Karmona's Pragmatic Blog

Don't get overconfident… Tiny minds also think alike

Karmona's Pragmatic Blog

Gemba Kaizen

June 23rd, 2009 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 3 Comments


* Gemba (現場) in Japanese means “the actual place” or “the real place”
* Kaizen (改善) in Japanese means “improvement”

In business, Gemba refers to the place where value is created and the general notion is that the best improvement ideas will come simply from going to the Gemba (‘bottom-up’ vs. ‘top-down’)

The ‘Gemba Walk’ is an activity that takes management to the front lines to look for waste and opportunities a.k.a. to practice Gemba Kaizen which is similar to the “western” concept of MBWA (Management by Walking Around)

My view

As I have posted before “To master (/control) a software project you must be able to breathe the project – inhale the chaotic butterfly movements around you and exhale with the needed adjustments…” (The Software Chaos | Feb. 2008)

Although we wish it will be different… the best optimizations are “simply” very deep into the details and I have found out that a daily practice of ‘Gemba Walk’ can be very helpful to your project “well-being” (and I must admit that it took me several years to find out that my weird walk actually had a Japanese name/theory ;)

“less important than a gnat’s toot in a hurricane” :)
Gemba Walk with Dillbert

Seven tips for an healthy ‘Gemba Walk’ / MBWA

  1. Visit everyone
  2. Go alone – Daily standup meetings aren’t enough
  3. Don’t bypass middle management e.g. don’t change priorities, requirements or design
  4. Observe, ask and LISTEN
  5. Be genuine, have fun and strive to catch your engineers doing something right and not something wrong (you are not the “fun-police” ;)
  6. Share your dreams and vision
  7. Don’t “disturb” the Gemba – Timing is everything…

What next?

  1. Correlate the Gemba / ‘bottom-up’ observations with your ‘top-down’ understanding
  2. Identify waste, risks and opportunities
  3. Kaizen – Improve and optimize accordingly

Good Luck!

Random News from BBC – Gauguin ‘cut off Van Gogh’s ear’

“Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his own ear but lost it in a fight with fellow artist Paul Gauguin in a row outside a brothel”

→ 3 CommentsTags: Management · Project Management

Scrum and Your Mother-In-Law

June 22nd, 2009 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · No Comments

Flintstone Mother-In-LawKen Schwaber was quoted giving this mind-blowing Scrum / mother-in-law allegory:

“imagine that your mother-in-law believed her daughter could do better… and then imagine that she moved in with you… that’s what Scrum is like”

Think about it…

Assuming we shouldn’t aim to completely avoid all errors in software development (since this is an inherent part of any human creation) but rather to spot them as quickly as possible before they become real problems.

And… since Scrum is indeed a very good “tool” to bring the problems in-your-face without any mercy in a daily manner.

So without even getting into the continuous improvement possibilities with mother-in-laws, I really liked the Mother-In-Law allegory :)

By the way, with great anticipation I have proudly joined the Haiku contest @ the famous Ktorium – Wish me luck! :)

→ No CommentsTags: Agile · People · Project Management · Scrum · Software Management

Just upgraded to WordPress 2.8 – Baker

June 14th, 2009 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 1 Comment

Chet BakerI have just upgraded to WordPress 2.8 in less than 3 minutes…

WordPress 2.8 Highlights

* Speed!!!
* Theme Browser and Installer
* Ability to add Custom Headers
* New drag-and-drop widgets admin interface and new Widgets API
* New ways to customize dashboard widgets
* Syntax highlighting and function lookup built into plugin and theme editors
* Configurable Views on Management Pages
* Faster Loading Admin Pages

→ 1 CommentTags: Blogging · Simplicity · Tools · WordPress

Disable Google SearchWiki

June 14th, 2009 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · No Comments

The Elephant in the Room | BanksyFashionably late*, Google Search’s global preferences page now includes the option to disable the SearchWiki “horror”…

Simply click on the checkbox next to SearchWiki and you will “Hide the ability to share, promote, remove, comment, or add your own results”

All good now :)

* Friendly reminder: Marissa Mayer promised that Google Search Wiki would soon have a toggle button that allow people to turn it off (“early Q1.”/2009)

→ No CommentsTags: Conspiracy · Google · Search

Brave New World of Facebook User Names

June 14th, 2009 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 2 Comments

Columbus taking possession of the New WorldSurprise Surprise… My new facebook username / vanity URL is http://www.facebook.com/karmona

Go and get yours before someone else will @ http://www.facebook.com/username/although it is probably too late ;)

Good Luck!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Conspiracy · Internet · Social Network