Notes from London Lean Kanban day

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I attended the London Lean Kanban Day on 28th April this year. I enjoyed the talks from people such as Chris Young, Liz Keogh and Chris McDermott.

A summary of my notes below:

  • metrics and evidence means credibility; you need data to back up decisions.
  • focus on value delivered rather than features delivered
  • track blockers as candidates for improvement
  • adopting practices and tools without understanding why is a cargo cult. Therefore, changing an organisation’s underlying values is paramount to allow change to occur
  • use kanban boards to show WIP in conjunction with story and impact maps to show the big picture
  • WIP limits are equally important applied to queues as they are to in progress activities
  • individuals within the team must want to be part of the change initiative for it to succeed
  • Kanban is not the answer, kanban asks the questions. It highlights where the problems are
  • stories are equivalent to tiny rocks in the game Asteroids. They are fast, fly about quickly and too many of them means game over. This is true of agile development. However, the big rocks are equivalent to the goals or capabilities. Track and plan with these rather than a large backlog of user stories.
  • Heavyweight analysis, even in agile, means waterfall. Analysis must be lightweight.
  • Stories with unclear acceptance criteria often are the things you should be working on now.