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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Engines of democracy

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  • Mike Beedle
    Jonas: Thanks for the reference. There are so many things to comment on but these things really got my attention: 1) Time-boxed goals The jet engines are
    Message 1 of 5 , May 22, 2002
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      Jonas:

      Thanks for the reference.

      There are so many things to comment on but these things
      really got my attention:

      1) Time-boxed goals
      The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that are given
      just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be loaded onto
      a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance training,
      vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the manufacturing process
      more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of that stays
      within the team.


      2) Culture and Values
      "Teams," "teamwork," "teaming" -- these are such overused words, such
      overworked concepts, that they have been all but drained of meaning.
      GE/Durham isn't so much a team environment as it is a tribal community.
      There are rules, rituals, and folklore; there is tribal loyalty and tribal
      accountability. There is a connection to a wider world, beyond the tribe.

      What happens if someone is not performing? If you've got an issue -- a
      problem with someone's work ethic, for instance -- you've got to bring it
      up.

      The plant has not missed a delivery date on the CF6 engine in 38 straight
      months. Or, to put it another way, GE/Durham has consecutively delivered
      more than 500 CF6 engines on schedule.


      3) Daily Meetings to Discuss Progress and Issues
      Some of these routines are big things. Everyone at the plant belongs to a
      team, and every team meets every day at 2:30 pm. The team meeting is the
      pivot of GE/Durham. There are two shifts, and they overlap to allow everyone
      either to start or to end the day at the team meeting. More than a simple
      update of the day's progress and problems, this meeting is a place to
      hip-check morale, conflict, overtime, hiring, technical snags, and planning
      for the future.


      4) High skills for all workers
      You have to be above the bar in all 11 of the areas: helping skills, team
      skills, communication skills, diversity, flexibility, coaching ability, work
      ethic, and so forth. Even if just one thing out of the 11 knocks you down,
      you don't come to work here.


      5) Flat Organizations
      GE/Durham has more than 170 employees but just one boss: the plant manager.
      Everyone in the place reports to her. Which means that on a day-to-day
      basis, the people who work here have no boss. They essentially run
      themselves


      6) Self-organization through Rapid Feedback
      GE/Durham's continuous-feedback culture -- "We call this the feedback
      capital of the world," says Paula Sims -- means that while in one sense it's
      true that no one here has a boss, the opposite is also true: "I have 15
      bosses," says Keith McKee. "All of my teammates are my bosses." No one is
      exempt.

      The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that are given
      just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be loaded onto
      a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance training,
      vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the manufacturing process
      more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of that stays
      within the team.

      (There are too many good quotes I could put in here.)


      7) Knowledge transfer
      Multiskilling is how the place is kept together," says Derrick McCoy, 32, a
      tech-3 and a buddy of Duane Williams's on Team Raven. "You don't hoard your
      skills. That way, when I'm on vacation, the low-pressure turbine can still
      be built without me.


      8) Knowledge creation
      The most interesting measure may be one that the people at GE/Durham talk
      about themselves. They don't really think that their main job is to make jet
      engines. They think that their main job is to make jet engines better.

      Now, for instance, when the GE90 is in final assembly, the huge engine sits
      in a scaffold that consists of two-story-high yellow metal platforms. The
      platforms form a kind of pier, giving easy access to the flanks and top of
      an engine that is as big around as a passenger liner. "They used to go up on
      ladders to work on those engines," says Sims. "The GE90 teams said, 'Could
      we build some platforms?' I said, 'That's a great idea.' Once we decided on
      a design, it took a month to build the first one, and now we have two. Not
      having to climb up and down the ladder, or to move it each time you need to
      reach something new, has reduced the assembly time of the engine by eight
      hours."


      9) Team Shared Ownership, Responsibilities
      One team "owns" an engine from beginning to end -- from the point when parts
      are uncrated and staged to the moment a team member climbs on a forklift to
      place the finished engine on a truck for shipment.


      10) Value of the individual
      "I think what they've discovered in Durham is the value of the human being,"
      says McEwan. He points to the ceiling.


      Hmm, where did I hear this before :-) ?

      Each and every points reminds me of Scrum -- specially in the
      form described that Nonaka and Takeuchi described it in the
      "New New Product Development Game".

      Thanks again for the reference,

      - Mike



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jonas Bengtsson [mailto:jonas.b@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 4:35 AM
      To: Scrum
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Engines of democracy


      Hi all,

      I just felt that I had to share this amazing article with you:
      http://www.fastcompany.com/online/28/ge.html

      It is about General Electric plant in Durham that builds jet engines.

      Jonas
    • caelumse
      Mike, You re welcome! I like some thing that you didn t mention (and that are not so related to Scrum perhaps): They used neutral words when grading the
      Message 2 of 5 , May 22, 2002
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        Mike,

        You're welcome!

        I like some thing that you didn't mention (and that are not so
        related to Scrum perhaps):

        They used "neutral" words when grading the technicians: tech-1, tech-
        2, and tech-3. I prefer that over junior, senior, master etc.

        The plant manager only made about 10-12 decision per year on her own.

        -

        But then there are one thing that started me thinking. They created
        councils with one member from each team for different tasks. "The
        councils handle hr issues, supplier problems, engineering challenges,
        computer systems, discipline, and rewards."
        Would something like that work in a "Scrum-company"? That would
        require the team members to do (substantial amounts?) other
        activities outside the project... What do you think?

        Regards,
        Jonas


        --- In scrumdevelopment@y..., "Mike Beedle" <beedlem@e...> wrote:
        >
        > Jonas:
        >
        > Thanks for the reference.
        >
        > There are so many things to comment on but these things
        > really got my attention:
        >
        > 1) Time-boxed goals
        > The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that
        are given
        > just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be
        loaded onto
        > a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance
        training,
        > vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the
        manufacturing process
        > more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of
        that stays
        > within the team.
        >
        >
        > 2) Culture and Values
        > "Teams," "teamwork," "teaming" -- these are such overused words,
        such
        > overworked concepts, that they have been all but drained of meaning.
        > GE/Durham isn't so much a team environment as it is a tribal
        community.
        > There are rules, rituals, and folklore; there is tribal loyalty and
        tribal
        > accountability. There is a connection to a wider world, beyond the
        tribe.
        >
        > What happens if someone is not performing? If you've got an issue --
        a
        > problem with someone's work ethic, for instance -- you've got to
        bring it
        > up.
        >
        > The plant has not missed a delivery date on the CF6 engine in 38
        straight
        > months. Or, to put it another way, GE/Durham has consecutively
        delivered
        > more than 500 CF6 engines on schedule.
        >
        >
        > 3) Daily Meetings to Discuss Progress and Issues
        > Some of these routines are big things. Everyone at the plant
        belongs to a
        > team, and every team meets every day at 2:30 pm. The team meeting
        is the
        > pivot of GE/Durham. There are two shifts, and they overlap to allow
        everyone
        > either to start or to end the day at the team meeting. More than a
        simple
        > update of the day's progress and problems, this meeting is a place
        to
        > hip-check morale, conflict, overtime, hiring, technical snags, and
        planning
        > for the future.
        >
        >
        > 4) High skills for all workers
        > You have to be above the bar in all 11 of the areas: helping
        skills, team
        > skills, communication skills, diversity, flexibility, coaching
        ability, work
        > ethic, and so forth. Even if just one thing out of the 11 knocks
        you down,
        > you don't come to work here.
        >
        >
        > 5) Flat Organizations
        > GE/Durham has more than 170 employees but just one boss: the plant
        manager.
        > Everyone in the place reports to her. Which means that on a day-to-
        day
        > basis, the people who work here have no boss. They essentially run
        > themselves
        >
        >
        > 6) Self-organization through Rapid Feedback
        > GE/Durham's continuous-feedback culture -- "We call this the
        feedback
        > capital of the world," says Paula Sims -- means that while in one
        sense it's
        > true that no one here has a boss, the opposite is also true: "I
        have 15
        > bosses," says Keith McKee. "All of my teammates are my bosses." No
        one is
        > exempt.
        >
        > The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that
        are given
        > just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be
        loaded onto
        > a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance
        training,
        > vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the
        manufacturing process
        > more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of
        that stays
        > within the team.
        >
        > (There are too many good quotes I could put in here.)
        >
        >
        > 7) Knowledge transfer
        > Multiskilling is how the place is kept together," says Derrick
        McCoy, 32, a
        > tech-3 and a buddy of Duane Williams's on Team Raven. "You don't
        hoard your
        > skills. That way, when I'm on vacation, the low-pressure turbine
        can still
        > be built without me.
        >
        >
        > 8) Knowledge creation
        > The most interesting measure may be one that the people at
        GE/Durham talk
        > about themselves. They don't really think that their main job is to
        make jet
        > engines. They think that their main job is to make jet engines
        better.
        >
        > Now, for instance, when the GE90 is in final assembly, the huge
        engine sits
        > in a scaffold that consists of two-story-high yellow metal
        platforms. The
        > platforms form a kind of pier, giving easy access to the flanks and
        top of
        > an engine that is as big around as a passenger liner. "They used to
        go up on
        > ladders to work on those engines," says Sims. "The GE90 teams
        said, 'Could
        > we build some platforms?' I said, 'That's a great idea.' Once we
        decided on
        > a design, it took a month to build the first one, and now we have
        two. Not
        > having to climb up and down the ladder, or to move it each time you
        need to
        > reach something new, has reduced the assembly time of the engine by
        eight
        > hours."
        >
        >
        > 9) Team Shared Ownership, Responsibilities
        > One team "owns" an engine from beginning to end -- from the point
        when parts
        > are uncrated and staged to the moment a team member climbs on a
        forklift to
        > place the finished engine on a truck for shipment.
        >
        >
        > 10) Value of the individual
        > "I think what they've discovered in Durham is the value of the
        human being,"
        > says McEwan. He points to the ceiling.
        >
        >
        > Hmm, where did I hear this before :-) ?
        >
        > Each and every points reminds me of Scrum -- specially in the
        > form described that Nonaka and Takeuchi described it in the
        > "New New Product Development Game".
        >
        > Thanks again for the reference,
        >
        > - Mike
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Jonas Bengtsson [mailto:jonas.b@h...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 4:35 AM
        > To: Scrum
        > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Engines of democracy
        >
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I just felt that I had to share this amazing article with you:
        > http://www.fastcompany.com/online/28/ge.html
        >
        > It is about General Electric plant in Durham that builds jet
        engines.
        >
        > Jonas
      • Mike Beedle
        Jonas: It is interesting that you mention the councils -- I have been thinking about them on and off today but I still don t know what to make of them ;-)
        Message 3 of 5 , May 22, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          Jonas:
           
          It is interesting that you mention the councils -- I have been thinking about them on and off today
          but I still don't know what to make of them ;-)
           
          Also, like you mention below, there are still many more interesting things going on like the
          preference for "neutral" words; or knowing how much everyone else makes; or the fact that
          "No one ever does the same job, shift after shift, day after day". etc.
           
          Too many things left there to ponder on -- I guess in my own bias I quickly saw the things
          that I was looking for, but I am having a harder time with the _new_ things,
           
          - Mike
          -----Original Message-----
          From: caelumse [mailto:jonas.b@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 2:37 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Engines of democracy

          Mike,

          You're welcome!

          I like some thing that you didn't mention (and that are not so
          related to Scrum perhaps):

          They used "neutral" words when grading the technicians: tech-1, tech-
          2, and tech-3. I prefer that over junior, senior, master etc.

          The plant manager only made about 10-12 decision per year on her own.

          -

          But then there are one thing that started me thinking. They created
          councils with one member from each team for different tasks. "The
          councils handle hr issues, supplier problems, engineering challenges,
          computer systems, discipline, and rewards."
          Would something like that work in a "Scrum-company"? That would
          require the team members to do (substantial amounts?) other
          activities outside the project... What do you think?

          Regards,
          Jonas


          --- In scrumdevelopment@y..., "Mike Beedle" <beedlem@e...> wrote:
          >
          > Jonas:
          >
          > Thanks for the reference.
          >
          > There are so many things to comment on but these things
          > really got my attention:
          >
          > 1) Time-boxed goals
          > The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that
          are given
          > just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be
          loaded onto
          > a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance
          training,
          > vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the
          manufacturing process
          > more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of
          that stays
          > within the team.
          >
          >
          > 2) Culture and Values
          > "Teams," "teamwork," "teaming" -- these are such overused words,
          such
          > overworked concepts, that they have been all but drained of meaning.
          > GE/Durham isn't so much a team environment as it is a tribal
          community.
          > There are rules, rituals, and folklore; there is tribal loyalty and
          tribal
          > accountability. There is a connection to a wider world, beyond the
          tribe.
          >
          > What happens if someone is not performing? If you've got an issue --
          a
          > problem with someone's work ethic, for instance -- you've got to
          bring it
          > up.
          >
          > The plant has not missed a delivery date on the CF6 engine in 38
          straight
          > months. Or, to put it another way, GE/Durham has consecutively
          delivered
          > more than 500 CF6 engines on schedule.
          >
          >
          > 3) Daily Meetings to Discuss Progress and Issues
          > Some of these routines are big things. Everyone at the plant
          belongs to a
          > team, and every team meets every day at 2:30 pm. The team meeting
          is the
          > pivot of GE/Durham. There are two shifts, and they overlap to allow
          everyone
          > either to start or to end the day at the team meeting. More than a
          simple
          > update of the day's progress and problems, this meeting is a place
          to
          > hip-check morale, conflict, overtime, hiring, technical snags, and
          planning
          > for the future.
          >
          >
          > 4) High skills for all workers
          > You have to be above the bar in all 11 of the areas: helping
          skills, team
          > skills, communication skills, diversity, flexibility, coaching
          ability, work
          > ethic, and so forth. Even if just one thing out of the 11 knocks
          you down,
          > you don't come to work here.
          >
          >
          > 5) Flat Organizations
          > GE/Durham has more than 170 employees but just one boss: the plant
          manager.
          > Everyone in the place reports to her. Which means that on a day-to-
          day
          > basis, the people who work here have no boss. They essentially run
          > themselves
          >
          >
          > 6) Self-organization through Rapid Feedback
          > GE/Durham's continuous-feedback culture -- "We call this the
          feedback
          > capital of the world," says Paula Sims -- means that while in one
          sense it's
          > true that no one here has a boss, the opposite is also true: "I
          have 15
          > bosses," says Keith McKee. "All of my teammates are my bosses." No
          one is
          > exempt.
          >
          > The jet engines are produced by nine teams of people -- teams that
          are given
          > just one basic directive: the day that their next engine must be
          loaded onto
          > a truck. All other decisions -- who does what work; how to balance
          training,
          > vacations, overtime against work flow; how to make the
          manufacturing process
          > more efficient; how to handle teammates who slack off -- all of
          that stays
          > within the team.
          >
          > (There are too many good quotes I could put in here.)
          >
          >
          > 7) Knowledge transfer
          > Multiskilling is how the place is kept together," says Derrick
          McCoy, 32, a
          > tech-3 and a buddy of Duane Williams's on Team Raven. "You don't
          hoard your
          > skills. That way, when I'm on vacation, the low-pressure turbine
          can still
          > be built without me.
          >
          >
          > 8) Knowledge creation
          > The most interesting measure may be one that the people at
          GE/Durham talk
          > about themselves. They don't really think that their main job is to
          make jet
          > engines. They think that their main job is to make jet engines
          better.
          >
          > Now, for instance, when the GE90 is in final assembly, the huge
          engine sits
          > in a scaffold that consists of two-story-high yellow metal
          platforms. The
          > platforms form a kind of pier, giving easy access to the flanks and
          top of
          > an engine that is as big around as a passenger liner. "They used to
          go up on
          > ladders to work on those engines," says Sims. "The GE90 teams
          said, 'Could
          > we build some platforms?' I said, 'That's a great idea.' Once we
          decided on
          > a design, it took a month to build the first one, and now we have
          two. Not
          > having to climb up and down the ladder, or to move it each time you
          need to
          > reach something new, has reduced the assembly time of the engine by
          eight
          > hours."
          >
          >
          > 9) Team Shared Ownership, Responsibilities
          > One team "owns" an engine from beginning to end -- from the point
          when parts
          > are uncrated and staged to the moment a team member climbs on a
          forklift to
          > place the finished engine on a truck for shipment.
          >
          >
          > 10) Value of the individual
          > "I think what they've discovered in Durham is the value of the
          human being,"
          > says McEwan. He points to the ceiling.
          >
          >
          > Hmm, where did I hear this before :-) ?
          >
          > Each and every points reminds me of Scrum -- specially in the
          > form described that Nonaka and Takeuchi described it in the
          > "New New Product Development Game".
          >
          > Thanks again for the reference,
          >
          > - Mike
          >
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Jonas Bengtsson [mailto:jonas.b@h...]
          > Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 4:35 AM
          > To: Scrum
          > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Engines of democracy
          >
          >
          > Hi all,
          >
          > I just felt that I had to share this amazing article with you:
          > http://www.fastcompany.com/online/28/ge.html
          >
          > It is about General Electric plant in Durham that builds jet
          engines.
          >
          > Jonas



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        • Jonas Bengtsson
          Mike, ... When you do, please let us know! :-) On one hand I really like the Scrum concept of concentrating on the project at hand. On the other hand I think I
          Message 4 of 5 , May 22, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            Mike,

            > It is interesting that you mention the councils -- I have been
            > thinking about them on and off today but I still don't know what to
            > make of them ;-)

            When you do, please let us know! :-)

            On one hand I really like the Scrum concept of concentrating on the
            project at hand.
            On the other hand I think I would consider giving that up for such a
            democratic/healthy environment. What do you think?

            > Also, like you mention below, there are still many more interesting
            > things going on like the preference for "neutral" words; or knowing
            > how much everyone else makes; or the fact that "No one ever does the
            > same job, shift after shift, day after day". etc.

            > Too many things left there to ponder on -- I guess in my own bias I
            > quickly saw the things that I was looking for, but I am having a
            > harder time with the _new_ things,

            Such an interesting and long article is hard to manage in one reading,
            I guess. At first I usually (if I like the article/whatever) look
            after things that harmonize with my frame of reference or that can
            give me some information of what I'm currently struggling with (or if
            I don't like the article/whatever I look for things I don't like). It
            is probably only after that phase I'm acceptable for brand new things
            in the article/whatever.

            (This is why I'm so excited to re-read the Scrum book. When I read it
            the last, and only, time I read it through in almost one reading-I had
            some sleep in the middle-and that was half a year ago so I don't know
            how much I remember :-)

            /Jonas
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