By Mike Burrows
I’m just back after another week away from home – first a 2-day Kanban class in London, then the Kanban Leadership Retreat in Mayrhofen in the beautiful Austrian Alps. Such a treat!
You will not be surprised to hear that I found myself leading (or rather co-leading with Rich Turner) a further exploration into the application of Kanban to portfolio-level problems. By “Kanban” I mean not just kanban-style visualisations but conscious attention to WIP, flow, policies etc. I have to admit though that I got far more out of other sessions.
Yuval Yeret did us all a great service by (re)raising the topic of Crossing the Chasm. This spawned several intense discussions, mostly notably a “Compelling Reason to Buy” discussion that fully justified an additional session of its own.
HÃ¥kan Forss led a number of sessions, two of which I attended. The first was on Kanban Kata which he describes here and here – I have little to add except to say that (i) I love it and (ii) it fits very well with what I teach around the use of A3.
In HÃ¥kan’s second session he sought to challenge the sequence in which the practices of Kanban are listed. This might seem a trivial point (and at one level it is) but it led first to a fruitful discussion on rollout approaches and then to this, an unordered visualisation of the depth to which the practices are understood and applied:
The new “shallow versus deep”?
Discussions like this get exciting when you realise that you’re part of something that will change the way we understand, teach and implement Kanban. My contribution was to make a connection between this picture and the use of the Story Mapping technique as a way to guide and organise a Kanban rollout. Probably the best introduction to the latter idea is this post of Yuval’s.
You could say that HÃ¥kan and Yuval had good conferences, but then we all did
Why do I feel (more than ever before), an incredible surge in learning? Perhaps all the material just released from Lssc12 in Boston? Perhaps the recent travel in Europe providing different reflections? I haven’t even gotten to Mayrhofen yet and my brain is revving up to make room for even more learning at the Kanban leadership retreat (#klrat). This roundup includes none other than great learning material.
Advanced Kanban Masterclass Chicago, IL - Sep 5-7, 2012
This 3-day masterclass for advanced Kanban practitioners, consultants, coaches, change agents and managers with pioneer of Kanban, David J. Anderson is limited to just 12 people.
This workshop is for anyone tasked with leading a change initiative in their organization or at a client organization in 2012. It is suitable for managers, process engineers, change agents, experienced Agile, Lean, or project management coaches and consultants. Existing Kanban practitioners with 1 year of experience, or those who have previously taken an accredited 2-day Kanban class and are actively using Kanban at work are welcome. Attendees are expected to be familiar with the content of the book, “Kanban - Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business.
Kanban takes a cultural approach to capability, performance and organizational performance. These intensive 3 day workshops are intended to transfer the knowledge and skills to enable you to lead Lean transformations using the Kanban Method. This is your opportunity to get your hard questions answered by the founder of the method and to develop deep ties in the community and network with fellow practitioners. All attendees will receive an automatic invitation to the next Kanban Leadership Retreat, 2-day open space conference.
Don’t miss out! Read what others are saying about this workshop.
$3500 per person
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL $2800 per person automatically applied through August 5, 2012!
A copy of the book will be supplied upon registration. Attendees will maximize the value if they are already familiar with the material.
The intent is to have an interactive collaborative session designed to facilitate knowledge sharing and learning. Attendees should come prepared to discuss their own experiences with Kanban and challenging situations they’ve faced with change initiatives at clients or employers
The workshop will open with a round table of introductions and shared Kanban experience. Each participant will be asked for a list of questions they’d like answered over the 3 day session and from this a topic backlog will be built. David will augment this backlog with essential topics and foundational material. The agenda for the remaining time will then be set to insure the fullest of coverage and the maximum value for all participants. The focus will be on shared experience and discussion of the hard questions that clients and team members ask coaches during the introduction of Lean ideas through the use of a kanban pull system. The workshop will include the use of the GetKanban game simulation and discussion of its value as a teaching aid.
The goal is to enable participants to go back into the field and successfully coach Agile/Lean transitions using the Kanban approach. Every workshop is different because of the unique experiences of each participant and their specific focus and desired outcomes. Each participant will received a personal recommendation from David J. Anderson as a result of participating in the class.
Kanban offers agile and project management coaches another tool in their transformation and coaching toolbox. Kanban is proving to be a facilitator of evolutionary change with low resistance and an enabler of accelerated high levels of organizational maturity.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Venue W Marriott Chicago
Last week’s Kanban for Devops training class in Portland produced some notably creative ideas towards visualization. Grawlixes, Slurm and the Dead Zone are three ideas worth spreading.
Capturing interrupts using grawlixes (series of typographical symbols representing profanity in comic strips) shows work impacts in an amusing manner. Here’s how it works. Each time work is interrupted, add one grawlix to the ticket on the board. The longer the grawlix series on the ticket, the longer the lead time and (presumably) the more irritated the engineer. It would be interesting to compare the grawlix count on work that is considered fun and interesting versus work that is no fun. I can imagine a ticket with work that no one wants to do (legacy system with fun factor of zero, or some tedious maintenance job) having a long grawlix string.
Not all work fits neatly into an existing category. Random work that just doesn’t conform to a standard work item type can flow across the board as “slurm”. Slurm is defined to be work that falls into the “everything else” bucket. An example might be filling in for someone during an interview or a one off request from a vendor. I wondered if slurm might be a lane of its own, but the team’s priority was to bring attention to unplanned vs. planned work - inspired perhaps by Futurama episode 113
The “Dead Zone” found its way into a permanent corner of the board to show work that was started and then abandoned. Work that began at one point because some functionality was desired, but later re-considered and eventually rejected altogether. I’d seen similar areas before (in the form of garbage cans drawn on a side board), but they were used to demonstrate the hit on morale due to waste. In this case, the Dead Zone (originally referred to as dead space below) acknowledges that not all work will be delivered – that some work is expected to fall by the wayside. Mike Burrows, says it beautifully, “Systems resilient to variety (in the type and urgency of request) and variation (in size, for example) are not only more effective but easier to deal with.”
It will be interesting to see more examples of teams implementing visualizations similar to grawlix, Slurm and the dead zone before drawing any conclusions, but these ideas appear to have some validity and utility.