Kanbanomics: Different Models for Thinking about Kanban

Most introductions to the Kanban method for knowledge work focus on the application of arcane manufacturing theory and the use of obscure Japanese words.  This interactive talk, however, will take a different approach.  By drawing analogies to everyday, well-understood economic concepts like the law of supply and demand (amongst others), you’ll discover how the practices of Kanban can help you be more successful in managing your work.

  • A brief overview of Kanban (including the 5 practices of Kanban)
  • Why it is important to Limit Work in Progress
  • A brief overview of Little’s Law
  • An introduction to some basic principles of flow

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Improve Estimates by Studying Kanban Card Flow

You don’t have to use fancy tools to analyze what is going on with your projects. keeping work visible tot he team can in itselft help the team to see what is working or not — and can help them adjust to improve.

It is the job of the Agile PM to keep an eye on how work is actually getting done (or not)!

…so they can work with the team to make improvements on delivering results as quickly as possible.

Analyzing Kanban cards allow us to see where estimates can be improved as we compare actual time vs. estimated tim

Ben Mitchell shares a few of the ways his team does this by using kanban cards during the daily standup and asking good questions.  A few of those questions that I’ve use all the time include:

  • What kinds of work take us longer?
  • Where is the time taken?
  • Are there any patterns around which columns (steps) in our workflow take time?
  • Where do we see delays?
  • Is a step in our process adding a burden to the time it takes us to complete work?

Click here for full article



Managing Security Requirements in Agile Projects

Addressing security requirements from the early phases of software development is the most cost-effective way of preventing security defects. Most security requirements fall under the scope of Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs).

As many practitioners have discovered, addressing security and other NFRs in agile projects is challenging for two reasons:

  1. Mapping NFRs to feature-driven user stories is not trivial.
  2. Security controls suffer from lack of visibility. Agile processes tend to bias development teams towards building features that visibly enhance the customer’s experience or fix defects.

This article goes into a bit more detail than usual….and could really help you see how you could do this in your projects.

Click here for full InfoQ article.


Visualizing Agile Projects using Kanban Boards

Visulization can help make any type of problem managable.  It is not by mistake that the analogy of eating an elephant (piece by piece) works well for us here when taking complex problems and we break them down into managable pieces that can be acted upon with more accuracy.

A Kanban board visually breaks up a project into a set of steps we follow to deliver value.  These steps are mapped to columns in the board that anyone can ready.   When you see these steps visually you can quickly see where things are working or not working so well.  If this sounds too simple — that’s the point…you can often find answers when you look at things in a simple way.  A way that the entire team, including management, can understand.

I love using this since it involves the entire team in improving things….giving everyone the chance to step up and make a difference.  As an Agile PM, and leaders of our teams, we can create opportunities for our teammates to shine with these simple pratices that any project can use.

See how “visualization” methods an be used in your Agile projects with some real examples…

  • TASK board
  • FEATURE board
  • PARKING LOT chart
  • BURN chart

See three viewpoints (Time, Task, and Team) so that the whole team understands the current status of the project and can work in an autonomous, motivated and collaborative manner.

Click here for full InfoQ article.