Techniques and comments on managing engineers

Stop the Line

Stop the assembly line

In his recent post “Go Faster By Not Working” Adrian talks about how having the entire team stop when the build breaks can result in the entire project going faster.

Lean manufacturing, the precursor to the “Agile” methodologies, has the concept of “Stop the Line”. When a defect in the product is identified, the entire assembly line stops to locate and rectify the factors that caused the defect. 

The major difference in a software development “line” is that there is no physical assembly line, so it is easy to blur the distinction between what is and isn’t part of the product and hence the “line”.

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Capability versus Competence revisited

Back in 2007 I published a post about "Capability versus Competence" in which I espoused the virtue of Capability over Competence in IT and the difficulty in measuring it during recruitment but the value it can provide.

I recently had a comment on my original post. In it the author indicated that "Competence" in their opinion was far better.

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Just in Time Risk

We are getting our bathroom renovated at the moment, and the completion date has been extended by a couple of days.

I guess it should have been expected, but what was interesting was that it seems the delay is not due to unexpected issues in the fit-out (as in water damage, etc) but rather the delay in the supplier getting the taps to the company doing the work.

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First Impressions

We recently had two new businesses move into the offices next door. Looking through the doors highlighted to me how important the first impression of an office is to the energy you bring when you walk in the door.

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Creative Outlet

When I started writing this blog, one of my aims was to provide an insight into what is involved in Engineering management to engineers considering or recently moved into management.

Most engineers I’ve worked with, I would consider “creative”. They are constantly finding and developing creative solutions to problems but just as importantly they enjoy creating things.

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