och hoppas på att eventuella effekter ska vara kännbara och upplevda snarare än uppmätta, även om det kan vara roligt att ha siffror på saker :)

Min känsla just nu är att en riktigt hög nivå av psykologisk trygghet kan vara den pusselbit jag saknat för att oftare få till de starka synergieffekter inom teamarbete som jag älskar när de uppstår! Så klart värt att prova, eller hur?


Uppdatering 2020-02-15
Frågor för att mäta psykologisk trygghet

Amy Edmondson använde sig av nedanstående påståenden för att mäta nivån av psykologisk trygghet hos ett team. Teammedlemmarna fick svara hur pass mycket de tyckte att varje påstående stämde överens med deras upplevelse av teamet.
  1. If you make a mistake on this team, it is often held against you.
  2. Members of this team are able to bring up problems and tough issues.
  3. People on this team sometimes reject others for being different.
  4. It is safe to take a risk on this team.
  5. It is difficult to ask other members of this team for help.
  6. No one on this team would deliberately act in a way that undermines my efforts.
  7. Working with members of this team, my unique skills and talents are valued and utilized.