Man, what a firehose of stuff I heard on Monday. (And it's already the end of Tuesday as I write this entry.) Here are some highlights, beyond the Steven Spear keynote I've already written up.
David Anderson is in the midst of updating Kanban for a second revision. He gave a talk that updates the 15th chapter on getting started with Kanban implementations. One of the key elements of the update has to do with the Core Principles of Kanban - he's adding a sixth element to explicitly say, Implement feedback mechanisms.
Bill Fox talked about his interview series, where he has asked business leaders their best improvement strategies. He talks about this on 5 Minutes to Process Improvement Success. His five lessons from these interviews were:
- Ask great questions … and really listen
- Fix what matters to the business
- Visual, flexible, adaptable systems
- Keep it simple. Incremental changes
- Measurement, feedback and continuous improvements
Kanban outside of IT. Several people have talked about using Kanban in places that aren't software development. I even done projects with companies that make physical goods and a repair shop. Nigel Dalton spread the idea all over the teams within Lonely Planet. He had several great examples from these implementations. One of the best pieces of this was that the CEO could now stop by a wall and decide whether he could drop a new project on a team, based on their workload. He also proposed the idea that maybe a card shouldn't be really "done" until the need that generated the work is closed. The specific example was: the work isn't done until money changes hands.
Portfolio Kanban? There are a group of people within the Kanban community who are looking at how to use the ideas of Kanban at the portfolio level. We met Monday night after hours to see if we had any common thinking behind the problem. I heard a couple of potential directions. One had to do with coordinating Kanbans where the work of one group feeds another or eventually integrates up to another level. Another variety of portfolio has to do with a step into project management and to enable visualization of the work within in projects. The results of the discussion was that it would be taken out to the KanbanDev mailing list.
[Photo: "Firehose" by ZeroOne]