Wallboards are a great way to manage communication and tasks for any team. There is always a decision as to whether to use a physical or online wallboard. Physical boards encourage a far greater interaction, however they are much harder to use with a distributed team.
For a physical board with distributed teams, here are some things I done successfully
There is a real challenge to improve the way you work whilst still retaining and increasing the amount of value you can deliver to your organisation.
The more people have the opportunity to step back and consider how they “get things done” the more opportunity there is for improvement. It is tragic that most people are of the mindset that they are too busy to consider how they work as they have deadlines, this mindset is often driven by the system that is the organisation.
Until you can step back and really understand the work, you have little appreciation of the wasteful activities you do and therefore can really only “solutionise”. Anything you that is not based on some “fact finding” seems little more than guess work or just following a trend and hoping for the best.
Whilst discussing the merits of Behaviour Driven Development at one of the XTC gatherings, I started using the term minimal responsible feature as a way to express how to decide what piece of work to tackle next. I promised Liz Keogh many moons ago that I would write a blog post about it, so here it is.
I have coach team in agile for a while and decided to venture out with my own company. Choosing a good name for the company was important as I wanted a way to simply define what service I offered. I chose the name lean agile machine for my company in part as a parody on the term lean mean machine. I was looking for something that expressed the concepts I was interested in at the time lean system thinking and agile software development.
My elevator pitch for kanban would be along the following lines..
“Kanban is a way to incrementally and continually improve your approach to meeting your goals, by understanding the situation clearly, identifying the real challenges and testing out your chosen options for resolving those challenges.”
As with everything Lean and Agile, this elevator pitch will most likely evolve and can be made more specific depending on different audiences, but I am fairly happy with this general pitch.
I am using Lean Kit Kanban as my online kanban board and I just tried out a neat feature that is helping me focus on important time dependant tasks.
Pattern recognition - the iron chief paradox
As our experience grows with some activity, our ability to automatically recognise situations grow - we become what people generally term an expert.
Pattern recognition lets experienced people process information very quickly and so reduces time wasted thinking, reviewing or planning where its not needed.
If you can see you are on the right track, or just know you are almost subconsciously then you can get more done.
By visualising work on the kanban, you can also use pattern recognition to quickly plan your activities, recognise upcoming issues.
To help keep you in a good flow when you are learning or practising the TDD test first approach, it can be useful to use a simple kanban board to manage your flow. Here is a guide to this simple technique.
Change driven through command and control or positional power has a tendency to fail rapidly.
People can only truly accept and embrace a change when they understand the value of that change. Acceptance of change comes much more eaily if a person understands how that change will benefit them.
Change is hard for an individual, even harder for a team or organisation.