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Tuesday, August 6 • 10:45 - 12:00
Make It Easy: A Very Simple Approach to Continuous Improvement (Woody Zuill)

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Why does it have to be so difficult?
"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." ~Peter Drucker
It seems it is clear that there is often a "right way" or "best practice" for many tasks in the modern workplace - but is that clarity real, or just a trick that we play on ourselves?
Over time I've found that the biggest successes I've experienced in software development have been the result of finding ways to Make It Easy for people to excel in their work, and to connect and interact as humans. Many others have noticed this as well. For example, let's consider this wonderful quote:
Saying "Hey everyone, we need to cut costs!" doesn't work nearly as well as "Let's make our work easier!" ~Mark Graban
But why is this so elusive? Is it the system of work we follow?
"The system disables performance. For most managers this is hard to see. What they see is people 'behaving badly'." ~ John Seddon
Here is what I'd like us to consider:
• What would it look like if everyone at work was able to contribute their best, and to excel in their work and life?
• What would the result be if this could be achieved?
• Can we make our work easier?
• What would it take to make this a reality?
• Is this about systems thinking and values and principles, or strategy, or techniques, or just "hiring the right people"?
There is a lot of research and writing about system thinking, teamwork, open workspaces, flow, velocity, biases, assumptions, frameworks. How can this help us? I suspect It isn't the workers, or the managers, or the leaders - there are some folks who seem to be finding a way that works for them and their workplace - can we all find a path?
I've been using "Make it Easy" for a number of years and we're going to explore this simple idea: Every day let's find something we need to do, and find a way to make it easier or unnecessary.

Learning Outcomes:
  • You will hopefully learn about:
  • What a better workplace might be like
  • Awareness of the things that are blocking us
  • Finding a path to a better workplace
  • First steps to try
  • How can we identify something to "Make Easy"
  • How might we go about making that thing easier or unnecessary

avatar for Woody Zuill

Woody Zuill

Independent Agile Guide, Independent Agile Guide
I've been a software developer for 36+ years, and I'm an Agile enthusiast. I work as an Independent Agile Guide. I worked with the original "Mob Programming" team at Hunter Industries, and have been instrumental highlighting "No Estimates" concepts. I've enjoy sharing my Agile experiences... Read More →

Tuesday August 6, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Maryland Ballroom B