I’m going to start this long overdue post by saying I lost my way for a while. I came upon some hurdles at work that derailed (in my mind only) the effort I was pursuing to learn, teach and practice lean. There are still hurdles in place but as much as I despise status quo I’ve decided to buckle down once again and hopefully influence a movement and change the things I can.
So what am I talking about exactly? In my organization there is a very clear divide in how processes are completed in order to provide value to our customers. I tried to dissolve this divide to no avail but recently found my spark and motivation. I have a team at work that is as desperate, eager and willing to learn and implement lean as I so I will focus my energy with them. We collectively decided to re-map our value stream and implement kaizen in order to identify our muda and constraints.
The beginning of me finding my motivation again came through an implementation of a training program that is geared for new people and ones that want additional training. This program is a six week plan with as much hands on practice as we can apply, and of course some theoretical discussions and didactic. During this course I taught for two weeks, during the whole time I discussed lean and connected the dots on how lean can improve their environment and how it will help them do their job better, thus increasing our capability to provide value to customers. The entire time I maintained the lean theme so this will become an involuntary thought while they are working. I started with the new people, I instilled a sense of pride that what we do as an organization is just as reliant on each and every one of them and their individual duties as it is to the leadership and their duties. I made sure they know that they are responsible for removing waste and helping strive for perfection. I believe they understand and are willing to join the lean team. I emphasized that lean is only achievable if everyone is on board, that there is no lean department or lean leader.
I believe this is how we collectively define DevOps, being diligent students of lean principles and delivering the best value to our customer through kaizen. Our operations are going to become lean and always chase the constraints, while our development will lean the processes required to deliver.
This is a long journey but we cannot get there without taking the steps. There is no moving sidewalk where I work.