Kanban Antipatterns: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

In this interactive workshop we will examine multiple examples of Antipatterns observed in real-world Kanban boards. In each case we will identify the issues and discuss ways to improve the situation. We will review a number of better alternatives and see how the improvements map to the core principles of Kanban such as visualization, managing flow, and making policies explicit. Brand new to Kanban? Learning by example is a great way to get started! A long-time Kanban veteran? Come to see how many antipatterns you recognize and help firm up our Kanban Antipattern taxonomy and nomenclature!

Kanban is an extremely versatile and effective Agile method that has seen significant growth in popularity over recent years. Kanban’s flexibility has led to widespread adoption to manage business processes in disparate contexts such as HR, loan processing, drug discovery, and insurance underwriting, in addition to Information Technology. Like snowflakes, no two Kanban boards are alike. The downside to this flexibility is there is no well-known and easily accessible library of patterns for designing effective Kanban boards. Like Apollo engineers, teams are expected to design their board starting from first principles. Unfortunately, sometimes teams get stuck with board designs that may not provide the visibility and insight into their workflow they hope to see. Worse, some designs actually may serve only to obscure the situation. Working within the limitations of an electronic board can exacerbate the problem even further. Is all hope lost? Certainly not!

Let’s learn more about effective Kanban system design by examining what to avoid and why. Learning by example is effective and fun!

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Outline/Structure of the Workshop/Game

  1. Introduction
  2. Analysis of Anti-Patterns and Discussion of Alternatives
    1. Pre-Assignment
    2. Blocker Column
    3. Expedite Exploitation
    4. Losing Ground
    5. Missed Queues
    6. Lobotomized Board
    7. Board Designed by Megamind
    8. Mixing Apples and Oranges
  3. Wrap Up

Learning Outcome

  • Know how to recognize common antipatterns and what to do about them
  • Understand what makes for an effective Kanban board design
  • Gain experience with multiple alternative ways to visualize workflows and the pros and cons of each

Target Audience

: All: stakeholders, managers, team members, executives

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 3 weeks ago

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