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Webinar: What You Can Do with Kanban

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Overview of Kanban, where it is best used, how to implement a kanban board and more.

Overview of Kanban, where it is best used, how to implement a kanban board and more.


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  • 1. What You Can Do With kanban Michael de la Maza, PhD October 30, 2012
  • 2. Who is cPrime?Engaged for Your Project Management Success
  • 3. About Me •Currently: Lean/agile coach at edx.org, the Harvard/MIT/Berkeley online education nonprofit •PhD in Computer Science from MIT •Former Research Scientist at MIT Lincoln Lab •Former VP of Corporate Strategy at Softricity (acquired by Microsoft) •Member of founding team at Inquira (acquired by Oracle) •During the past year, I have been an agile coach at PayPal, Symantec, and Blue Cross •Previously, I have done agile training and coaching at Carbonite, EMC, Intuit, Verizon Wireless, etc. •Startup mentor at Blackbox.vc •Created scruminschools.org •Co-author of Professional Scrum with Team Foundation ServerCopyright© Agile Transformation IncIncCopyright© Agile Transformation 3 3
  • 4. Agenda• What Corporate Hell Looks Like: A Personal Story• Overview of Kanban• How to set up a kanban board• Short case study on setting up a kanban board• Pictures of many types of kanban boards• Questions [at least 15 minutes]
  • 5. Survey: About YouWhat title best describes what you do?• Project Manager• Engineering Manager• Product Manager• Member of technical team• Circus clown• Other
  • 6. Survey: About YouHow large is your company?• One person (me, myself, and I)• 2-50 people• 51-200 people• 201-1000 people• 1000+ people
  • 7. The Smart Pet
  • 8. Corporate Hell• Human beings have the unique ability to create structures which we are not smart enough to comprehend• Human beings have very limited reasoning abilities and very limited memories Corporate Hell = a company structure that is so complicated that the humans who work there do not understand it
  • 9. How Do Corporations Become Too Complicated To Understand?• Companies start out small – two people working in a garage.• As they grow larger they become less understandable. Simply increasing in size is enough to make a company incomprehensible.• When a corporation becomes too complicated to understand, this creates a large incentive for people to play politics. One of the goals of playing politics is to obfuscate cause and effect.
  • 10. Survey: Too Complicated? What percentage of the people in your company can describe, in detail, how software is developed?• 0%• 1%-10%• 11%-25%• 26%-50%• 51%-75%• 76%-100%
  • 11. My Personal View of Kanban• My view of Kanban is that it is a thinking tool which makes companies more effective by: – Making humans smarter – Making corporations simpler Company Complexity Individual and group intelligence
  • 12. History of kanban• Created by David Anderson over past decade• Yahoo group: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/kanbandev/• Authoritative book – “Blue book”
  • 13. kanban not Kanban“The Kanban method is not the same as kanban for manufacturing, although they share the teachings of W. Edwards Deming as a common base. The second challenge has to do with its origin. The Kanban method is a unique development influenced by the work of Deming (as noted), Eli Goldratt, Donald D. Reinertsen, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, the Agile Manifesto, the Declaration of Interdependence, and some kanban from manufacturing.”- Masa Maeda, Cutter IT Journal, 2011
  • 14. Kanban Principles1. Start with what you do now2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change3. Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities, and titlesSource: Anderson and Roock, “An Agile Evolution: Why Kanban is Catching On in Germany and Around the World,” Cutter IT Journal, 2011.
  • 15. Kanban Core Practices1. Visualize the workflow2. Limit WIP3. Manage flow4. Make process policies explicit5. Implement feedback loops6. Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally using models and the scientific methodSource:• Anderson and Roock, “An Agile Evolution: Why Kanban is Catching On in Germany and Around the World,” Cutter IT Journal, 2011• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kanban_(development)
  • 16. How to create your first kanban board• Creating this board is often part of “Start with what you do now” (principle) and “Visualize the workflow” (practice)• Fun test: Ask people on a software team to individually write down how they develop software. Compare the answers!• I have used these steps with multiple Kanban teams with success.
  • 17. Kick off session: Description• The first meeting is a timeboxed 30 minute meeting with all team members. Bring the following to the meeting: – A space for brainstorming and for the kanban board. This will typically be a space on the wall or a large, movable white board. – Sharpies – 3x3inch sticky notes in various colors (for the work in the kanban board) – 8x6inch sticky notes (for the headings of the kanban board columns) – Painter’s tape or masking tape – Optional: Small stickies or colored dots
  • 18. Kick off session: Introduction• Introduction [5 minutes] – Begin by saying that the team is entering into a “gamespace” in which the team is going to try out a new way to organize its work. The final five minutes of the meeting will be used to determine what, if any, of the progress made in the “gamespace” should be transferred into the work environment. Emphasize that perfection is not required, only progress. Emphasize that what is decided today can be changed at any time by unanimous consent. Do not allow the team or team members to get stuck -- getting through all of the steps and starting to use Kanban is much more important than getting things exactly right. – Describe states and daily cadence. – Show an example kanban board.
  • 19. Kick off session: Brainstorming and Selecting States• Brainstorming states [5 minutes] – Each team member has five minutes to brainstorm states on 3x3inch sticky notes. One state per sticky note. Explain why each team member is doing this individually.• Select and order states [5 minutes] – The team members share the states and decide which will be represented on the Kanban board. – The team members order the states and write them on 8x6inch sticky notes and put them on the Kanban board.
  • 20. Kick off: Cadence and Decision• Establish daily cadence [2 minutes] – The team members discuss when and for how long they will meet on a daily basis to update the board. – Note that the first meeting will require them to place tasks on the board for the first time so it may take longer.• Decide whether to adopt [5 minutes] – Exit the gamespace and decide whether or not to adopt all or part of the Kanban board in the work environment.
  • 21. Additional stepsAfter a week of using the board, begin to:1. Determine the types of work.2. Define pull rules.3. Define policies for each state.4. Track statistics.5. Add WIP limits.
  • 22. Survey: Launch Your First kanban Board? When do you plan to launch your first kanban board?• I already have• In 1-5 days• In 6-20 days• In 21-200 days• Other
  • 23. Example launch of kanban board
  • 24. Thursday, 150pm
  • 25. Thursday, 258pm
  • 26. Friday, 1133am
  • 27. Friday, 3pm
  • 28. Example kanban Boards
  • 29. Survey: Electronic or Physical kanban board?If you plan to launch a kanban board will it be electronic?• Yes• No• I don’t know
  • 30. After the webinar…• We will send information to collect the PDU you will earn from this webinar• We will also send a link to the recorded webinar and slides once they are posted online