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.
Organizations are looking for ways to do continuous change to increase their agility. There’s an interest in practices that managers can use to make change happen in their organizations. InfoQ interviewed Jason Little about his book on lean change management, what inspires him, and on using options and innovative practices in change.
When organizations decide to scale agile they can be looking for agile ways to define strategies, manage direction and sustain alignment. Deploying and stay aligned, is today's challenge said Pierre Neis. At the Lean Kanban France 2014 conference Pierre showed how using Hoshin Kanri has helped global players in their lean agile transition.
In lean, we co-design and continuously improve processes and tools to better serve individuals and interactions said Claudio Perrone. Lean views problems as a gap between the current situation and the standard and expectation. Am interview with Claudio about problem solving and learning, and on tools that can be used to apply lean thinking for change in organizations.
Esther Derby talked about leaders at all levels at the Lean Kanban Central Europe 2014 Conference. She showed how you can create a more flexible organization with improved communication and decision taking by working on the conditions for leadership at all levels in the organization.
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.
To thoroughly remove waste in a process you need flow to deliver just in time, and mindfulness and situational awareness in organizations to handle problems with processes and built in human intelligence. Organizations apply concepts from flow to develop what is needed and when it is needed and use pull to prevent inventories. What they also need is “Jidoka”: mindfulness and situational awareness.
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.
Last week VersionOne and CA Technologies announced that they have integrated their Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) and Agile Project Management (APM) products to provide an enterprise solution which the two organisations say gives users the ability to have a strategic view of a complete portfolio at the executive level no matter what methodology teams might use.
Software development initiatives include different types of meetings, spread across the whole development process. A post on the Mobile Orchard blog explains tips and tricks to check and improve the effectiveness of these meetings.
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.