Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Blogger - Kanban Transformation from the Trenches

This post is written by a guest blogger, a client of ours has participated in one of the largest and most ambitious Kanban transformations that I've had a privilege to be a part of.

Elaine Lee (has played the role of both Business Solutions Manager as well as Enterprise Architecture Manager, whose functions have been heavily influenced by the new direction that her organization is taking as a result of taking a lean perspective. We asked for her input on how she felt the transformation was going, what was working well, and what were some of the challenges...

It's been a little more than 6 months since our IT organization began introducing completely new practices on a large scale.  Early on it started with foundational training and pilot projects, then in what felt like the blink of an eye it evolved into a reality where Kanban boards surfaced on every wall we had available and lingo like "Stand-ups", "retrospectives", "MMF's", "Story Maps", and "planning poker" have become the norm for us.

In retrospect, it definitely felt very hectic at times with the number of changes we made on a daily basis to refine our new processes into something that has now become the right shape and size for our organization.  As painful as it was I think this approach has been a blessing in disguise that's helped us transform as quickly as we have and allowed us to immediately begin living our future state before the concept became stale from 'all talk and no action'.  It has forced us to immediately get used to continuous change and experience what being flexible and agile really means in practice.  The model of theories was short lived for us because we would immediately start using it whether we were ready to or not.  There were flaws with some of the things we did and how we did it, but intentionally or not it has groomed us to constantly anticipate what the next change will be.  Because of that change in attitude, I find we no longer react to change as something bad, but rather as a means to improve something we've experimented with that needs to be made better.

Our new norm is an environment where most of us aren't embarrassed to ask for help with the new. techniques we've introduced.  It's an environment where there is a much greater tolerance for change.  It's an environment where there is a willingness to try and suggest unconventional ways of accomplishing the result.  I'm optimistic that once we are all physically realigned to be collocated with the teams we work with that we will also experience the effects of great collaboration can bring.  I'm happy with what our new norm is and am excited to see how it will further evolve in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such type of awesome and interesting information.

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