The Handelsbanken Way. Handelsbanken has for several decades been Sweden’s most profitable bank. What makes The Handelsbanken Way so successful?
Volumes have been written in Sweden about Toyota and The Toyota Way. Employees at Japanese Toyota have developed interesting methods to handle uncertainty. However, Handelsbanken in Sweden has developed its own method: The Handelsbanken Way.
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Agile product development is the ability to impact the market, utilize this impact and to have the ability to make use of new opportunities appearing in the marketplace.
In this article I will define agile product development. I will start with a definition of product development, followed by a short history of the term agile. Finally I’ll describe how the different strands of development of agile converge in Pulse.
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The agile product development process is based on a combination of iterative work and strategic positioning. The process is determined by the demands of each particular situation.
According to the current norms it’s necessary to have a product development process. An online search results in several images of what one may look like and all of them are noticeably similar: product development is depicted as a conveyor belt in which every step of the process is defined in advance. Why?
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Pulse meetings are short, daily standing meetings where a team plans their work with the help of a Pulse board. Pulse meetings are more interesting and more effective than standard meetings.
Pulse Meetings for Planning and Managing
Pulse meetings are a way to plan, organize and manage an organization. Instead of following traditional management philosophies, by holding Pulse meetings it’s possible to utilize the variety and uncertainty that exist in an organization. Pulse meetings are based on the lean principles of visual planning and fault tolerance (from the concept of jidoka). A Pulse board is required to hold a Pulse meeting.
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Visual management is a decentralized way of working in which team and project participants plan and manage their own work. Participation is necessary but can take place in different ways.
Visualization is a powerful tool that when used correctly can coordinate the work of both a team as well as the whole operation. Visualization requires some rules for cooperation between groups to work: updating the project status should be easy, highlighting problems must be simple to do and there can’t be any delays that would cause information to become old and unreliable. Also, it’s important to be able to see when the last update was made and this information must be available to everyone involved.
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An Obeya is a large room for visual management and jidoka. Obeya was invented in 1993 as part of the Prius project with the aim to shorten lead times.
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The visual decision-making structure is the foundation of an agile network organization. The organization is visualized through the network of Pulse meetings in the Pulse room.
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The agile network organization is a new way to run an organization. An agile network organization can handle complex, high tempo tasks.
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The best way to create cross-functional work is with the help of a fractal, shell-less network. This kind of an organization is quick and agile.
Cross-functional work (for example, projects, Scrum and management groups) are nowadays normal aspects of most operations. However, this was not the case when I started working in the early 80’s.
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