“I didn’t know you could do that with Kanban!” This interactive workshop explores Kanban boards that can be used in diverse industries and at multiple levels of the organization. We will explore several interesting examples, including Kanban boards for managing non-IT knowledge work, facilitating multi-team coordination at scale, and even planning and communicating corporate strategy.
We will start out simple, and progressively add more elements, moving things around to highlight different aspects – and that’s going to help us pay more attention to the things we want to be paying attention to. This workshop has been presented a number of times before, but this time I am particularly excited to report that we will be doing something brand new. In the past, I always demonstrated different board designs using a whiteboard, but this time we will actually show what these board designs look like in some popular online tools.
So… why this change? Well, there are a couple of reasons.
First the obvious one—we are working remotely more than ever before, so in many cases it’s just not practical to use a physical board.
Second—we are living in a golden age of tools. They have gotten so much better than they were before.
I have been working closely with a number of tool vendors, and I have to say that they continue to surprise me with some very creative solutions to get around various limitations. I really believe that we are getting close to being able to do everything in a tool that we could do using a whiteboard.
Part two of the session challenges the attendees to construct a series of Kanban boards at progressively higher levels of abstraction. We will start out at the team level (“flight level” one), then scale up to multi-team (“flight level” two), and finally the portfolio level (“flight level” three). Using painter’s tape and sticky notes of all shapes, sizes and colors, we will gain an appreciation of how thoughtfully designed boards can help unlock true business agility.
- Understand that kanban boards can be useful for coordinating efforts of and managing dependencies between multiple scrum teams
- Think about using kanban to manage strategic efforts; understand the importance of limiting WIP at each level of abstraction (team, value steam, portfolio)
- Systems thinking: Understand how well-performing teams can still be seen as non-responsive by business if they are allocated among multiple efforts
- Systems thinking: Understand how a better performing team can actually reduce effectiveness in a large project by causing dependencies/inventory to pile up for other, slower teams
- Understand some simple and effective ways agile methods can be applied throughout an organization, without requiring disruptive moves like adopting the Spotify model, or firing all middle managers
- Understand concept of flight levels: level 1/team, level 2/value stream, level 3/strategy