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Sponsor Profile – Technologia

Agile Ottawa - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 14:19
Since its creation in 1996, Technologia Training has earned its place as a leader among training providers in Québec. As the first ongoing-training centre aimed at professionals specializing in information technology, project management and human capital and management, Technologia offers … Continue reading →
Categories: Communities

The Simple Leader: The Hour of Power

Evolving Excellence - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 11:23

This is an excerpt from The Simple Leader: Personal and Professional Leadership at the Nexus of Lean and Zen


O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives.
– Jim Morrison

When you think about your days, including the weekends, do you see a pattern of times when you’re most productive? Studies have shown that there is an hour or so each day when we’re especially focused and energetic. For many of us, the time is early in the morning (perhaps a relic of our caveman past, when we had to get out early to find food for the family). For others, productivity spikes at other times of the day. Friends and colleagues have told me that their best times to work are mid-morning, afternoon, or even late in the evening.

Over the years, I’ve found that my most productive time, my “Hour of Power,” is from five to six in the morning. Realiz- ing that particular hour is my most productive, I protect it at all cost and schedule nothing during that time, except for the first and most important (and usually most difficult) of my daily Big Three tasks. I take care of other morning activities such as eating, read- ing the paper, going to the gym, and meditation, before five a.m. Otherwise, they get delayed until afterwards. I also prepare to work on the task before my Hour of Power begins so that I don’t sacrifice any of that valuable time trying to figure out where to start.

During the hour, I remove all distractions and focus solely on the task at hand. At the end of it, I mindfully make a decision on whether to continue. I often discover that I have finished the task. Either that, or I am exhausted and need a break before continuing.

Experiment and discover when your Hour of Power is. Then protect it and take advantage of that period of heightened clarity and focus to give a kick to your productivity.

Categories: Blogs

Three Links For Agile Product Development

Learn more about transforming people, process and culture with the Real Agility Program Last week, conversations in the Scrum Facebook Group clamoured around the topic of Agile Product Development and Agile Project Development or Management. To be honest, when I posed a question on the topic I had a hint of its significance but did not have even a glimpse of the depth of this can of worms until many more conversations, online and offline, and research on websites and YouTube on the topic. One respected coach said to me that there may be no bigger issue than this in the Agile industry. Well then, let’s explore it a little bit. Here I’m including three links which Facebook group members recommended. I hope these links may also be useful to other new Product Owners who are grappling with the concept of “no projects” in their work environments. Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell This is undoubtedly by far the very best Product Owner video I’ve seen to date. It’s just 15 minutes long. The speaker is clear and easy-to-listen to. The graphics are descriptive and simple despite representing complex ideas and systems. I came away from this video with a much more thorough and concrete understanding of the role of Product Owner. Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love,” by Roman Pichler. This book is recommended by a fellow Scrum enthusiast. Amazon describes it in this way,” In Agile Product Management with Scrum, leading Scrum consultant Roman Pichler uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. He describes a broad range of agile product management practices, including making agile product discovery work, taking advantage of emergent requirements, creating the minimal marketable product, leveraging early customer feedback, and working closely with the development team. While I haven’t had the chance to read it yet myself, I find it reassuring that a renowned author addresses this important topic and offers his valuable insight into the conversation around Product Owner and Project Manager. agile-team-room-example The Software Suicide  On September 09, 2016 a blog post about User stories addressed this very relevant question. The first line states, “User stories can be considered the basic units of work in organisations using an agile approach to product development.” I found this post and this website very useful in understanding the importance of user stories and how these fundamentally shift work process around delivery of value to customers. Learn more about our Scrum and Agile training sessions on WorldMindware.comPlease share!
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The post Three Links For Agile Product Development appeared first on Agile Advice.

Categories: Blogs

Scrum.org Launches Global Professional Training Network

Scrum Expert - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 17:59
Scrum.org has announced its new Professional Training Network (PTN). The network consists of a group of organizations officially recognized as providers of Scrum.org training. PTN members leverage the Scrum.org premium brand, courses and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) community to provide a superior learning experience to their customers. “It is estimated that over 90 percent of organizations that are using agile methods to deliver software use Scrum today and that number keeps growing. However, we continue to see inconsistent teaching of the Scrum Framework, causing teams to struggle with the concepts as they learn from different teachers or companies,” said Dave West, CEO, Scrum.org. “That is why the more than 160 Scrum.org PSTs all use the same materials and go through extensive training and testing before they can be licensed to teach our courses. Now, through the new Professional Training Network, companies can offer Scrum.org best-in-class training courses through their own in-house PSTs or by working directly with PSTs globally to ensure that clients receive consistent, high quality Scrum training.” To become a recognized member of the Scrum.org PTN program, companies must have active PSTs on staff or contract with existing PSTs. The PTN member must also adhere to a code of conduct which Scrum.org has put in place to ensure that students are receiving only the highest quality training experience. By offering Scrum.org courses, PTN members will now be able to provide training to their clients, including preparing participants for the industry-recognized Professional Scrum certification. Each Scrum.org course includes one [...]
Categories: Communities

Leading to Real Agility – Communicate the Vision for Change

Learn more about transforming people, process and culture with the Real Agility Program

Leading an organization to Real Agility requires that you communicate the vision for change throughout your organization.  This video introduces the four key concepts of communicating this vision for change as you and your executive team lead your organization to Real Agility.

The video presents four core concepts:

  1. Continuous communication at every opportunity: every meeting, every phone call, every email, every presentation!
  2. Simplicity of the message: short, jargon-free, concrete.
  3. An emotional component that encourages a change in behaviour.
  4. And urgency!  (A window of opportunity, a competitive threat or an internal problem that needs to be addressed now.)
Leading to Real Agility References

Here are some additional references about how leaders can help their organizations move towards Real Agility by communicating the vision for change:

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications when each new video is published! (There are 15 more videos coming in this series, and more beyond that on other topics!)  You can also find the summary article that helps you find all the videos and additional references here: Leading to Real Agility – Introduction.

Mishkin Berteig presents the concepts in this video series.  Mishkin has worked with leaders for over fifteen years to help them create better businesses.  Mishkin is a certified Leadership Circle Profile practitioner and a Certified Scrum Trainer.  Mishkin is co-founder of BERTEIG.  The Real Agility program includes assessment, and support for delivery teams, managers and leaders.

BERTEIG Real Agility logo - leading to Real Agility

Learn more about our Scrum and Agile training sessions on WorldMindware.comPlease share!
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The post Leading to Real Agility – Communicate the Vision for Change appeared first on Agile Advice.

Categories: Blogs

Sponsor Profile – Youi.tv

Agile Ottawa - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 14:18
With offices in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, You.i TV is revolutionizing the media and entertainment space with their app experience platform, You.i Engine. What made you start your company? After the launch of the … Continue reading →
Categories: Communities

Personal Responsibility #sgza

Growing Agile - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 12:18
Take responsibility and live with freedom, power and choice was a workshop run by Mike Kaufman and Gitte Klitgaard at Scrum Gathering South Africa 2016 (#SGZA). They explained Christopher Avery’s Responsibility Process and got people in the room to experience the various states. You can learn more about this here: https://www.christopheravery.com/responsibility-process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T3IZ2ISxag
Categories: Companies

TO DO. TO DO THIS WEEK. DOING. DONE…

Leading Agile - Mike Cottmeyer - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 22:01

my personal kanban

 

My life just does not work without this. I have always had my general to do and tasks lists and ever famous highlighters to mark them off when they’ve been completed. I’ve always said if it doesn’t get written down, it won’t happen. But it wasn’t until I attended Agile2016 and Catherine Swetel’s Personal Kanban session took me to the next level. It was life changing.

That may sound melodramatic, but let me explain.

I have always had my general to do and tasks lists but Personal Kanban session took me to the next level.

Companies have their own projects, products, and features. Either they end up doing them all half-ass and things fall through the cracks or they do some and end up not meeting all their commitments. Both of these can leave everyone involved feeling not so amazing, as staffing and resources are left on the table or expended inefficiently. It could mean they just can’t do it all, with too many irons in the fire, or the “All” needs to be re-prioritized (much like packing a car.)

In my case, I am the company and have experienced both scenarios. In addition to my work with LeadingAgile, I have engagements with family and friends; I am very active in my church; I volunteer in various community organizations; and I enjoy my lovely me-time as I eat, sleep, drink, be merry, and do whatever else I want with the rest of my disposable time and income. Each of these areas are like business units (noted by the different colored sticky notes.) And each these units have various tasks that I need to do from day to day or week to week (noted by multiple stickies of the same color).

Despite my best intentions, I tend to try to do more than my 24/7 time frame allows. Just like a company, I have a limited number of resources in a day, including time, money, and staffing. I must consider how to utilize each of them efficiently, while also considering that my overall health depends on how all the parts interact with each other around the clock, even while I sleep. (Sleep is a business unit on its own). Sometimes my resources and tasks change from day to day, and I must be flexible and inspect, adapt, add and remove items from my agenda throughout  the week. Otherwise, I get bogged down by feeling unorganized, out of control, flakey, and not the best-version-of-myself.

And that just sucks.

I must be flexible and adapt my agenda for the week, or risk getting bogged down by feeling unorganized, out of control, flakey, and not the best-version-of-myself.

This is what Agile as an industry, Kanban boards, and LeadingAgile’s Transformation Strategy means to me. This is also what a good workshop and coach means to me. My colleague, Derek Huether, has a lot of experience with Kanban and attended that same session at Agile2016 with me. I credit him with helping me fine tune this process until I get comfortable on my own. He also serves as somewhat as an accountability partner for this, something for which I discuss the importance of in the podcast “The Power of Accountability Partnerships.” 

I imagine this might resonate with you, too, whether you are reading this for personal use or for business use as a business owner or employee.  It doesn’t mean that you’re stupid or lazy or even that you have a bad product. It may just mean that you need the right tools and coaching to make you and your product or service shine.

So to say Kanban, a visualization of my commitments, has changed my life is not the overstatement that it appears. I don’t want to just DO out of being a “Yes woman” or overexcitement or obligation, and I don’t want to just be a business for name sake… I want to be an empire that operates and executes at its best and one that you can’t live without.

For me that starts with TO DO. TO DO THIS WEEK. DOING. DONE.

The post TO DO. TO DO THIS WEEK. DOING. DONE… appeared first on LeadingAgile.

Categories: Blogs

Sponsor profile – Scrum.org

Agile Ottawa - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 15:13
Based on the principles of Scrum and the Agile Manifesto, Scrum.org provides comprehensive training, assessments and certifications to improve the profession of software development. Throughout the world, our solutions and community of Professional Scrum Trainers empower people and organizations to achieve agility … Continue reading →
Categories: Communities

Links for 2016-11-13 [del.icio.us]

Zachariah Young - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:00
Categories: Blogs

Agile India, Bangalore, India, March 6-12 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 08:00
Agile India is an intense conference lasting four days (with pre- and post-conference workshops) where you can learn from local and international Agile and Scrum experts. You will be also able to network and share your knowledge and experience with over 1500 international participants practicing or exploring Agile, Scrum and Lean. In the presentation and tutorials of the Agile India conference, you can find topics like “Agile Portfolio Management”, “Disciplined Agile In A Nutshell”, “Agile Leadership Academy: Scaling Agile”, “To Estimate or #NoEstimates, That is the Question”, “Measuring Team Performance At Spotify: From Gut Feel To Hard Data”, “Develop Agile Managers, or Agile Dies”, “7 Sins of Scrum and other Agile Anti-patterns”, “Prioritizing backlogs across diverse stakeholders simply and easily”, “Minimum Viable Coaching: an experience report”, “Agile Maturity Model – Using Your Organizations Dark Data to Measure Agile Performance”, “The transformational power of LeSS and SAFe”, “Expanding an Agile Culture in organisations with Design thinking”, “Product Owner & Development Team – A Tango in Communication”. Web site: http://2017.agileindia.org/ Location for Agile India conference: TITC Gardenia, No.1 Residency Road, Bengaluru – 560025, India
Categories: Communities

Neo4j 3.1 beta3 + docker: Creating a Causal Cluster

Mark Needham - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 14:30

Over the weekend I’ve been playing around with docker and learning how to spin up a Neo4j Causal Cluster.

Causal Clustering is Neo4j’s new clustering architecture which makes use of Diego Ongaro’s Raft consensus algorithm to ensure writes are committed on a majority of servers. It’ll be available in the 3.1 series of Neo4j which is currently in beta. I’ll be using BETA3 in this post.

2016 11 13 09 14 41

I don’t know much about docker but luckily my colleague Kevin Van Gundy wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago explaining how to spin up Neo4j inside a docker container which was very helpful for getting me started.

Kevin spins up a single Neo4j server using the latest released version, which at the time of writing is 3.0.7. Since we want to use a beta version we’ll need to use a docker image from the neo4j-experimental repository.

We’re going to create 3 docker instances, each running Neo4j, and have them form a cluster. We’ll name them instance0, instance1, and instance2. We’ll create config files for each instance on the host machine and refer to those from our docker instance. This is the config file for instance0:

/tmp/ce/instance0/conf/neo4j.conf

unsupported.dbms.edition=enterprise
dbms.mode=CORE
 
dbms.security.auth_enabled=false
dbms.memory.heap.initial_size=512m
dbms.memory.heap.max_size=512m
dbms.memory.pagecache.size=100M
dbms.tx_log.rotation.retention_policy=false
 
dbms.connector.bolt.type=BOLT
dbms.connector.bolt.enabled=true
dbms.connector.bolt.listen_address=0.0.0.0:7687
dbms.connector.http.type=HTTP
dbms.connector.http.enabled=true
dbms.connector.http.listen_address=0.0.0.0:7474
 
dbms.connectors.default_listen_address=0.0.0.0
dbms.connectors.default_advertised_address=instance0
 
causal_clustering.initial_discovery_members=instance0:5000,instance1:5000,instance2:5000
causal_clustering.leader_election_timeout=2s

The only config that changes between instances is dbms.connectors.default_advertised_address which would have a value of instance1 or instance2 for the other members of our cluster.

We can create a docker instance using this config:

docker run --name=instance0 --detach \
           --publish=7474:7474 \
           --publish=7687:7687 \
           --net=cluster \
           --hostname=instance0 \
           --volume /tmp/ce/instance0/conf:/conf \
           --volume /tmp/ce/instance0/data:/data \
           neo4j/neo4j-experimental:3.1.0-M13-beta3-enterprise

We create the network ‘cluster’ referenced on the 4th line like this:

docker network create --driver=bridge cluster

It’s a bit of a pain having to create these config files and calls to docker by hand but luckily Michael has scripted the whole thing for us.

docker.sh

function config {
mkdir -p /tmp/ce/$1/conf
cat > /tmp/ce/$1/conf/neo4j.conf << EOF
unsupported.dbms.edition=enterprise
dbms.mode=CORE
 
dbms.security.auth_enabled=false
dbms.memory.heap.initial_size=512m
dbms.memory.heap.max_size=512m
dbms.memory.pagecache.size=100M
dbms.tx_log.rotation.retention_policy=false
 
dbms.connector.bolt.type=BOLT
dbms.connector.bolt.enabled=true
dbms.connector.bolt.listen_address=0.0.0.0:7687
dbms.connector.http.type=HTTP
dbms.connector.http.enabled=true
dbms.connector.http.listen_address=0.0.0.0:7474
 
dbms.connectors.default_listen_address=0.0.0.0
dbms.connectors.default_advertised_address=${1}
 
causal_clustering.initial_discovery_members=instance0:5000,instance1:5000,instance2:5000
causal_clustering.leader_election_timeout=2s
EOF
}
 
function run {
HOST=$1
INSTANCE=instance$HOST
config $INSTANCE
docker run --name=$INSTANCE --detach \
           --publish=$[7474+$HOST]:7474 \
           --publish=$[7687+$HOST]:7687 \
           --net=cluster \
           --hostname=$INSTANCE \
           --volume /tmp/ce/$INSTANCE/conf:/conf \
           --volume /tmp/ce/$INSTANCE/data:/data \
           neo4j/neo4j-experimental:3.1.0-M13-beta3-enterprise
}
 
docker network create --driver=bridge cluster
 
run 0
run 1
run 2

Once we run the script we can run the following command to check that the cluster has come up:

$ docker logs instance0
Starting Neo4j.
2016-11-13 11:46:55.863+0000 INFO  Starting...
2016-11-13 11:46:57.241+0000 INFO  Bolt enabled on 0.0.0.0:7687.
2016-11-13 11:46:57.255+0000 INFO  Initiating metrics...
2016-11-13 11:46:57.439+0000 INFO  Waiting for other members to join cluster before continuing...
2016-11-13 11:47:17.816+0000 INFO  Started.
2016-11-13 11:47:18.054+0000 INFO  Mounted REST API at: /db/manage
2016-11-13 11:47:19.068+0000 INFO  Remote interface available at http://instance0:7474/

Each instance is available at port 7474 but we’ve mapped these to different ports on the host OS by using this line in the parameters we passed to docker run:

--publish=$[7474+$HOST]:7474

We can therefore access each of these Neo4j instances from the host OS at the following ports:

instance0 -> http://localhost:7474
instance1 -> http://localhost:7475
instance2 -> http://localhost:7476

If we open one of those we’ll be confronted with the following dialog:

2016 11 13 12 10 06

This is a bit strange as we explicitly disabled security in our config.

The actual problem is that the Neo4j browser is unable to communicate with the underlying database. There are two ways to work around this:

Connect using HTTP instead of BOLT

We can tell the browser to connect to the database using the HTTP protocol rather than BOLT by unticking the checkbox:

2016 11 13 12 12 24 Update the BOLT host

Or we can update the Bolt host value to refer to a host:port value that’s accessible from the host OS. Each server is accessible from port 7687 but we mapped those ports to different ports on the host OS with this flag that we passed to docker run:

--publish=$[7687+$HOST]:7687 \

We can access BOLT from the following ports:

instance0 -> localhost:7687
instance1 -> localhost:7688
instance2 -> localhost:7689

Let’s try changing it for instance2:

2016 11 13 12 20 29

You might have to refresh your web browser after you change value but it usually updates automatically. We can run the :sysinfo command in the browser to see the state of our cluster:

2016 11 13 12 22 55

And we’re good to go. The full script is available as a gist if you want to give it a try.

Let me know how you get on!

Categories: Blogs

The Simple Leader: Forgive Yourself

Evolving Excellence - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 11:21

This is an excerpt from The Simple Leader: Personal and Professional Leadership at the Nexus of Lean and Zen

Forgive yourself. It sounds simple, but don’t think for a second that it is easy. Getting free from the tyranny of past mistakes can be hard work, but definitely worth the effort. And the payoff is health, wholeness and inner peace. In other words, you get your life back.
– Steve Goodier

We’ve all messed up, even folks like Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi made mistakes. So why do screw-ups burden us so much? The burden can sometimes overwhelm us, change our perspective, create excess caution, and severely impact our leadership effectiveness.

Like everyone, I’ve had some doozies. Some are simply humorous or embarrassing, some I’m ashamed of, and some still make me cringe knowing how close I came to radically changing my life. Fortunately, I’ve always been able to move on fairly easily, sometimes perhaps too much so. As just one small example, nearly twenty years ago, I was hurrying through a store when I came up to an elderly woman blocking a narrow aisle. I moved around her a little too quickly and carelessly, nearly causing her to fall. I immediately felt remorse. To this day, I vividly remember the look on her face and on the faces of others around me, as well as how ashamed I felt. It was a mistake, but I couldn’t change it. I had to forgive myself and learn from the experience.

The past is the past. Nothing is going to change it. To be at peace, you must accept that you will make mistakes. Learn from them, remember them just enough so that you know not to repeat it, make amends if appropriate, and move on. If you knew of someone else that had your past, how would you treat them? Probably with compassion. Do the same to yourself.

Categories: Blogs

Sponsor Profile – Ottawa Senators Foundation

Agile Ottawa - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 17:03
The Ottawa Senators Foundation empowers children and youth to reach their full potential by investing in social recreation and education programs that promote both physical and mental wellness. In partnership with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, alumni association, corporate partners … Continue reading →
Categories: Communities

Agile Risk Management

Leading Answers - Mike Griffiths - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 16:00
This article aims to dispel the myth that agile projects somehow magical manage risks for us, and outlines a couple of practical tools that can be used to start improving risk management approaches. Agile is Not a Risk Management Approach... Mike Griffiths
Categories: Blogs

Launching a New Product: #1 Question – Is this a Project or a Product?

Learn more about transforming people, process and culture with the Real Agility Program

Recently, it’s come to my attention that a friend is experiencing nearly insurmountable financial hardship. After initially offering to help out by sharing a few food items, I realized that a few items shared once is not enough. This inspired me to consider the idea of sharing food weekly. I decided to create a regular care package of sorts, until she got back on her feet again.

She agreed to pick up a care package from me weekly. And that’s how this social action initiative was born.

Once I knew I’d be doing this weekly, several logistics had to be sorted out. Where was the food coming from? Where would I store the food between pick-ups? When would it be picked up?

Interestingly, I don’t have enough food in my own cupboards to share with someone weekly. Fortunately, I know many others who are like-minded and highly value supporting and helping others so I began to reach out. Within days I had more than seven bags of food to share and it occurred to me that this would be my goal – 7 bags for 7 days. That should get her through the week.

It didn’t take too long for me to see that if I considered myself as the Product Owner of this product – a weekly food package – that there might be valuable Agile concepts and practices which could easily help support the sustainability of this initiative. 

Is this a Project or a Product?”

 

Immediately, an Agile Coach inspired me to think of this not as a project, but as a product. The main difference, he reminded me, is that a project has a start and an end. A product doesn’t have an end date. It can always improve.

At the beginning, I thought of this as a “project.” You know? A bunch of us getting together with the vision of sharing food weekly. It was our “Food Sharing Project.”

Before long, I realized that was an old way of thinking about work. When I thought about the food package as a product a lot changed. It became easier to see what was needed for this product to be useful to the recipient. The quality of this product became clear.

I also watched this video from Mishkin Berteig which encouraged me to think about the ways in which this package could be run with Scrum. (So far, I am the Product Owner. Now I just need a ScrumMaster and Scrum Team. You never know, maybe this will evolve some day!)

Then I read this article by Mike Caspar which got me thinking about acceptance criteria and the importance of consultation, reflection, learning and planning.

The key learning for me today is that when I think about this service of delivering a weekly care package as a product I see it’s likely it can continue indefinitely, always improving. That really excites me.

It is not a project, but a product and is being organized and delivered using Agile methods.

This is one way that Agile is being used outside of IT with great success.

 

 

Learn more about our Scrum and Agile training sessions on WorldMindware.comPlease share!
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The post Launching a New Product: #1 Question – Is this a Project or a Product? appeared first on Agile Advice.

Categories: Blogs

Link: Communicate The Vision

Learn more about transforming people, process and culture with the Real Agility Program

This video, newly released on BERTEIG’s YouTube Channel, reminds leaders of their responsibility to communicate the vision to their organization. Check out the 2-minute video for valuable insight into the process.

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Categories: Blogs

14 Things Every Agilist Should Know About Kanban

Learn more about transforming people, process and culture with the Real Agility Program

untitled

So you are embarking on an Agile transformation. One important thing you need to figure out (and hopefully you have some consultants helping you) is how many Scrum Teams you will need for product development and how many Kanban teams you will need for operations, deployment, support, maintenance, keeping the lights on, etc. Because when you create a bunch of cross-functional teams they will have gaps in their Agile engineering practices and their definition of “done” will have to be limited by several organizational factors. The teams won’t have access to many of the environments and there won’t be enough specialized resources to assign to each team. Plus, the nature of the work coming into the ops and support teams are much more finely grained and varied than user stories in a Sprint Backlog and it’s important that the Scrum teams focus on their products and are not disrupted by every little change request from the business. So you need Kanban teams to do the work that the Scrum Teams can’t do yet as well as the stuff that you don’t want your Scrum Teams to be distracted by.

That’s more or less the popular consensus on the role of Kanban in the Agile community. Some acclaimed thought leaders have even written popular books and blog posts about it. But if one digs a little deeper, one finds that there is much more to Kanban than meets the common agilist’s eye (although clearly this is changing, evidenced by the existence of this piece of writing). So here are the 14 things that I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. The Kanban Method is not about transformation. At least not the radical, deep Satir J-Curve brand of transformation that has been attempted in many organizations. All too often with the radical approach, there is enough resistance to change and enough ensuing chaos for the leaders of the organization to lose patience with the change initiative before the system has a chance to recover.
  2. Moreover (and dangerously), many so-called champions of change are not aware that Satir was a psychotherapist and that her J-Curve method was employed to change the identity of her clients, breaking them down and building them up again. What’s important here is that Satir was a psychology professional working with willing clients to help them transform into the people they wanted to be. This is not the case with most professional knowledge workers. Knowledge workers tend to not be seeking this kind of service from managers and coaches. A more brutal version of this technique has been employed to transform teenagers into deadly soldiers.
  3. Instead of deep J-Curve transformation, the Kanban Method proposes small, rapid J-Curve experiments. This approach to change provokes less resistance, avoids extended periods of thrashing in chaos and the severe testing of leadership patience. Well-designed small J-Curve experiments produce just enough organizational stress to stimulate change without drop-kicking people into deep chaos and despair and forcing the regression of an organization to lower levels of trust and maturity.
  4. The Kanban Method is a management system for the design and evolution of the interdependent services of an organization. Such services are often composed of several Scrum Teams, shared services, managers, senior staff and specialists and are often themselves served by other services. Every service is delivered via a system of stages of knowledge discovery (rather than hand-offs). See more on this here.
  5. The design of a system determines the fitness for purpose, flow of value and quality of the service (as demonstrated by Deming’s Red Bead Experiment). It’s not about high-performance teams. It’s about the performance of the system.
  6. Transparency of the system empowers knowledge workers to self-organize around the work because they understand the system and are trusted to know what to do in order to deliver the service.
  7. Kanban managers are systems managers, not people managers and not coaches.
  8. Team-level Kanban is actually a form of proto-Kanban—still Kanban, but in an immature state, an incomplete rendering of a service delivery system.
  9. A Kanban system is a pull system. The capacity of the system is calibrated for optimum flow. New work enters the system when there is sufficient capacity to absorb the new work without overburdening the system and disrupting flow. Demand is balanced against capacity.
  10. All demand is potentially refutable. When there is capacity in the system to start new work, sources of demand collaborate to determine what is the most important work to start next and the system is replenished.
  11. Deciding what to start next is based on economics—transparent and rational risk assessment.
  12. Once the system is replenished and there is a commitment to deliver the newly-started work, risks are managed with explicit policies such as classes of service, work-in-process limits, pull-readiness criteria, feedback loops and relevant metrics (i.e. not team velocity).
  13. Average lead time from project or feature commitment to completion is a basic metric. Improving the system results in a reduction in both lead time and lead time variability. Delivery forecasts are based on historical lead time data. Deadlines are also managed with lead time data (i.e. deciding when to start something).
  14. All of the above is the responsibility of management. This should leave little management capacity for monitoring individual performance and story point velocity of teams (white bead count). A sign of a mature Kanban system is that managers have improved their behaviour and are focused on improving the system and that knowledge workers are free to self organize around the work as skilled, adult professionals.

If you are interested in the history of the Kanban Method, start here.

Best starter book: Essential Kanban.

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The post 14 Things Every Agilist Should Know About Kanban appeared first on Agile Advice.

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FREE e-book – Five Steps Towards Creating High-Performance Teams

Agile Ottawa - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 04:24
Creating and enabling high-performance teams is critical to success in Agile. Agile Pain Relief’s Certified Scrum Trainer Mark Levison offers insight into the neuroscience of teams with five proven Agile methods to create teams that sizzle not fizzle. Check out … Continue reading →
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Happy 21st Scrum!

Leading Agile - Mike Cottmeyer - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 15:00

Happy birthday Scrum

Happy 21st Scrum!

Scrum just turned 21, finally old enough to have a beer! Hard to believe, but 21 years ago SCRUM (yes, it was all caps back then) was born. Many thanks to Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber who codified Scrum in 1995 in order to present it at the OOPSLA conference in Austin, Texas via the paper “SCRUM Software Development Process” [1]. For those who may not know it or need a refresher, take at look at the beautiful history of scrum and relish in the amazement of how Jeff and Ken modeled “Scrum” after the 1986 groundbreaking paper “The New New Product Development Game” by Takeuchi and Nonaka [2]. A great read for anyone wanting to understand the core of Scrum.

While birthdays are a time to celebrate what was, it is also important to look at what lies ahead. Dave West, Product Owner at Scum.org, has an interesting blog on where he sees Scrum headed. Building the bridges to the software craftsmanship and DevOps communities will be one of the key developments to watch for as Scrum reaches for 22. The Agile Alliance, as you might expect, has this to say about Scrum’s 21st.

There will twists and turns as Scrum continues to mature…Recently the Scrum Guide, the de facto bible of Scrum  was updated to include the 5 Scrum Values, it’s first update in 3 years. What we must be careful of is claims such as “Scrum 2.0” or any sort of “new and improved Scrum”. Here is what Ken Schwaber said about any attempt at Scrum 2.0 – “There will be no Scrum Release 2.0…Why not? Because the point of Scrum is not to solve [specific problems of development]… Scrum unearths the problems caused by the complexity and lets the organization solve them, one by one, over and over again.” Well said Ken.

1. “SCRUM Development Process”, Ken Schwaber Advanced Development Methods, 131 Middlesex Turnpike Burlington, MA 01803

2. “The New New Product Development Game”, Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, Harvard Business Review, January 1986

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SpiraTeam is a agile application lifecycle management (ALM) system designed specifically for methodologies such as scrum, XP and Kanban.