Saturday, April 09, 2016

Top 10 Kanban Practices

If you are a team that's been practicing Kanban for a few months, here are a few practices that will make your team more productive.

  1. Stop starting, Start Finishing. Help your team get a story/feature done, rather than add a new one.
  2. Follow WIP limits. Seeing “RED” on your board should cause discomfort and move the team to fixing it
  3. Work from right to left. If you have the skills, pick the story on the right of  the board and help move it towards DONE. Remember, organizations make money when work is done
  4. If a card is spending more time in a column than it should, offer to help . Do not wait for a manager / team lead to bring this up. Also, do not wait for a standup to bring this up. Define a policy in your team on what should happen if a card is spending more time in a column.
  5. If a task/process is not adding value, eliminate it. Do not wait for the retrospective to bring it up.
  6. Update the board to reflect the current state of work at any time (position on the board and who’s working on it). Do not wait for the standup to move a card. The board is a communication tool and it needs to communicate the true status at all times
  7. The standup is not a “status report” - the board already conveys the status. Discuss roadblocks / improvement ideas rather than a routine discussion of cards on the board
  8. Have team members take turns running the standup. This will cause them to pay attention to what's going on in the team.
  9. Gradually, look to reducing the WIP limit, thus promoting more collaboration.
  10. Celebrate what got done yesterday.

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