Everyday Kanban

Discussing Management, Teams, Agile, Lean, Kanban & more

Sabotage by avoidance

see, hear, speak no evil

I was on the phone recently with Stacy, a dev team manager.  During our conversation, I shared the concept of using relative card positioning, or stack ranking, to show the priority of items of a queue on a kanban board. Personally, I have used this tactic very successfully in the past as it provides visual cues to both the doers that need to know what’s next, as well as to the requestors of work who want to know when we’ll get to their item. When I finished explaining, Stacy said, “Yes, we’ve tried that in the past but we don’t do it anymore. The problem was that requestors got upset that their item was number five in our queue.”

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DevOps Days SEA 2017: Taming the Chaos: Beyond the Quick Wins

Do you have a shallow kanban implementation?

 

This year at DevOps Days Seattle, I spoke about how often people get stuck in a very shallow implementation of Kanban. In fact, in many things, we often implement a very thin layer of something good but don’t know how to take improvement to a deeper level. First I introduce the audience to a team that has started an improvement initiative, specifically a Kanban implementation, and they’ve seen results, but still aren’t where they want to be. This story progresses throughout the talk in which I share four common indicators of a shallow Kanban implementation and how you can start to wade a little deeper with your process improvements. I give three areas to address, with (hopefully) tactical tips that you can start immediately when you’re back at the office.

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Do Teams Matter?

Every week, before our Lean Coffee in Seattle, there is an unofficial social gathering called #prelean. I value this gathering tremendously as it is a time to get together with peers to learn and build deeper relationships. A staple at #prelean, Adam Yuret is one of my closest friends as well as an amazing consultant. A couple of weeks ago, Adam brought up a topic that sounded controversial: “Do Teams Matter?” For someone who has always been a vocal advocate for their teams in the past, my gut reaction was “Of course they matter! Don’t be so cynical.” But, as the conversation went on, I found my perspective widening quite a bit.

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