Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coolban: Part I – Enter Kanban

Today we took a firm step in the path of Lean thinking. Kanban is this cool new methodology or process that seems too fashionable to be ignored. Of course besides that obvious reason we have a stronger motive to follow the cool kids. Our newly created team is swamped with latency due to several internal and external challenges.

Latency is the enemy of flow and takes a special toll in the souls of well-meaning humans. In other words, wasting time is not only bad for businesses, it's even worse for employees that want to shine and feel productive. This became obvious to me when a team member noticed that I was not as positive as usual. Here comes Kanban to the rescue!

Not really, there are no silver bullets. But as long as there's spirit and desire to improve there will always be some idea that can be tried to overcome obstacles. In this case we want to get our stories done with a minimum of interruptions. Therefore making both, the stories and the impediments, visible all the time leaves little room for them to hide.

We could improve in communication, tracking Jiras, being more proactive emailing others teams, bringing impediments forward in SoS meetings. None of that beats the physical board and I learned it just today. Why? Because now the stories are alive, it's a completely different level of interaction, virtual reality at its bests.

For those that have already painted walls with post-it this is old news. So Kanban must go beyond letting you see and feel your process. It must encourage you to improve it having fun along the way. It should gradually increase the team awareness of the way they work and interact with each other. We experienced some of that in just a day, but first lets introduce the Column.

No comments:

Post a Comment