location_city Washington DC schedule Oct 16th 02:00 - 02:45 PM EDT place Ballroom A people 13 Interested


When transitioning from Scrum to Kanban, or any new methodology, there can be a tendency to lose focus on what made you successful in the first place. At Capital One, teams are given the flexibility to operate as they see fit, using any Agile method necessary to improve the quality the product and the productivity of the teams. When one 20 year veteran and a rookie straight out of QA saw the potential benefits of having their teams go from Scrum to Kanban, they teamed up and got to work on transforming the teams. They took the training, they got the teams on board with the change, and everything seemed fine…. For a while. Across the teams, five negative patterns were identified that were affecting the teams in different ways. The two Agile enthusiasts persisted and came away with solutions for each. Even better, they figured out how to avoid these dysfunctions all together.


Outline/Structure of the Talk


5 Min: Intro - Who we are, What we do and what we are here to speak about

5 Min: Team layout why we wanted to switch methods

5 Min: What we did and the improvements that we saw

30 Min: The 5 Dysfunctions - Patterns and Problems





  • Replaced with adhoc refinement
  • Sometimes too late to refine
  • No consistent level of refinement quality
  • Keep normal team refinement times (reduce once pattern is defined)
  • Have strict policies on refined stories and a clear Definition of Ready

Continued Focus on managing people and not the work

  • Example - Standup still person by person (not work focused)
  • Example - Boards had Swim Lanes by person
  • Changed standup to go card-by-card from right to left across the board
  • Coached teams to change their board focus to classes of service

Continuous Improvement

  • Fell to the wayside because of the lack of regular cadence

  • Brought Retrospectives back to the teams and simultaneously promoted a culture of continuous improvement and “On the Field” innovation


  • WIP limits continually maxed out and/or exceeded
  • Teams were accustomed to push mentality that encouraged picking up blocks of work at the same time
  • Coached the teams about WIP, Little’s Law and why we limit WIP. Eventually the teams were holding those conversations on their own

Team Norms

  • The new way of visualizing our work led to a lot of conversations/confusion about how we worked as a team – the “devils were in the details”
  • Team had multiple conversations about what exactly needed to be done to move to the next state (often the same conversation was had more than once for a team).
  • Discuss the “Policy Definition” meeting to get to clear exit/entrance criteria for each state
  • Discuss the creation of the “Discovery Board”

Learning Outcome

How to avoid the same pitfalls and issues that teams commonly faced during any significant change in the team. This talk focuses on teams shifting from Scrum to Kanban, but the same principles could be applied to any major change.

Target Audience

Agile/Lean/Scrum advocates considering a transformational chagne

Prerequisites for Attendees

Basics of Agile and Scrum. Some Kanban Knowledge would also be helpful.

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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