: July 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Kanban Blogosphere Roundup July 27th
This week’s roundup focuses mainly on Personal Kanban. There seems to be growing interest in this. I haven’t tried it myself yet - at least not formally though I do use some of the techniques that others have been describing in terms of balancing the number and type of activities I work on. I’ve recently reduced the time I dedicate to blogging and my web site after two months of more intense effort. It’s all about balancing a personal portfolio.
I had the pleasure of meeting Christina Skaskiw when I was in Stockholm recently. I’m delighted to see she is blogging now too. She’s been experimenting with Personal Kanban and with Pomodoro too. Go add her blog to your rss reader!
Jon Miller gives us his 30 day update on his Personal Kanban journey. Quite a lot of changes and innovation. Show the Flow!
Jim Benson has been busy with his series on Personal Kanban…
12. Cadence and the Personal Kanban
11.Every Task is Sacred
10. The Task Based Personal Kanban Approach in Detail
9. The Sequestering Approach to Personal Kanban in Detail
8. The Subproject Approach to Personal Kanban in Detail
7. The Throughput Approach to Personal Kanban in Detail
Kevin Schlabach describes how his team was finding standup meetings tedious until they evolve to walk the board and focus on the work and not the effort individuals were expending.
Kanban for Design
Ryan Quintal shares his thoughts on using a Kanban approach for design activities on web sites and software. The picture in his post looks like it came from either my or Corey Ladas’ personal collection and was taken at Corbis. Would be nice if Ryan could share some pics from his own experience to illustrate his words.
Nate Kohari on Zen and Kanban
This podcast with Nate Kohari of Agile Zen with Scott Hanselman is interesting more from the perspective that Hanselman attributes leadership in Kanban to Jim Shore, Arlo Belshee and Kenji Hiranabe. While Kenji is from Japan, it’s this branch of the kanban systems evolution that Brian Marick has been calling Portland School Kanban. It’s worth noting that none of these folks were at the Lean & Kanban 2009 and don’t participate in the Kanbandev Yahoo! group or the Limited WIP Society. Their contribution is, however, valuable. All three of them are Agile Alliance Gordon Pask Award winners. And their work goes a long way to demonstrate how a kanban system can be used with early Agile methods like Extreme Programming. Something that meets with scepticism elsewhere.
What all of this shows is that we’ve still got some work to do to pull a diverse group of folks and independent but like-minded thinking together. Hopefully, Lean Software & Systems Conference 2010 in Atlanta will be an opportunity to do that. Meanwhile, Kenji will be speaking at the UK Lean Conference along with many of the regular Kanban community contributors. Technorati tag: David+Anderson, Agile+Management, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Software+Engineering, Project+Management
Posted by david on 07/27 at 04:51 AM
Lean & Kanban 2009 Videos Available
After some delay while we arranged for hosting, the videos from the Lean & Kanban 2009 conference in Miami are now available.
I need to thank InfoQ for making all of this happen. As a media sponsor, InfoQ intended to use these videos together with the presentation slides on their own site. However, the videographer didn’t follow their format instructions and the result was that they couldn’t use them. So after some editing and cleanup they donated them to the community - in this case the Lean Softwae & Systems Consortium.
As a sponsor of next year’s Lean Software & Systems Conference, Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) kindly offered to host this year’s videos.
View now! Technorati tag: Agile, Lean, Kanban, Software+Engineering, Project+Management
Posted by david on 07/27 at 04:39 AM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Kanban Blogosphere Roundup July 16th
Jim Benson has been busy posting his continued series on Personal Kanban. He summarized a number of Approaches to Personal Kanban and then drilled down offering us The Time Capsule Approach and The Throughput Approach. This is demonstrating that there is no one right approach to Kanban. The core is a WIP limited pull system. Beyond that, you get to make your own rules. I hope that Jim’s posts inspire you to innovate with Kanban. Feel empowered! It’s not about copying what someone else has done. Kanban is about is defining policies that make sense in your unique situation.
Lee Brandt reminds us that Kanban is not a Methodology (at least not a software development lifecycle methodology) and as he suggests, neither is Scrum. Where I disagree with Lee is that Kanban clearly is a methodology. It is a methodology for managing change and enabling continuous improvement. There is a body of methods, rules and postulates. These are relatively simple in the core of Kanban. The rules are that you limit WIP, you provide visual control and visual signaling, and the postulation is that this will reduce variability in cycle time, improve predictability of delivery, improve quality, delay commitment, keep options open, improve risk management, encourage collaboration, and increase social capital across the value stream. In addition, as Jim Benson is showing us, you can choose to supplement the core rules and methods with your own context specific set of rules and methods to further enhance the postulation and better manage risk, encourage collaboration and so forth in your specific situation. So, to conclude, I agree with Lee, Kanban is a not a software development lifecycle or project management methodology but to agrue that Kanban is not a methodology at all would be wrong. The subtitle for my forthcoming book about Kanban is “Successful Change Management for Technology Organizations.” From this you might deduce that I am positioning Kanban as a change management methodology.
Eric Ries has posted a fantastically thorough review of Donald G. Reinertsen’s new book, The Principles of Product Development Flow. Don was perhaps the single biggest influence on my work and the instigator of the chain of events that led to kanban systems for software engineering. Don’s new work was 12 years in the making since his seminal Managing the Design Factory which greatly influenced my first book. Read Eric’s review then go buy Don’s book. Better still come to the UK Lean Conference and meet Don in person.
Yuval Yeret shared his Scrumban - taking Scrum out of its comfort zone slides from the Israeli Scrum User Group event this week. It’s great to see this. I think Yuval shows great courage and I hope his audience are open-minded enough to give his thoughts a fair hearing.
Ralf Rottmann posted a thoughtful and thorough review of Agile Zen, In Need of a Really Lean Project Management Solution? Love the screen shots in this review.
Si Alhir posts his idea of The Purposeful Enterprise. He references a lot of heavy management science including Gary Hamel and some lighter weight management ideas from Seth Godin and distills out the notion that Communities, Collaboration, Kanban and Tribes all below together in the same salad bowl. The actionable advice comes in the last paragraph with the advice that we need to foster tribal leaders who in turn should be either value champions or innovation champions. I’d like to see him drill down on these ideas a little further and explain what he means and how these roles would interact and how we might go about developing such individuals.
Mark Stringer uses his blog to provide feedback on Karl Scotland‘s Kanban, Flow & Cadence presentation at the mini-SPA event in London this week. Unfortunately, I just don’t buy Mark’s arguments. He clearly doesn’t buy into the concept of “economy of scope” and the essence behind domain modeling and software product lines. It’s quite clear to me that there is a lot of re-inventing the wheel going on in software development. It’s also clear to me that the effort required to develop unique pieces of software can be understood and modeled. In one of my classes I ask, “How long does a tennis match take?” People shrug. After a few minutes they agree that 5 minutes is too short but 5 hours is unlikely. After a few more minutes they develop a model with a mean and a band of variation. They suggest that perhaps 45 minutes is at the low end and 4 and half hours at the higher end with perhaps 1 hour and 45 as a mean. They then suggest that they could research the answer from historical data. Try the same thing with a set of developers but replace the words “tennis match” with “web part” or a similar technology component and see what answers you get?
Mark’s next suggestion that we Karl and I (and others in this community) are suggesting that we use Toyota’s solution to a software development problem is also wrong. See my earlier comments in this roundup. Kanban is a change management methodology where you supplement the core rules with a set of rules adapted to your context. Jim Benson is showing with Personal Kanban how you can have differeny sets of rules to produce differents types of outcomes. Pick the rules to suit the outcome you want. Don’t copy someone else’s kanban system blindly.
Finally, Mark provides Karl with some useful feedback that clearly he isn’t communicating the meaning of cadence. Cadence isn’t about variable length iterations but about regular delivery and regular prioritization. It’s about puting some certainty around the coordination activities required to add new work to the software development backlog, and to release newly completed work to the customer.
Mark does remind me that I published some considerable advice on calculating iteration length. I included this guidance in the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process template shipped with Visual Studio Team System. I have also taught it in my Zen of Agile Management class since the spring of 2006. Mark also reminds me that I’ve never articulated this on my blog or in an article in a particularly consumable fashion. The closed I came was in June 2006 with these two articles Manage Value Creation not Effort Expended and Process Batch and Transfer Batch. These are a poor replacement for the detail in the class where I teach participants how to assess the transaction and coordination costs involved in a transfer batch in order to determine an appropriate iteration length. For a more thorough mathematical analysis read either of Reinertsen’s books, Managing the Design Factory or Principles of Product Development Flow.
And finally today, it seems that Agile Tester likes Kanban, How to Measure QA Velocity? It appears that the kanban limits are Sai’s friend. They help avoid overloading the testing team. Yes, indeed! Technorati tag: David+Anderson, Agile+Management, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Software+Engineering, Project+Management
Posted by david on 07/16 at 12:54 PM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Kanban Blogosphere Roundup July 14th
It was a busy weekend for Kanban blog postings. Meanwhile, I was in the Napa Valley, California biking and wine tasting. Here’s a roundup of the last 4 days.
First off [in Dutch] Software Innovators have their own take on Kanban.
Los Techies tell us how Kanban is Process Control and not a Process for Adding Value. Too true!
Meanwhile, two friends from Atlanta, Mike Cottmeyer and Dennis Stevens cross swords publicly with Mike’s Scrum or Kanban… It’s not Black or White (a title I can agree with but I’m not sure about his conclusions) and Dennis’ Uncovering Better Ways of Developing Software and Helping Others to Do It where he sees Kanban as truly a new innovation.
On the tool vendor front, AgileZen launched. Congrats to Nate Kohari who reported over 1000 accounts set up in the first few days - very cool! And SilverStripe announced an upgrade to their product that now has WIP limit triggered events that they’ve used to enable a Kanban limit override. In my opinion this is a must have feature. Siddharta and his buddies are staying out in front.
Si Alhir asks whether Lean and Kanban are stretched to the breaking point with the new innovative usage in software development. It’s a question not a statement. What do you think?
And finally, Chris McMahon is Against Kanban. A post which generated a lot of comments and discussion. Go read them all. Vasco Duarte moved his thoughtful respnse to his blog. Technorati tag: David+Anderson, Agile+Management, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Software+Engineering, Project+Management
Posted by david on 07/14 at 01:13 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009
Kanban Blogosphere Roundup July 10th
Kanban continues to grow in popularity on Twitter with as many as 6 tweets per hour. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to see about 1 blog post per day. Here’s a roundup of the last few days…
Karl Scotland has been busy with 2 posts. Interestingly for a very experienced Scrum coach who still make s significant living helping teams transition to Scrum, Karl tells us that he now thinks in Kanban as his first language. A few days earlier, Karl posted his own take on how Kanban addresses the Lean pillar of respect for people and enables self organization.
Nice post from Marty Haught who gives us his take on Kanban vs Iterations.
And hat tip to Jean Tabaka who brought two articles in the Economist.com to my attention, from the Management section, Just in Time, and Taiichi Ohno (the face of our limitedwipsociety.org “Yes We Kanban” campaign.)
Jim Benson also posted the 3rd in his series on Personal Kanban, identifying the benefits of using a personal Kanban system. Technorati tag: David+Anderson, Agile+Management, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Software+Engineering, Project+Management
Posted by david on 07/10 at 12:58 PM