This is a recap on the 2 days behind the inaugural event of Agilecymru.uk 2015. This was the first of many Agile conferences we hope to see in South Wales, bringing in a wide range of internationally recognised leading speakers.
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.
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.
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.
The concept of bugs has been around since the early days of software and we treat them the same now as we did then. When working by value from a single backlog, we should think differently by thinking by value. Do bugs really exist ? Do we put bugs in the product backlog ? What value to bug tracking tools really have ?
We decided to change our scrum board to look a bit more fun and interesting. So we created a web like board aka the “Super Hero Scrum Board” based on a “Bulls Eye” concept. Not only is it more fun and interested, but it creates a visual focus on Done.
Using cumulative flow diagrams to observe workflow within sprints can provide valuable, visual input for teams. Unlike the sprint burndown chats, CFD”s look at the lower level of tasks to see what goes on closer to the work getting done. Used with the burndown, a cumulative flow diagram can be a useful learning aid to support retrospectives, continuous improvement and feedback.