David Pratten is passionate about leading IT-related change projects for social good.
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Digitizing 55,000 pages of civic meetings

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Digitizing 55,000 pages of civic meetings

Philip James has been building public, searchable archives of city council meetings for various cities - Oakland and Alamedia so far - using my s3-ocr script to run Textract OCR against the PDFs of the minutes, and deploying them to Fly using Datasette. This is a really cool project, and very much the kind of thing I've been hoping to support with the tools I've been building.

Via @phildini

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drpratten
44 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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Turning SQLite into a distributed database

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Turning SQLite into a distributed database

Heyang Zhou introduces mvSQLite, his brand new open source "SQLite-compatible distributed database" built in Rust on top of Apple's FoundationDB. This is a very promising looking new entry into the distributed/replicated SQLite space: FoundationDB was designed to provide low-level primitives that tools like this could build on top of.

Via Hacker News

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drpratten
45 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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Shoelace

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Shoelace

Saw this for the first time today: it's a relatively new library of framework-agnostic Web Components, built on lit-html and covering a huge array of common functionality: buttons and sliders and dialogs and drawer interfaces and dropdown menus and so on. The design is very clean, the documentation is superb - and it looks like you can cherry pick just the components you are using for a pretty lean addition to your page weight. So refreshing to see libraries like this that really take advantage of modern web standards.

Via Adam Rackis

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drpratten
46 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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Accelerating Value Flow with SAFe

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With its roots in Agile, Lean, and DevOps, SAFe has always been a flow-based system. Empowered, cross-functional Agile teams pull work from an economically prioritized backlog to deliver the most value in the shortest time. The Continuous Delivery Pipeline helps teams deliver quickly and directly to the customer.

But the goal of the enterprise isn’t to be Agile, Lean, or SAFe; the goal is to provide a continuous flow of value to the customer. That is the only way to thrive in this age of constant disruption and increasingly complex technologies.

This begs the question of what really constitutes flow and how best to achieve it. To that end, we’ve been focused on improving our guidance to better describe how flow systems work and what impediments teams are likely to encounter. Of course, the usual suspects of excess WIP and large batch sizes are ever-present and must be continuously addressed, but that doesn’t begin to address all the potential issues that impede flow. The figure below illustrates eight properties that are common to every flow system and provides clues as to where interruptions to flow are likely to occur.

Figure 1. All flow systems have eight common properties
Figure 1. All flow systems have eight common properties

With this understanding we are excited to announce a three-article series to help teams better accelerate flow through their value streams:

  • The Value Stream Management article has been updated to more clearly articulate how Lean thinking incorporates flow to guide continuous value stream improvement.
  • Accelerating Flow with SAFe is a new article that provides the context for thinking about flow through the full Business Agility Value Stream (BAVS). The BAVS provides guidance for delivering value, from identifying a new business opportunity to delivering solutions that address that opportunity.
  • Make Value Flow without Interruptions is a new article that describes how flow systems work and, more importantly, how to improve flow by identifying and addressing interruptions to flow that teams are likely to encounter. This article describes a set of ‘eight flow accelerators’ that can be used to debug and improve flow at the Team, ART, Large Solution, and Portfolio level.

In addition, we recently introduced two new articles on Kanban to provide better guidance on achieving flow using Team Kanban in SAFe. And of course, Scrum also contributes to flow, so we are releasing updates to the ScrumXP and Scrum Master articles that emphasize how to better enable flow with Scrum.

With these new articles and updates, our goal is to help teams and the enterprise make significant improvements in the velocity of their value delivery and in their ability to adapt quickly in these turbulent times.

These articles—like all of SAFe—are part of a continuous learning journey that is focused on delivering innovative solutions to the market faster and better. Advancing our thinking about flow is an important part of the journey.

—Dean and the Framework team

The post Accelerating Value Flow with SAFe appeared first on Scaled Agile Framework.

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drpratten
47 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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Review The Professional Agile Leader

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The professional agile leader – The leader’s journey toward growing mature agile teams and organizations by Ron Eringa, Kurt Bittner and Laurens Bonnema provides a detailed understanding of the leader’s role in an agile transformation.

When talking about reasons why so many agile transformations fail, I often show a picture of two rhinos colliding, and saying that this is the reason why. Next, I add two text boxes over the rhinos with company culture and agile culture. I can now refer to this book if you want an in-depth explanation of this clash.

The book is divided in eight chapters. the first chapter zooms in on the situation where you see yourself as an organization being overtaken by competitors. You may be very efficient but too unwieldy to respond quickly to the many changes that come your way. One solution is to take over another company that is already much more agile. This is also the case in the book where Reliable Energy takes over Energy Bridge and we follow the CEO who wants to make her organization more agile.

The second chapter shows what it means to form empowering cross-functional teams who discovered their purpose and the role of the leader. Key is that the teams must form themselves and that this takes time.

In the third chapter the emphasis is on the impact. Forget output but focus on the impact by framing goals in terms of customer outcomes instead of things that are produces. From plan-driven goals to goal-driven planning (tactical – intermediate – strategic goals).

Chapter four shows how teams and their leaders are changing by becoming more feedback driven. This is all about decision latency, levels of delegation, decentralized decision-making, and intrinsic motivation.

In chapter five we see the issues leaders are facing when they are halfway their agile transformation. This refers back to the clash between the rhinos at the start of this review. The original way of working with checks and balances versus the agile mind mindset and what that means to the people involved. Self-managing teams require leaders with a catalytic leadership style (collective focus: sharing, enabling, diversity, acceptance and supportive).

Chapter six shows that in an agile organization less and less hierarchical leaders are needed but all the more agile leaders. Where leadership should be seen as an activity and not a role. How to grow new leaders, how to grow mature teams and to escape the silos by breaking them down.

In chapter seven the authors explain that Kotter’s dual operating system cannot be used for ever. At a certain point you must decide to fully go for the agile way otherwise you will fall back to the old ways of working. I am not sure if this is what Kotter has in mind with his dual operating system.

The final chapter puts the agile culture in the spotlights. The social behavior and norms that people in the organization exhibit, including their beliefs and habits. Without this agile culture your agile transformation will fail and be aware this transformation will never end.

Conclusion

a compact and easy to read book that explains the role of a leader in an agile transformation in a clear, straightforward, and practical way. the case used of a merger of two companies as a common thread makes very clear the issues and friction a leader faces in an agile transformation.

I missed the agile leader’s role in sharing knowledge and lessons learnt by setting up communities of practice (CoPs), chapters, guilds et cetera. The issues and what to do about them when multiple teams are necessary to work on a single product are presented very simplistically but this is probably beyond the scope of this book.

In my opinion an absolute must read if you are in the middle of or want to start an agile transformation.

To order: The Professional Agile Leader: managementboek.nlbol.com



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drpratten
56 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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Introducing sqlite-html: query, parse, and generate HTML in SQLite

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Introducing sqlite-html: query, parse, and generate HTML in SQLite

Another brilliant SQLite extension module from Alex Garcia, this time written in Go. sqlite-html adds a whole family of functions to SQLite for parsing and constructing HTML strings, built on the Go goquery and cascadia libraries. Once again, Alex uses an Observable notebook to describe the new features, with embedded interactive examples that are backed by a Datasette instance running in Fly.

Via My TIL on Trying out SQLite extensions on macOS

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drpratten
62 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
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