schedule Oct 15th 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM place Ballroom A people 24 Interested

In our follow-up session to last year’s Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Observing Flow, we are excited to bring our newest installment of the series: Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Creating and Discussing Flow.

This session puts the attendee in the driver’s seat to create their own Kanban board configurations. We provide seven business scenario exercises and ask the attendees how they would go about configuring their Kanban board given the unique constraints of each scenario. Each team/table in the room will spend a few minutes discussing how they would configure their board using the provided flip charts, markers, and stickies. A debrief with the entire room follows as each team shares its concepts. The instructors will also share their own board configurations and ideas.

These exercises will increase your understanding of Kanban systems, give you practice interpreting and creating board configurations, present multiple implementable ideas for any given scenario, and provide you with approaches for meaningful engagement. They are great for aspiring coaches, managers, and leaders who want to have more valuable conversations with their teams and improve Kanban implementations.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Presentation opens with a general overview of Lean/Kanban where the instructors review the concept of flow, WIP limits, and pull systems.
  • The instructors ask participants to gather into groups of four or five. Their job is to review several example scenarios (one example at a time) that the instructors present. Each successive example scenario is more complex with new lessons to be learned.
  • The instructors present the first scenario and give each group a few minutes to work together to consider how they might go about designing a Kanban board based on the scenario and provided constraints.
  • The presenters then facilitate a brief discussion with the groups to learn how they created their own Kanban board.
  • The presenters will also share their own ideas for how they would go about configuring the board for each scenario.
  • The presenters then display a new scenario slightly more complex and involved than the one previously discussed. Presenters and participants repeat the "review, design, report out" steps described above for each new scenario.

Learning Outcome

  • Practice designing various Kanban board configurations given sample scenarios with given constraints. Our scenarios highlight concepts such as:
    • WIP limits on columns
    • WIP limits on rows
    • Intermediate done columns and pull signals
    • On hold visual indicators
    • Queues
    • Expedite lanes
    • Exceeding WIP
    • Effective column naming conventions
    • Bottlenecks
  • Opportunity to think critically about board designs with others at a group setting.
  • Opportunity to learn and hear from other groups as they report out their thoughts and comments.
  • Opportunity to hear the presenters' thoughts and opinions with how they would have created the board design.
  • Appreciation for how many designs can satisfy any given scenario. There is no single "right" answer but there may be some that you feel are better than others!

Target Audience

Anyone interested in thinking critically when creating and considering Kanban boards.

Prerequisite

Familiar background/use with Kanban boards is helpful but certainly not required.

schedule Submitted 6 months ago

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    Intermediate

    Agile at the team level fosters self-organization by leveraging constraints. Timeboxes, Work in Progress (WIP) Limits, and clear operational definitions are excellent examples of the kinds of constraints teams regularly employ to deliver reliably. Are you familiar and comfortable with these ideas, but uncertain how to apply them at larger scales? Are you looking for techniques that will allow you to harness the creativity of your teams to enable self-organization at scale? If so, this session is for you.

    I’m passionate about applying concepts from Complex Systems Theory (as developed by Dave Snowden, Alicia Juarrero, Bob Artigiani, etc.) to the work of software teams. My colleagues and I at Excella have been exploiting these ideas by using a variety of patterns borrowed from different theories and frameworks to allow our teams to grow like healthy plants in a garden. From Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) we leverage the concepts of a single product backlog and a shared cadence. Kanban principles of visualizing the work and limiting WIP help align the teams and foster greater collaboration. Dave Snowden’s emphasis on Homo Narrans—the human as storyteller—has provided a framework for clarifying and promulgating common values, which are essential for decentralized decision-making. Collectively, these mental models created an environment that helped us scale one of our engagements from three teams to eight over the course of a single year.