A fundamental Agile principle is ‘Continuous Improvement’, yet many practitioners use a default visual workflow which changes little through the evolution of the product and team. This can become repetitive and ultimately the tool starts to become simple, boring and used for administrative monitoring only. Agile environments often don’t realise the power that visual workflows can have. This workshop takes the audience through different ways to present the card wall, to make stand-ups more fun and interesting. We will look at ways you can alter the card wall to challenge skill silos and encourage more cross-functional behaviours, and present ideas on how to gamify the card wall in order to make it fun and interactive. Using learnings from the theory of constraints, kanban, scrum, team dynamics and system thinking principles we’ll also discuss creative ways to monitor cycle time, understand progress and visualize flow to challenge team patterns, behaviours and bottlenecks.
Working with distributed teams as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach or Facilitator can be difficult. There is no substitute for face to face communication, but sometimes this isn’t feasible. When the show must go on, there are some simple tips and tools to try which can help facilitate the session.
Presentation discussing the Theory Of Constraints and the effects of System Thinking, presented at Agile Tour London 2013
Writing user stories in Agile can be very difficult. Although it appears simple, it can take time to perfect at technique which works with the team. This post provides some useful insights into ways in which you can improve your story writing technique taking some examples from XP, INVEST and BDD using Gherkin.
The definition of done is one of the most simple yet most effective activities you can use with your Agile team. This post explains some the reasons why the definition of done is important and provides some useful tips on recognising how to create one for you team using some examples.
Sometimes it can be time consuming or difficult to decide what to do next. Often you can end up working on the next item in a list, but this may not necessary be the most valuable thing to do. This simple and visual focusing technique can help teams decide what to take on given that there is limited time and the most value wants to be achieved.
Thought Works Studios Best Card Wall competition.
As we have progressed as a scrum team, our board has evolved in line with our continuous improvement ethos. Heavily influenced by the Theory Of Constraints, we introduced WIP limits on user stories and the board by restricting the number of lanes. We have seen team and productivity benefits when adopting some of these simple changes.
An interesting session demonstrating how to use some of the ideas that the ToC teaches us and how we apply them to our Agile methodologies.