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Posts Taged Highlight

Don’t Optimize Teams

The title of my talk at the Lean Kanban North America 2016 conference carried a quite direct message: Don’t optimize teams! 

One of the biggest mistakes I see in Agile transformations (gee, I hate this term) is that organizations “install” Agile methods on teams and then they think agility of their organization improved. Unfortunately, that is totally not working!! I mean, it’s a perfect approach if you are a consulting company. You really can sell a lot of billable days because all these teams need training and coaching. However, if you are the company that’s striving for agility it’s no good advice. In most of the cases the company’s performance will go down and this with very high consulting costs. But just watch the video:

Unfortunately, nobody told me that the cameraperson glued his camera to a fixed position. That’s why I disappear behind the slides from time to time :-/

I loved the energy of the audience in the room during my session. I really had a lot of fun on stage and many very deep conversations after the talk. And there was also quite some Twitter coverage during my session. Here some highlights:

LEANability in China

We are back from China! This week I had the pleasure of performing a Kanban workshop for 50 managers in Suzhou. And I have to say, it was sensational! This was my first trip to China and I was constantly being positively surprised. The introduction was very relaxed with building paper boats and the energy of the room was increasing by the second. For those of you who have done the flow experiment with me in the past, you know that process throughput is somewhere between 4 and 6 boats. This time one out of four rows had a throughput of 9 boats a minute. New record! The debriefing took place at an extremely high level with many interesting questions and discussions. Even the theoretical part was heatedly discussed and the participants squeezed every last drop of Kanban out of me. That is the way I like it!!

Of course, I made a little time for some sightseeing and enjoyed the many facades of China’s culinary arts. And what Mr. Bösel (Josef Hader) discovered in the movie India, much to his dismay, is really true: “They finish with the soup!!” So much for the understanding of cultures 😉

I am already excited about the prospect of going back to Suzhou at the beginning of March.

miami city

LKNA15 – Bienvenidos a Miami

The Lean Kanban North America Conference took place this year in Miami and LEANability was, of course!, right in the middle of it all. Klaus was definitely quite busy: Lecture, workshop and presenter of the Brickell Key Award. But, first things first…

Lecture: Blockers – Treasures of improvement

With approx. 70 people, Klaus’s session was very well-attended. Content-wise, the session expanded upon the LKCE14 lecture which Klaus gave in cooperation with Troy Magennis in November 2014 in Hamburg. It was a lot of fun and, if you can believe the feedback, the participants gained numerous pragmatic, immediately applicable tools for their own environments. The slides have been published on Slideshare – It is definitely worth a look since the content of LKCE14 has been much further developed:

Workshop: Lean Kanban – it is not as it seems.

Kanban and having a closer look was the topic presented. With its 26 participants, the workshop was filled to the brim. This, however, was in no way a hindrance for learning and having fun. After all, a few facilitation techniques for large groups can also keep a crowd at bay. The following bold statements from Klaus were at the heart of the workshop:

▪     Work is done faster, if we do not work.

▪     Increased team performance often leads to decreased system performance.

▪     Rolling dice gives you as good a forecast as intense analysis or estimation if you don’t limit your WiP.

▪     We have plenty of time for tasks we never have time for.

▪     We don’t serve our customers well, if we process their work immediately.

These not so intuitive statements were dealt with by the workshop participants using an experiment. And yes, the decision was unanimous: The statements were true! But, who said that working effectively has to be intuitive?

Brickell Key Award

After Klaus was honored with the Brickell Key Award “for outstanding achievements and leadership” the year before by the Lean Kanban Community in San Francisco, he became part of the selection committee for this year’s award together with Janice Linden-Reed, David Anderson and Jim Benson. It was by far not an easy decision which could be seen by the fact that the committee “met” from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. In the end, two prize-worthy candidates were chosen: Patrick Steyaert, Belgium for his work concerning Upstream and Discovery Kanban and Ian Carroll, UK for his extensive and openly shared experience with the application of Kanban outside of IT.

At the end of the day, the entire conference was a grand success which was due, in no small part, to the location Miami for all of its impressions. Caribbean Latino feeling with tropical temperatures – What else could you wish for?

Kanban Training at Spotify NYC

We are reaching out after a successful Kanban training and LeanUX conference presentation in New York City! And in true New Yorker style it was simultaneously both “awesome” and “epic”

We had the pleasure of implementing a Kanban training at our friends from Spotify in Manhattan. Spotify is drastically growing and this can also be seen in their office building. They now have a new floor with completely new rooms and we even had the honor of using the room “Where’s your head at” (cool song by Basement Jaxx) first. The rooms at Spotify are really quite unique and are optimally and effectively laid out for cooperative work. Food and drink (including beer) are all complementary, there are numerous public areas where larger groups can work together as well as many lounges where people can retreat for more in-depth conversations. There is also a stage with a plethora of instruments which workers regularly jam out on. Of course, such a company cannot do without such a setup. But, do not take our word for it; have a look at the pictures for yourself…

And in the middle of this inspirational environment, the “Applying Kanban” training took place. Within this extremely international group, the level of knowledge was very high and the participants from Spotify surely contributed to that. If there is such a thing as an agile organization, then Spotify is the ideal role model, as seen in the following video:

There is still some lingering jet lag, but that will surely subside. We are more worried about switching back to the language of the German-speaking countries. After all, “Fucking awesome shit” does not fly too well here in our corner of the globe…