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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Optimal Kanban

It's difficult to find something brief on how to run Kanban efficiently and effectively, so here it is: (I Googled around optimising Kanban sites, collated it and made it more concise):

The goal:

  • efficiency
  • transparency
  • continuous improvement
  • shared leadership

The process:

  • As a team, set up a Kanban board with To Do, Doing, and Done, and add the tasks for each project on Post-its.
  • Each task should have an estimated time requirement (less than 2 days or break it up) and a team member doing it.
  • Following the initial longer meeting, schedule shorter regular Kanban meetings with the team.
  • Meet daily or every other day in front of the board.
  • Keep the meetings brief (15 minutes should be enough).
  • A moderator, often the project manager or a product manager, facilitates the meeting.
  • The moderator guides the team through the tasks on the board getting a status update for each from the relevant team member.
  • The moderator clarifies what prevents moving a specific task to Done.
  • If a task is blocked, it is marked block with a comment about why it was blocked.

Follow these Kanban meeting rules:

  • Don’t be late
  • Silence your devices
  • Know the status of your tasks
  • Share your task info clearly and concisely
  • Keep discussion short and quick
  • Keep it to time

Eliminate these behaviours during Kanban meetings:

  • “The pseudo work-addict” - a ‘very busy’ employee who comes with a laptop because of the dozens of urgent issues they have to deal with during the meeting.
  • “The asleep-with-eyes-open attendee” - a just-a-formality attendee who is utterly bored and disinterested in what's going on.
  • “The one who loves showing off” - a very active employee who criticises and comments non-constructively just so that everyone appreciates their position.
  • “The self-PR maker” - who always focuses on their own work and its global importance.
  • “The distracting person” – who leaves the agenda and abruptly switches to another topic, for example, discussing the project budget.

To avoid delayed tasks:

  • Understand why your tasks are delayed. The reasons can be:
    - as the task nears completion, it loses its priority and the performer switches to new tasks.
    - tasks are stuck during the approval stage by a product owner or a product manager because they are busy.
  • Frequent Kanban meetings help us to see such unfinished tasks and bring them to an end.

These sites were useful sources for this summary:

Ben Wallace
Author The Common Purpose
LinkedIn - http://nz.linkedin.com/in/benwallace13
Twitter - http://twitter.com/BenDWallace

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