Recently we polled a small group of InfoQ editors, consultants and trainers asking them for their thoughts on the state of Agile adoption and what ideas, practices or techniques are emerging or being recognised as useful at the end of 2014. This is not a scientific study, rather an informal collection of opinions.
Kanban talks about limiting work in progress (WIP) as a way to manage workflow. “Limiting WIP is hard enough, but selling it can be nearly impossible” said Jim Benson. At the Lean Kanban Central Europe 2014 Conference he talked about how to convince others to limit WIP.
Metrics are engrained in kanban. They play a role in several kanban practices like visualizing and managing flow, and support the agenda’s for sustainability, service orientation and survivability. At the Lean Kanban Central Europe 2014 Conference Wolfgang Wiedenroth talked about the power of metrics. In his presentation he provided may examples of using metrics with kanban.
Kanban is often used to manage work, but the concepts of kanban can also be used to guide a journey of change in an organization. This is a case study of an insurance company that used kanban to get change done to improve visibility and predictability and engaging their people.
In stead of feature farming, we need to deliver better outcomes and focus on the business results that we need to deliver. Measurements should provide insight into the outcomes because that is what is important. The Mobius loop can be used to define appropriate measurements.
When organization use kanban mainly for visualization of the work they may be missing out on benefits, says Matthew Philip. Introducing a flow manager role can help teams to reflect and find solutions to the problems that they are facing, thus catalyzing change in the organization.
Blockades in work, like insufficient information, unclear requirements or having to wait for tools or systems to become available can have a systematic cause. It could be the case that similar problems that block the team keep happening until the underlying causes are addressed. You can use your blockades as treasures of improvement to sustainably improve the way work is done.
Agile software development is sometimes perceived as an undisciplined way of working. There are organizations which use that perception as an excuse to not adopt agile. According to others agile is actually a more disciplined approach than waterfall for software development. Let’s explore how discipline plays a role in agile and why discipline is considered important for agile to be successful.
Successful adoption of agile is related to the approach that is used to introduce changes in the organization. Organization can do a top down “mandated” implementation or use a different approach. Kanban can be used as a way to kick start agile, allowing teams to opt-in to agile practices when they feel ready for it to create a sustainable new way of working .
A case study on creating buy-in and commitment for flow thinking using a mental model and metaphor was presented at the Lean Kanban Central Europe conference. InfoQ interviewed Håkan Forss and Erik Schön about their journey from methods & tools to principles & mindset and how they use visual management to implement flow thinking and improve the product development flow at Ericsson.
The experiences with more than two years of applying Kanban at SAP were presented by Alexander Gerber and Martin Engel at Lean Kanban Central Europe. Their case study showed how they supported the implementation of lean and agile processes. InfoQ interviewed them about how Kanban was introduced and received within SAP, the training approach and the experiences from teams with the Kanban practices
Kanban helps organizations to get insight into their work-in-progress, and establish a pull system where demand and capability can be balanced. A first step is to find out what the real capability is and visualize the flow. InfoQ interviewed Florian Eisenberg about evolutionary change and how you can balance demand and capability in organizations.
The 2013 international conference in Central Europe about Lean and Kanban (LKCE13) included presentations about change management, systems thinking, leadership, learning, and teamwork, and case studies from larger organizations that have applied Lean and Kanban. InfoQ interviewed Arne Roock about deployment of Lean and Kanban in agile software development.
VersionOne recently released the results of their State of Agile Development Survey for 2012, and once again it proved to be an interesting indicator of Agile adoption and trends.
Organizations want to improve their business processes, and today they need to do it faster. Is it possible to use agile methods and techniques for business process improvement?