Friday, 14 February 2014

Experience report from the Kanban Coaching Exchange - Exploring Kanban through it's values

I enjoyed a great evening last night at the Kanban Coaching Exchange, hearing Mike Burrows explore Kanban via a value system. This post summarises my notes and observations from the evening.

Some sub-titles were:

  • Kanban is "a humane start with what you do now approach to change"
  • Kanban encourages "Leadership at every level"

We kicked of with some quick exercises to familiarise ourselves with the values (Mike's posted them on his blog). I enjoyed being part of a very like-minded group (including @drewpreston and @jose_casal), which finished the first exercise quickly and got full-marks :-) The beer and success must have gone to our heads though, as we missed 100% on the second :-(

The values were grouped into three Agendas:

1 - Sustainability

  • Transparency
  • Balance
  • Collaboration
Collaboration is more than just "being nice to each other"; it's about creative relationships that, together, achieve something. Surprise, dissappointment or frustration in the team is often a sign that collaboration is missing or sub-optimal.

2 - Service Orientation

  • Customer focus - how quickly does the team validate that they've met the customer's needs. Can they even do this (does the data exist and can they access it)?
  • Flow
  • Leadership (at every level)

3- Survivability

  • Understanding
  • Agreement
  • Respect

These are disciplines (that take time and effort to do well), particularly relevant to making changes to a system/process. A related anti-pattern is "unsafe change", comprised of:

  • Bravado (too fast)
  • Complacency (too slow)
  • Tampering (too random)

This was my first time at the meetup and I really enjoyed it. Great location, speaker, beer, pizza, discussion and people.