…working with one or more teams on a big hairy audacious goal.
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Ever getting better in getting better requires a learning culture.
Henrik Kniberg says that squads at Spotify are using a big visible chart as improvement board that focuses on one to three actionable accelerators like: “What is blocking us?”
Also, the board shows a definition of awesome that includes things like:
- Really finishing stuff.
- Easily ramping up new team members.
- No recurring tasks or bugs.
Beyond that, the definition of awesome architecture makes explicit:
- I can build, test, and ship my feature within a week; and
- I use data to learn from it; and
- My improved version is live in week two.
Awesome is a direction, not a place, so it does not even have to be realistic. The squads use a definition of awesome to help focus improvements and track progress.
The improvement board is inspired by a technique called improvement kata, showing:
- current situation;
- target situation in the form of a definition of awesome telling a little story about the perfect world;
- realistic next target condition that is one step closer to awesome; and
- next three steps, actions that take you to the realistic next target condition;
- when these get done, the squads fills them up with new improvement actions;
- this section also shows a little week calendar.
Use an information radiator to list and execute improvement kata. Set its direction with a definition of awesome. Tackle tough problems with an a3 solver. Capture your learnings by gardening a pearl language and a set of excellence guides.
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The improvement board is very similar to an a3 solver, a pattern or pearl, and the general beyond bullet points structure. The same structure is used in instant pay-off coaching to help someone get unstuck and grow.
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