Category: Kanban

Models, Maps, Measures & Mysteries


  • Models, Maps, Measures & Mysteries
    • Linear Process Map
      • People
      • Action
      • Data
    • Cumulative Flow Diagrams
    • Team introduced WIP Limits
    • Cycle Time
      • Delays in customer approval
    • Sometimes need buffer
    • Backlog
      • Became predictable for customer
    • @benjaminm
      • Mark history of ticket as it progresses across the board
    • Mystery
      • Semiology
        • Roland Bart?
      • Operational Validity
        • If you don’t have
          • Remake
          • Remodel
      • Set WIP limit low on items you shouldn’t be doing much of
      • Kanban as an organisational change agent
        • Enables quantified and meaningful discussions
      • Test for “good measure”
        • Should be able to get for free
      • Build an economic model for the business
      • Don’t have targets
    • Kanban
      • Physical
      • JIRA
    • JIRA
      • Blocked by default if used for Kanban
    • Book: The Power of Habit
      • Habit Loop
        • Cue
          • Routine
            • Reward
    • Impact Mapping
    • BDD
    • Domain Driven Design
    • Played the “Get Kanban” game
    • @worldofchris
      • + Dan Brown
        • Kanban BBC Initiative
      • Head of Engineering
        • base79
    • Books
      • Domain Driven Design
      • Book: Eli Goldratt – The Goal
      • Lean from the Trenches
      • Bridging the communication gap
      • Lean from the trenches
      • Book: Agile Management for Software Engineering
      • Book: The Zen of Python
        • Explicit is better than implicit

Lean Kanban UK – Day 1

I’m not going to recap specifically as I did various posts throughout the day, but just wanted to add a bit more commentary for those that were not able to attend the conference or are new to Lean and Kanban and reinforce the key points for myself.

Lean Kanban UK – Keynote

Quite a bit of this was an intro to Kanban overall and summary of where the industry is, which was great for someone like me who is relatively new. Some takeaways were: Druckers Challenge: “Can we improve Knowledge Worker productivity by 50x in the 21st century?” To help answer this, it was pointed out that in current systems the Flow Effeciency is typically 1-2% And that 5% is reat!

What can Kanban learn from Vanguard?

I was hoping exam some examples, but this was more an overall talk, still good for getting people thinking that way and using techniques such as Systems Thinking, Intervention Theory and Guided change. Seems to be a area combination area with people still experimenting.

Cynefin in action

An interesting combination of some Cynefin, which seems to be used quite a bit in LKB along with some great war stories and some interesting pointers to areas such as deliberate discovery.

What could you do with 10 years of Continuous Improvement?

I think Tom gets dibs on first mention of the #AntimatterPrinciple in his talk which was a great heroes quest for improvement – 10y is a long time! It was obvious that it was worth it though with the use of Humanistic techniques along with Kanban. Great quote: “Fear is the improvement killer” – obviously a fan of Dune ;-)


Now I know why people rave about @DrunkCod – this man is crazy! In a good way :-) a challenging and entertaining talk and call for resurrection of the bowler hat! Serious Stuff? The ODIN Framework, Decision Mapping, Leading and Lagging Indicators.

John Lewis Portfolio Management Kanban

Very much of interest to me as this was in the more conventional “enterprise area” and refreshing to see people that are still relatively early in “the journey” and bending “the rules” – just like me ;-) some good material on how to role out Kanban in a more conventional way in a conventional organisation.

Kanban Push Me, Pull You – The Talk

This was an absolute mind blower of a talk – John obviously has deep knowledge and experience with Kanban and is “pushing the boundaries” on how to do it in a “pure way”. Definitely worth researching and following up.

Kanban – A Sane way towards enterprise agility

This and the next talk formed a bit of a story arc for me which lead to a bit of an epiphany around systems adoption. This had some great concepts like treating your organisation like a Market for your change initiative and reference The Culture Game and Crossing the Chasm.

You dont need to change, survival is optional

Finally, it all came together for me in this talk and some follow on conversations after the conference. It’s not about process, it’s about the people! We can implement change initiatives using a pull model rather than push!!! That’s big for me at least as most/all change initiatives I’ve been (involved) in are push, maybe with one exception where I lucked across making it Pull.

Now, on to Day 2…

You dont need to change, survival is optional


  • You dont need to change, survival is optional
    • Change is not about Process
      • It’s about People!
        • Tell me what to do
          • How to I contribute
        • Design enforce fix
          • vs Experiment discover learn
    • You can’t design
      • Culture Change
        • Is an outcome
    • If you can’t see it, you can’t change it
    • Measure
      • Learn
        • Goal
      • Show progress
      • Decide collaboratively
      • Respect people
    • Kanban 6 Core Practices
    • Kanban Method
    • The Kanban method is an evolutionary approach to change
    • Big Designed Change
    • Gaetano Mazzanti
    • 70% of change initiatives fail

Kanban – A Sane way towards enterprise agility


  • Kanban – A Sane way towards enterprise agility
    • Treat your organisation as a market for the change initiative
    • Visualise, manage and improve the flow of change across the enterprise using Kanban
    • Don’t mandate opt-in
    • Start with managers / leaders to validate, accelerate and make it stick
    • Shape the market using metrics values expectations
    • Use frameworks as patterns / options not mandates / prescriptions / best practices
    • Book: Crossing the Chasm
    • Kanban allows more opt-in / choices along the way
    • Let team decide if they want to change?
    • Book: The Culture Game
    • Most initiatives are push
      • They need to be pull

Kanban Push Me, Pull You – The Talk


  • Push Me, Pull You
    • Book: Brain Rules
    • Book: The principles of product development flow
    • 1. Limiting
      • Every story must be in it’s own Kanban
    • This was pretty hard to mind-map and watch Brilliant and deep talk about the nature of Kanban Will hopefully be a vid up for it – well worth watching
    • Book: The mind of war
      • You cannot determine the nature of a system from within the system
    • Book: System ?
    • Book: Kanban
    • John Jagger

John Lewis Portfolio Management Kanban


  • John Lewis Portfolio Management Kanban
    • Lessons
      • Even a shallow implementation of Portfolio Kanban can be a big help
      • Start where you have most control
      • Weekly standups are more valuable than the board or process
      • The board prompts good questions
    • Didn’t Work so well
      • Pull
        • Good for tactical
        • Not so, strategic
      • Tracking features
        • Too much detail
      • Dependencies with other parts of business
    • Worked
      • Usual
    • Initial
      • Agile training
        • Everyone
      • Embedding
        • Mixed teams
      • Portfolio Management
        • Senior Team



  • #NoMetrics
    • Any indicator will probably, eventually be gamed
    • Framework
      • ODIN
        • Outcomes
        • Decisions
        • Information
        • Models
          • All models are broken
            • Discard as soon as you’re done
    • Can make a Decision Kanban
      • Decision Mapping
        • Visualise decision making process
      • With decision cards
        • That have info needed on them
    • Make sure you know what decision you’re going to make
      • Based on the Metric
      • Otherwise, you’re just collecting data for the hell of it
    • Lagging Indicators
    • Leading Indicators
      • Theory of Actions
      • ?
    • Measures, will eventually turn toxic
    • When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure
    • Quantification => Clarification
    • Ethics
      • Do no harm
    • How about Needs?

What could you do with 10 years of Continuous Improvement?


  • What could you do with 10 years of Continuous Improvement?
    • Fear is the improvement killer
    • Antimatter Principle
    • Listen to signals…
    • Most improvement came through
      • Dialogue
    • Keep Coders collaborating
    • Then used Kanban to improve
    • Did Scrum


Cynefin in action


  • Cynefin in action
    • Book: Commitment
    • Book: The Phoenix Project
      • +1
    • Book: Waltzing with Bears
    • Feature Injection
    • We’re discovering how to discover stuff by doing it
    • Deliberate Discovery
      • Dan north
      • Assume ignorance
      • Assume 2nd order ignorance
      • Optimise for discovery
      • Don’t delay discoveries
        • High Level, risk first
    • SenseMaker
    • Dyads
      • Two negatives (extremes)
    • Innovation Cycle
    • Excercise
      • Options
      • Ignorance
      • Discovery
      • Commitment
    • Real Options
      • Have value
      • Expire
      • …?
    • Showcase
      • Not just good stuff, find the bad / risky
    • WikiSpeed
      • Non s/w eg
      • Modular Cars
      • Use Lean
      • 100mpg
    • Liz Keogh
    • Focus on differentiators
    • Set Based Engineering

What can Kanban learn from Vanguard?


  • What can Kanban learn from Vanguard?
    • Use for
      • Facilitating Board Design
        • Around Demand
      • Emphasise Purpose
      • Emphasise Customer Perspective
      • Evolve towards a system designed wrt Value Demand
    • Map the value stream
      • Or map the knowledge discovery
        • Book: Guided change
          • Alister Cockburn
    • Adding systems thinking from Vanguard
      • Vanguard
        • Systems Thinking
          • How the work works
        • Change from C&C -> Systems Thinking
        • Intervention Theory
          • How do we change
            • People are not the point of intervention ~ J Seddon
          • When to intervene
          • How to intervene
    • Demand
      • Value Demand
      • Study
      • Failure Demand
        • Not done properly 1st time
          • Knowledge discovery
      • Value
        • To learn
        • Flow
    • Purpose
      • Functional
        • Not like a mission statement
      • From Customer Perspective
      • Measures
        • Method
    • @SamiHonkonen
    • Thinking
      • System
        • Performance