I was on a Continuous Improvement related education session the other day, and I experienced something that’s worth to share.
I’m not too much into the philosophical part of Lean and all the Japanese words, Kaizen and all. However, when our trainer spoke about continuous improvement being something that involves small steps of enhancing process and tools in software engineering, I could easily accept it because it made sense.
Then he started to speak about this being an organized process and how to scale this, I started to think. All my experience shows that if Team A wants to make improvements that would change how Team B works, it generates only hot air and politics. However, if there’s some best practice tried out somewhere, why not to share it with others?
So how much bureaucracy is worth having if we want to do bottom-up improvements on a larger scale? How much would this violate team self-organizing? I’m usually in the empowerment camp, while others tend to favor more structure and consistency. Is there a good balance? What is minimal viable bureaucracy here (á la Henrik Kniberg)?