Productivity In my last blog, The Enigma of Employee Productivity, we had explored and discussed about deep meaning at work, motivation at work and productivity. We argued and pointed to many prominent research/ study findings which showed us that (a) the majority of the workforce across organizations globally is not engaged at work, (b) for "higher level" work that requires creativity and innovation, traditional management motivation methods including incentives and monetary rewards don’t work, these methods seemed to be made for the industrial era and are ill equipped for the modern knowledge era.

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Achieving FlowAs I watch the USA battle it out with Belgium in the World Cup 2014, (OK, I admit I am working from home today ;-) ), I am once again reminded that the most beautiful moments of the game are those that are most – there is no better way to describe it – fluid! While the game overall is a joy to watch (at least for me – and billions of other “World Cup time soccer fans” worldwide!), every now and then you see moments of sheer beauty and thrill – plays that last more than 1-2 passes. It could be just a series of quick passes between two players to thwart an opposition player...

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SwiftKanban You now have access to all your charts in a single view. They can be resized and placed wherever you want. Also, individual charts now have their own filters that override the common filter. Signing up for SwiftKanban just became a lot easier - You can now sign up using an existing Google account making the entire process quicker and a lot simpler. You can now see the flow of cards over a given time period in an animated replay of events of your board. You can track the CFD and Resource Graph as a continuous flow or you can track one card at a time.

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Employee EngagementSatya Nadella, in his first interview after taking over as CEO of Microsoft, said that his “quest” is to create a company “where people find deep meaning at work”. This struck me as very different. CEOs normally don’t talk of “quest” and “deep meaning”, they usually talk of stuff like increasing market share, profits, innovation, etc. Many questions kept popping in my mind; like- –Is he really serious about “deep meaning at work” thing? We understand it benefits the individual, but does it benefit the company? Do employees who find deep meaning at work create a better company?

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ChecklistsIdeas are cheap. Execution is Everything. One of the many tenets that one hears often in the Silicon Valley underscoring the fact that successful innovation requires not just the initial spark of an idea but the discipline to execute on it till it truly reaches its full potential and impacts people in the way the innovator perhaps originally thought it might! In fact, the history of innovation is replete with examples of not the one who had the original idea but the one who saw its potential and took it all the way to a huge market success!

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Management InsightsAs our customers have dug in deeper with their implementation of Kanban systems in a variety of domains– most often IT Ops/ DevOps and software development, but also general business operations, it has become clear to us that they are not just looking at the standard Kanban metrics, they are looking for additional insights to help understand why and how something happened and where they can start to look for improvements. It is the ‘why’ and ‘how’ and ‘when’ and ‘where’ aspects of these questions that start to make Kanban systems truly interesting as information radiators.

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Agile Methods The Pune Chapter Meet of the Limited WIP Society was held on Mar 8, 2014. This session objective was to address challenges faced by Lean-Kanban practitioners in their projects. Participants from 4 different organizations attended this session. A couple of problems were posed by the participants ahead of time. We decided to work on the first one for this session. Some projects are fixed scope, fixed budget and have relatively small duration – 3-4 months.

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Tales of LeanThe role of metrics in TPS is crisply explained in Jeffrey Liker’s book “The Toyota Way”. He explains that Toyota prefers simple metrics and does not use many of them at the plant or the company level. Some of my peers may be surprised to hear this! The author highlights his point with a simple example. During one of his visits to one of the Toyota plants, he was told that apart from a few basic metrics (like cost of plant operations, parts per million defects, some safety related and productivity), the metric Toyota finds most useful as a manager is the number of “Andon” pulls made by each Team Member to stop the production line.

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Tales of LeanWe are very honored to publish another case-study on the successful use of SwiftKanban for improvement of Procurement Process for the Brazilian organization Poiesis. The presentation shared in this post was prepared and presented by Clarinha Prado, a consultant with Gigante Consultoria, Brazil.  Clarinha has over 20 years of Business Analysis and IT consulting experience in a variety of fields, especially the financial sector.

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Unverifiable-ProductivityOur Customers range from some of the largest IT Services/ Consulting companies to Corporate IT to ISVs and Engineering organizations inside high-tech manufacturing, System Integration and embedded-systems companies. They have a wide variety of product design and development methods as well as a varying degree of need for standardized processes, collaboration with customers and partners, and the ability to support distributed teams.

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