In this interactive workshop we will examine multiple examples of Antipatterns observed in real-world Kanban boards. In each case we will identify the issues and discuss ways to improve the situation. We will review a number of better alternatives and see how the improvements map to the core principles of Kanban such as visualization, managing flow, and making policies explicit. Brand new to Kanban? Learning by example is a great way to get started! A long-time Kanban veteran? Come to see how many antipatterns you recognize and help firm up our Kanban Antipattern taxonomy and nomenclature!
Kanban is an extremely versatile and effective Agile method that has seen significant growth in popularity over recent years. Kanban’s flexibility has led to widespread adoption to manage business processes in disparate contexts such as HR, loan processing, drug discovery, and insurance underwriting, in addition to Information Technology. Like snowflakes, no two Kanban boards are alike. The downside to this flexibility is there is no well-known and easily accessible library of patterns for designing effective Kanban boards. Like Apollo engineers, teams are expected to design their board starting from first principles. Unfortunately, sometimes teams get stuck with board designs that may not provide the visibility and insight into their workflow they hope to see. Worse, some designs actually may serve only to obscure the situation. Working within the limitations of an electronic board can exacerbate the problem even further. Is all hope lost? Certainly not!
Let’s learn more about effective Kanban system design by examining what to avoid and why. Learning by example is effective and fun!
Remember healthcare.gov? The Boeing 737Max anti-stall system? Traditional governance methods focusing on heavyweight documentation deliverables and earned value metrics are obviously not working. In this session we will summarize a governance and oversight framework we put together for large-scale agile software development for the US government. The framework is designed to be agnostic as to the choice of Agile scaling framework, and to apply to efforts in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Oversight groups often do not have the technical skills nor the bandwidth to take a deep dive and truly understand the risks associated with large scale efforts. And all too often the status is consistently reported as green—until it is suddenly revealed that the project is 6 months late. How can we fight our implacable enemies: complexity and entropy? Fortunately, there are some relatively simple principles and techniques we can use to proactively detect the danger signs—before it is too late. We will review key aspects including measuring the right things, avoiding common failure modes, adopting better practices, and keeping track. We will see how DevSecOps enables us to enforce a “broken windows” strategy. We will explore how to use counterbalancing metrics to encourage good technical practices and prevent gaming the system. If you are working at scale, this session is for you.
“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.
The workshop begins by exploring the ramifications of some alternative board designs, which will help participants learn to construct their own Kanban boards and improve the design of existing boards. 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.
Learn Gherkin, the business language specially designed for automating acceptance tests and behavior driven design
BDD is a new, exciting approach to developing software that has been shown to reduce rework and increase customer satisfaction. While other testing tools focus primarily on “are we building the thing right?”, BDD tools attack the problem of software directly at its source: “are we building the right thing?” By retaining all the benefits of automated unit testing, while extending them upstream to cover requirements, we cut the Gordian knot of risk and complexity to unleash hyper-productivity.
Why is BDD so effective?
Want functional documentation? How about documentation that is guaranteed to be correct, because every feature maps to its test results? Witness the holy grail of traceability – executable specifications.
We will start with a brief “show and tell” with several examples of reports generated from BDD tools, to provide context and to immediately highlight the bottom line business value that makes an investment in BDD so worthwhile.
We will spend a few minutes talking about the pre-requisites, so attendees have an idea of what type of investment they are signing their teams up for. We will see that in return for a modest amount of investment in tools and training, very significant benefits can be realized, and the benefits compound over time.
This workshop then dives right in to Gherkin, the structured English language technique used to capture BDD specifications. We will spend the better part of the session learning the tricks and techniques that make for robust and maintainable gherkin specifications. We will review and critique lots of examples, both good and bad.
Finally, we will spend a few minutes reviewing how to organize BDD tests for best results while generating reports, and to ensure that they stay neat and tidy even as you build more and more of them over time.