Lifehack - Backlog, doing, done

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by IblisTheMage, Oct 1, 2021.

  1. IblisTheMage Augur

    I have worked with people from the chemical industry, they say Agile is Lean adapted for software. But I am not qualified to say if that has any merit.
  2. Tucoh Augur

    There's a lot of interesting ideas to address issues like that, like a bidding process or anonymous estimation during meetings to collectively establish how long a task should take. Following a blown estimation with a review will consistently point out underperformers. You don't need anything fancier than a spreadsheet for this, which is what i use for everything because, well, it's faster than anything else ive seen.

    In the end, nothing works unless you have motivated technical staff and / or leadership that are committed at all levels to enforcing productivity.

    That latter part sounds good, but is harder than it sounds
    Dealing with technical staff that only work hard enough to avoid getting fired is exhausting because you have to invest a tremendous amount of time either holding their hand or knowing enough about their tasking to be confident they are goofing of all day. Meanwhile, the cost of hiring and training new staff is massive, making the prospect of replacing someone hard to justify.

    If only life was like raiding where you can constantly bring in new recruits to nip at the heels of people who don't show up consistently, fail raid mechanics and typically underperform on DPS.
    bobokatt and IblisTheMage like this.
  3. Accipiter Old Timer

    That could be. They are different in software development but maybe not materially so. I haven't used Lean, I've only read on it. I guess I went to a lecture on Lean by Mary Poppendieck at one of the MS conferences.
  4. bobokatt Elder

    My whole point with LEAN, KANBAN... this that, whatever new things comes up... is that I am shocked as to how much time, effort and resources are are spent trying to train people, provide courses, seminars, speakers etc., on how to be "more organized and productive", INSTEAD of just doing the work.

    From my earlier post and this one, you can easily deduce I am an old fart, so I know I am way out of touch with many. IblisTheMage I have much respect for you and have watched many of your YouTube videos and I know you are the OP of this thread so my rants are NOT aimed at your post.

    I have watched for years at work, different strategies implemented where it seems more a "checklist" for management to get everyone certified for this and that. It almost feels like me in EQ with 3 alts, all level 85 wanting to get them to 115 with X amount of AAs. It's a checklist but at no point do I ever stop to actually LEARN how to play each class properly. Just powerlevel them. Just a checklist. Once the goal is reached, move to something completely different. Probably a dumb analogy.

    I have also watched new management come in with new strategies and this dire need to create a STEP by STEP process for doing a task (with no actual knowledge of what the work is). Heck we hired outside FIRMS to do this. I got the pleasure of sitting (multiple times) with 5 kids asking me HOW I go about doing what I do each day. I am being very general here. What blows me away is that 20-something young kids we hire out of college ACTUALLY use this/these process/es for everything they do. I wonder if they have to consult their white board each time they need to go to the bathroom. Some of these kids are BRILLIANT, and independent, and fierce, and they should NOT be hampered with these BS processes.

    But I get it; really the goal is to somehow transfer knowledge to new hires and get them up to speed. You cannot simply INJECT knowledge into them, so an accepted organizational PATH must be followed that hopefully brings results. The old farts won't be around for ever. They cannot afford to wait 20 years to get new people to pump out work. There are probably a million strategies at play.

    When I started it was trial by FIRE. That would never work today -- I think. Heck recently, one manager told me the amount of work to get someone "fired" or let's be kind and use the term "offboarded", is so involved that it's simply not worth it. Hence, let's just move that jacka$$ to another team or go through the checklists of everything that clearly needs to be done so at least they, as a manager, are covered. Again yet another organizational checklist. I wonder if there is an app for firing someone?
    Tucoh and IblisTheMage like this.
  5. IblisTheMage Augur

    In Denmark, we have a term called "pseudo-work". Things that looks and feel like work, but are not. pseudowork invades all aspects of life, and often ends up incapacitating the organizations it infiltrates.

    It is closely related to a concept in Lean called Waste (please note that my understanding of this is very basic). Waste is _anything_ that is not directly contributing to the value stream of a company/organization. That means that 100% of meetings are waste, any project management work, all mangement, etc etc.

    So by definition, pseudowork is waste.

    It is not possible to run an organization without waste; but since waste continously grow a accumulate, nourishing itself as a parasite leeching resources from the value stream, it must be continously countered by waste removal. Waste creation is often driven by people.

    I can recommend the book: "the machine that changed the world", it is about the history of car manufacturing, and it explains how Toyota changed all car production, by introducing Lean.

    Funny thing is, even such efforts to remove waste can easily mutate, start to grow, and become parasitic waste itself. This happens quite fast, and I have met both really strong practitioners of Agile and Lean, as well as a much larger number of Agile/Lean parasites; in fantasy terms, we could call them shapeshifters; they take the external form of an Agile/Lean practitioner, but does not actually remove waste. Instead, they are feeding themselves.

    This is why we can't have nice things :-D :-D :-D

    My personal strategy is to avoid going against the "bullshitification", a metaforic destructive force of nature, but instead salvage what I can, with my own limited abilities. I try to identify the good people in the organization (e.g. Agile/Lean practitioners), learn from them, adopt what I can, and then "surf the waves", hopefully without getting my feet wet. When in Rome...
    Accipiter and bobokatt like this.
  6. bobokatt Elder

    THIS. This more than anything. 100% agree.

    More GOOD stuff there.

    I am on it. Thanks!

    Finally, as I don't want to drag this further Iblis:
    It always amazes me how someone that I presume English is not their first language, can be so eloquent, precise, and well-spoken as you, writing in English.

    IblisTheMage likes this.
  7. Alnitak Augur

    Kanban, Lean, Agile, Scrum .... All under the same umbrella of IPW (Imitation of Productive Work)
    Just a way for non-contributing management level to pretend to be important to the overall success.
    If you need a whiteboard to plan you game - you need a break. Walk the dog, watch a movie, cook a 5-course meal for your dear half. Just relax. EQ is only a game.
    Elyssanda likes this.
  8. IblisTheMage Augur

    You are very kind, thank you very much.
  9. Stymie Pendragon

    Least waste way, non-value added activity, etc. I've been indoctrinated into the Toyota philosophy for over 2 decades now as a manufacturing engineer. It's funny how business changes over time though. We went from blaming the process, not the person all the way back to pointing fingers and CYA in the last few years. 15 more of those and I'm out, but it's still a bit fun to watch the cycles. I'm using fun for lack of a better word. :)
  10. Nennius Curmudgeon

    Apologies, but the history teacher in me rears it's ugly head once in awhile. One of the first instances of something like a "lean" approach in business started before most companies even had assembly lines. This article illustrates rather briefly how the "Piggly Wiggly" grocery chain in the U.S. helped to revolutionize how business could be done.

    and this one gives a bit more info.

    The way business is done in developed countries was radically changed in the 20th century and continues to evolve. I do wonder how game design and delivery will change in the next 20 years or so.

    I suspect that they didn't originate the process. I am now curious and looking more into it.
  11. Zunnoab Augur

    I will keep this in mind. Both in real life and video games I am terrible at getting things done. Monumentally.

    My problem is I get obsessed, and intensely so, for something or another. I have extreme focus and knowledge retention while in that obsessed mode. It may last a few days. It may last a few months, but it always passes and the passion and ambition fade away, eventually swinging who knows where else.
    Elyssanda likes this.
  12. Bigstomp Augur

    That's interesting. I was not aware Trello was free. I used it briefly in the past. It was far too simplistic for what it advertised it was good at, but if it's free, I can find uses for it personally. The board was pretty cool.
    IblisTheMage likes this.
  13. IblisTheMage Augur

    Thank you! I’m quite ignorant with regards to these topics, so anything that helps improving my understanding is very welcome
  14. Accipiter Old Timer

    I hear you but without process, at least to some degree, it's chaos. You have to manage the work somehow.


    I'm 61.

    That's nonsense. I know you were paraphrasing someone else but it's still nonsense, at least in most of the US. Japan has a culture of never firing anyone. Not sure about other companies.
  15. Accipiter Old Timer

    When I do resource planning I used 65% for actual work. Meetings, vacations, sick time, goofing off, down time, etc. add up to 35% waste. To each his own but that's a number that works for me.
    IblisTheMage likes this.
  16. Accipiter Old Timer

    Henry Ford is generally given credit for the assembly line. The McDonald brothers took that and successfully applied it to fast food (prior to selling out to Ray Crock).

    Look up The Food that Built America, The Titans that Built America, and so on. History Channel. Really good series, even if you aren't from the US.
    IblisTheMage likes this.
  17. Accipiter Old Timer

    Serious question. Have you been evaluated for bi-polar disorder? It looks a lot like that.
    Zunnoab likes this.
  18. Stymie Pendragon

    I do something similar when estimating tooling manufacturing times. I take the time my programming software says and double it. I usually come out pretty close, so we average 50% waste for that activity.
    Accipiter likes this.
  19. IblisTheMage Augur

    A Bi-polar will not actually get anything done when in manic state...
  20. Zunnoab Augur

    I have not but I don't have the extreme symptoms I would expect of that. I've thought it before but my lows aren't as low and my highs aren't as high as people that have it really badly.
    Accipiter likes this.