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Jon Lauridsen
Jon Lauridsen

Posted on • Originally published at

Simple, specific ways to improve as a team

Teams should always seek to get better, but there are infinite ways of (trying to) improve. It can seem overwhelming.

To make sense of that vast possibility-space we first need to discuss the scientifically validated model for software delivery performance introduced by Nicole Forsgren in the book Accelerate. It's full of great quantifiable insights! By using rigorous scientific techniques it finds how certain techniques and principles impact software delivery performance. Simply put: The odds of positive outcomes for the product, the team, and the organisation increases by adopting lean principles and agile thinking.

Reading their findings immediately collapses that overwhelming improvement-space to a number of very specific low-hanging fruits, e.g.:

  • Make each story small (work in small batches)
  • Visualize the flow of work
  • Seek customer feedback
  • Establish a loosely coupled architecture (it's crucial that products can deploy and be tested individually)
  • Don't have QA write tests, developers must write tests!
  • Use trunk-based development (feature branching is simply dead at this point)

And the list goes on! The research investigates many techniques and show which ones work best, and if you adopt these findings they will likely cause less burnout, less rework, higher job satisfaction, increased organizational performance, and several other positive effects. Just to be clear: Not correlate, the research finds causative effects šŸ¤Æ.

(This point more than anything is where I meet the most disbelief when discussing ways of working. If that's you Iā€™d love to talk in the comments to better understand your POV)

But also, those specific findings are just the beginning! Lean is a big field, based on a core principle of maximizing customer value & minimising waste. Once you start down this road there is an abundance of inspiring ways to improving work, all manner of fun and/or intense experiments to run to see which causes your team to work even better together.

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