Ryan Martens

PDCA: Beyond Simple Inspect and Adapt


Lean and Kanban focus on practices of continuous flow of product delivery. Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a Lean discipline that moves beyond inspect and adapt of Agile team-level processes. At a corporate level, PDCA provides guidance for strategy as well as problem-solving work. In 2009, I led Rally’s move to PDCA for the company’s strategy process at both the annual and quarterly levels. My primary guide was Pascal Dennis’s “Getting the Right Things Done”. In this experience report, I share Rally’s PDCA first year of adoption: where we started, how this impacted our corporate behaviors, and where we are now. I want to share Rally’s story to compel participants to embrace PDCA and get good at it. I ask each participant to come with its organization’s #1 goal and success criteria. I will close with a planning A3 exercise from Pascal’s book .


Ryan Martens The CTO and founder of Rally Software, Ryan Martens began his career in software in 1985 while in college and has broad industry experiences with BEA Systems, US West/Qwest Communications, BDM, and three start-ups. As Rally’s CTO, he is a lean/agile consultant, blogger, portfolio manager, technical operations manager and senior sales resource. Ryan is known for his triple bottom-line thinking as well as his farm fresh eggs, and his love for skiing, fishing, and biking with his family in Colorado.