The session was launched with presentations about the history of Kanban and some of its fundamental theories and rationales. After the ideas had settled in, Hermanni picked up some dice and gave us directions on how to play the getKanban game . It was, hands-down, a true pedagogical success. The teams were lively and fully engaged both while playing – and also while arguing about the final results. The game teaches many of the principles all at once, right up front and I think most of the ideas were well received. For example, when our people have been implementing their own Kanban boards at the office, they have referred to the game numerous times.
The sweet spot
I think our teams are right in the sweet spot of Kanban. The teams receive a number of maintenance tasks and issues via our Service Desk related to the clients they are working with. Further, the team members have new feature requests to implement for the same applications. Kanban makes work queues more visible, and therefore, it is easier for stakeholders, such as our sales and management teams, to follow the progress of the teams.
The change over to Kanban
The teams started immediately to align their work scheduling algorithm with Kanban’s. The earlier pre-Kanban scheduling techniques we used at Ambientia were a mix of our own inventions and Scrum. Our own methods, which were developed during the 16 years Ambientia has been in existence, have met with varying degrees of success. I heartily endorse Kanban as a most welcome replacement for our in-house methods. Accordingly, a lot of old habits are going to have to be changed and refreshed in order to get in line with the Lean Thinking orientation that Kanban is based on.
Hermanni, thanks for the nudge! The change over to Kanban has now begun. It’s going to be a long journey; I am most eager to see when we have our first real results and experiences based on the teams’ work as Lean Thinking practitioners.
Minna, thanks for the excellent pictures!