We are pleased to introduce Edward Fry in our series of posts to recognise the champs of the Ranger community.
He’s been nominated for his tenacious information gathering, interviews, and analysis of our engineering process transformation. He’s also one of the authors of our our journey of transforming to a DevOps culture article (work in progress) and a digital session we’re preparing to re-deliver at community events, to share our experience, as well as the good and the bad. His pedantic (in a good way) analysis has unearthed a lot of invaluable data that will guide us in future transformations. Off course, he’s also the lead of our Kanban Board Configuration Export Extension project.
We asked Edward why he’s leading the Import Export Kanban project?
The Kanban board is, in many ways, the beating heart of a team’s daily work activity. When an opportunity arose to make it even more helpful and productive, I was excited to jump at the opportunity. I feel that my work here has the potential to impact a large group of professionals in a very positive way – and what could be more exciting than that!
Why are you so passionate about interviewing the Rangers and understanding the impact of our engineering transition?
I see organizations all the time who know that there must be a better way to do things, even if their current process is working well for them. After all, it’s the spirit of continuous improvement that comes from the Agile manifesto and is a part of our DNA as process professionals.
The eternal struggle for organizations is how to find the time or business justification to try a significant change to see how it will work. Experimentation is powerful over time and leads to discovering improvements, but there will always be failed experiments, and those can be costly at the enterprise level. As a result, gaining the approval to try them is always challenging, and perhaps it should be considering the stakes for an enterprise.
That’s where I see a mandate for the Rangers. Due to our unique charter, we are able to undertake process experiments and see what works and what doesn’t. We are in a far better position to bear the bumps than a typical enterprise. This allows us to experiment and then pass that experience on to others so that they can harvest the fruit while minimizing the heartburn.
All of this culminates for me as a passion to really empirically analyze and understand changes like our recent engineering transition and share that insight with others.
Were the interviews valuable?
Frankly, all of the interviews that I did were extremely valuable. The most valuable, to me, were interviews which were very candid. Let me first clarify what the word “candid” means to me. Sometimes, “candid” is code for “tell me the bad stuff”, so I want to point out that is not the case here.
Rather, for me, “candid” is sharing both the positive and negative experiences in plain language, which allows us to use data to divine trends. We want to know what works as much as what doesn’t, because we want to keep doing the stuff that works. Then, for the things that don’t work, those get marked for a future process iteration so that, over time, the process improves.
The bottom line is that we need to know both what worked and what didn’t in order to form a coherent picture and iterate.
Wondering what one of the Rangers who was interviewed had to say about Edward?
Edward was committed to get the interview and match times for it, which can be difficult across time zones and work. Thorough and pleasant in discussions regarding Rangers program while doing the interview. I enjoyed it and he did an excellent job - Taavi Kõosaar