The High Velocity Edge: Part Nine

My closing thoughts on the book before the next episode featuring my conversation with Steven Spear.

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome. I'm your host, Adam Hawkins. In each episode I present a small batch, with theory and practices behind building a high velocity software organization. Topics include DevOps, lean software architecture, continuous delivery, and conversations with industry leaders. Now let's begin today's episode.

[00:00:26] Welcome to a part nine of a series on Stephen Spear's 2009 book, the high velocity edge. This is the last episode in this series. Before my interview with Dr. Spear today, I'll wrap up with my closing thoughts on the book and how it changed my work first. I think this is one of the most important books I've ever read.

[00:00:45] That's why I've done so many episodes on it. I read the book somewhere around October or November of 2020. It's now May, 2021. That's going to be plenty of time to digest the ideas, adopt some practices, explain them to others, and really just change how I think about the work itself. I initially planned to just go straight into the interview.

[00:01:07] I had recorded with Dr. Spear, but after giving it some thought it was clear that I needed to dedicate a lot more time on the show to this book, the high-velocity edge description of Kanban and gee Doka changed everything. I'm glad that I read this book after spending so much time on the DevOps handbook team topologies accelerate, and Dave Farley's book on continuous delivery.

[00:01:30] The high velocity edge gave me a framework to integrate all the knowledge I had into a more consistent philosophy. It also made me even more admirable of Japanese culture and their commitment to decades along continuous improvement. My biggest change was understanding why poll based work is so important.

[00:01:47] That portion of the book hit me hard. I realized that my approach was push-based. I was creating waste first, reading others and living to more work in progress. Team typologies gave me the terms to explain this to my team and the next team meeting. I explained it like this. We are a platform team. We cannot push work.

[00:02:08] We must only pull work. That's requested from us from the product teams that will reduce our work in progress. Cut, waste, and call our. burnout. More importantly, it will give us the capacity to respond to real business demand. I can not communicate that until reading the high velocity edge before Kanban was just cards on a board.

[00:02:29] Now I know it's deeper than that. I also increased my focus on judoka by adding more built in checks to every system I touch. This has manifested itself and adding a lot more assertive statements to my jobscript. Sure asserts are not self-correcting, but they're guaranteed to stop the program. If something is broken, this was also inspired by a quote from Admiral Rickover about latent assumptions code has many latent assumptions, especially dynamically type code.

[00:02:58] So don't let them be latent. Make them explicit. You'll be surprised when those asserts fail because it reveals imperfect. knowledge. Plus it will be much easier to troubleshoot filling asserts, than diagnose a bug much further downstream. The high velocity edge also made me very curious about Taiichi Ohno, Saikichi Toyoda and Admiral Rickover. these are fast to any people with stories and knowledge to share.

[00:03:23] I think this is the first time that I've been interested in specific people and not just their ideas. That's a Testament to the strength of their ideas and the commitment to them. I've done my best to share the best of the high velocity edge with you in this series, there are plenty more examples of each capability in the book there's many from Toyota and for good reason, they get it.

[00:03:44] You can learn from them. I know I did. I'll leave you with one last thing that wraps up the whole package. The high velocity edge led me to learn a lot more about Toyota. That led me to pick up the second edition of Jeffrey Laker's book. The Toyota. way. It was just published this year. So the information is fresh.

[00:04:04] The book includes eight steps of the Toyota business practices. Step one, clarify the problem. Step two, break down the problem. Step three, set a target for analyze the root cause. Step five, develop countermeasures step six, see countermeasures through step seven. Evaluate both results and processes. Step eight standardize successful processes.

[00:04:33] And then I'll add my own step nine, teach others to follow the previous steps. All right. Thanks for listening for the whole series. It means a lot that you've stuck with me. This. far. The next episode features my conversation with Dr. Steven spear. You've just finished another episode of small batches podcast on building a high-performance software delivery organization for more information, and to subscribe to this podcast, float to smallbatches.fm. I hope to have you back again for the next episode. So until then, happy shipping,

[00:05:10] Like the sound of Small Batches? This episode was produced by pods worth media. That's podsworth.com.

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2020 Adam Hawkins