Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Observing, Creating, and Discussing Flow

schedule May 29th 01:55 - 04:55 PM place Capitol 4 + Corridor people 16 Interested

You have been hired to help lead a team just starting out with Kanban. They have been struggling with their implementation and are looking forward to your expert guidance, advice, and leadership. It’s your first day and you just walked into the team room to look at their board. You want to make smart observations and have meaningful conversations so you can trigger improvements. The team starts assembling for their daily standup meeting and you want to provoke a thoughtful conversation once it ends.

What comments would you make? What questions would you ask?

This two-part interactive workshop begins with a detailed look at how to interpret Kanban boards and ask thoughtful questions so that you can improve the work of your teams. We will provide an overview of the Kanban Method and then proceed through a series of eight short exercises that will give you an opportunity to review and interpret various Kanban board configurations with other attendees at your table. After a short break, part two of the session now puts the attendees in the driver’s seat to create their own board configurations. We provide eight business scenario exercises and ask the attendees how they would go about configuring their Kanban board given the unique system constraints for each scenario.

Both exercises will increase your understanding of Kanban systems, give you practice interpreting and creating board configurations, 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.

Please Note: we can tailor this workshop to be either 180 or 120 minutes.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Part 1

  • Presentation opens with a general overview of Lean/Kanban where we review the concept of flow, WIP limits, and pull systems.
  • We then explain participants are consultants hired to help a struggling team with its Kanban implementation.
  • We ask participants to gather into groups of four or five. Their job is to review the next several Kanban boards (one at a time) the instructors present. Each successive Kanban board is more complex with new lessons to be learned.
  • The instructors present the first board and give each group a few minutes to work together to consider questions and talking points they would make to the teams they have been hired to help. For example:
    • What are you observing?
    • Why might that be happening?
    • What questions would you ask of the team to learn more?
  • The presenters then facilitate a brief discussion with the groups as they report out what they observe. The presenters also provide their interpretations of the boards.
  • The presenters then display a new board (new slide) slightly more complex and involved than the one previously discussed. Presenters and participants repeat the "review, discuss, report out" steps described above for each new board.

Part 2

  • Tables/teams will reconvene after a short break (if 180 minutes).
  • Presenters now turn the tables slightly. Presenters will present up to eight different workflow-scenarios from which attendees create their own board configurations/visualizations (one scenario at a time)
  • Attendees then work with their table groups to discuss how best to visualize and create a Kanban board configuration based on the scenario and constraints we provide.
  • Presenters then facilitate a discussion with table groups and review tables' ideas and board configurations.
  • Presenters will also provide their own ideas and thoughts how they would go about configuring their Kanban board.
  • 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.

Please Note: we can tailor this workshop to be either 180 or 120 minutes.

Learning Outcome

Learning Outcome Part 1

  • Practice interpreting Kanban board configurations. Our configurations highlight concepts such as:
    • Bottlenecks; WIP limits on columns; WIP limits on rows; Done columns; On hold visual indicators; Queues; Expedite lanes; Interpreting with Cumulative Flow Diagrams; Exceeding WIP; Smart column naming conventions
  • Opportunity to think critically about those configurations with others at a group setting
  • Opportunity to compose thoughtful questions and insightful comments so that you can practice what you would ask the team you are coaching/helping
  • Opportunity to learn and hear from other groups as they report out their thoughts and comments
  • Opportunity to hear the presenters' thoughts and opinions of what they observe and what they would ask.

Learning Outcome Part 2

  • Practice designing various Kanban board configurations given sample scenarios with given constraints.
  • 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 interpreting and creating Kanban boards.

Prerequisites for Attendees

Familiarity with Kanban boards and their use is helpful but not required. This is a great session for those who are relatively new to and certainly curious about Kanban.

schedule Submitted 5 months ago

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