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Auckland, New Zealand
Smurf sized geeky person with a penchant for IT, gaming, music and books. Half of industrial duo 'the craze jones'. Loves data, learning new things, teaching new things and being enthusiastic.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Method Fusion

I'm a great fan of Agile, Six Sigma and any other tools that make development, project management and profitability easier to achieve. I also believe that you should use the tools and not allow the tools to use you. You don't have to worship at the church of Agile in order to reap benefits from its various tools, and you certainly don't have to pick one style over another, pick, choose and combine - it's fusion methodology time.

Let's use an analogy, cheese and crackers.   Some cheese is great on its own but is also great when put on a cracker, some cheese is useless on its own and is only really at its best when squished onto a cracker, in the same way we have various Agile and Six Sigma tools.  Some tools stand alone, like a really great cheese, and they can be used to add value whatever methodology you're into, examples that spring to mind are process maps and sliders.   To me, Six Sigma process mapping is the cracker that all companies wishing to do some process improvement should start with. Audit, map and analyse to improve.  Once you've figured out what's going on, only then can you start to use some of those funky Agile tools, perhaps by creating a back-log of requirements, in consultation with the client, based upon your analysis of the process map.

In order to practice what I preach, I've set up an super simple proposal template that can be used for any company, any size, with the intention of offering a service to help them audit their current processes and create a back-log of improvements, whilst minimizing, as much as possible, any interruptions to their current business.  And we're not just limited to IT companies.  This process will work with any business type. As this service isn't old fashioned consultancy, it means the customer won't be spending a fortune to find out how to improve their business and even without doing the second stage, they will still receive some valuable feedback.  It's an agile time-boxed proposal with each stage of the proposal being complete in itself.  After the initial stage 1 process, the customer can say thanks, that's all I need, or they can continue onto the next stage and pick and choose what they want to work on at a pace that suits them.  Old fashioned auditing and PM consultants watch out. Beegle is coming to a town near you!