Kanban by David Anderson at #xp2011

Here were the points I took from David’s lightening talk on Kanban:

  1. Start with your current process
  2. Incrementally introduce improvements (evolutionary change) – unless you’re in the US where they like revolutionary change
  3. Initially respect current roles, processes etc. (this keeps people feeling safe)

Seed Properties (observations David’s taken from successful projects)

  1. Visualise workflow (the board)
  2. Limit work in progress (this is the most important thing!)
  3. Manage flow (how they’re moving)
  4. Make process policies explicit 
  5. Improve collaboratively

Process Policies:

  • write down the process as a policy
  • not just roles
  • who has authority to change it
  • explicitly state what “done” means at each stage.
  • explicit policies can’t be discussed.

Improve Collaboratively:

  • using models and scientific method – make predictions based on a model
  • people in our industry have a scientific background – they can relate to this
  • understanding bottlenecks etc
  • geeks love being onjective

In order for all this to happen, you need leadership. It is the magic ingredient. This doesn’t have to be a manager. Leadership is about someone taking responsibility and doing something about it. Leadership creates an environment where there is no fear.
Need a Work In Progress Limit to provoke conversation; idleness and finding bottlenecks.

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