Bypassing WIP Limits

I was recently asked a question on managing activities on a Kanban board, specifically in the context of "on-hold" activities or where significant delays are introduced that cause a bottleneck situation. I thought I would share the question and my response. Note: The question and response has been edited for privacy and clarity. …

7 stages of delivery - an example Kanban

After my recent series of posts on building a Kanban, I was asked to share an example of a real Kanban. To that end, I want to share with you a great example of a Kanban board that one of my previous clients used in a Business Intelligence service delivery context. This is obviously an example, and your own Kanban board should be build and improved based on your own processes and observations. …

Topics from Agile India 2015

I recently returned from India where I presented at the 11th Agile India conference in Bangalore. As usual it was a great conference and there were some amazing presentations. Following on from my previous topics of business agility in 2014, I gave three presentations on the interface between IT and business, agile contracts and value stream mapping. How Much Will This Cost How much will this cost? from Evan Leybourn "How much will this cost?" "How long will it take?" "What am I going to get?" These are the questions that every Agile project gets asked at some point. And...…

Pair Trading: Collaboration in Finance

Pair trading* is a technique to improve the productivity and quality of stock trading (or any type of financial trading, e.g. commodities). In pair trading, two traders share a single workstation. The trader at the keyboard (usually called the driver) actively trades, while the second trader (called the observer or navigator) is reviewing, advising, thinking through problems and generally sanity checking the first. These two roles switch on a regular basis (e.g. every ½ hour). The pairs also swap partners every day. …

5 factors to consider when building your cross-functional team

Evan's note: This post is less of an article, more idle musing. When developing a cross-functional team, the skills of the constituent members should be complementary and, where possible, defined by the requirements of the customer. Ideally, new and existing team members must be able to take on various roles and responsibilities within the team (within the constraints of their skills and experience). I recommend the following five factors to be considered when building a cross-functional team. Individual team members will have specialisations and preferences, and while they must be able to take on different roles, they may not be...…

Train your customers first; an agile idea

Most agile practitioners would agree with me when I say that an agile project cannot succeed without the direct support of your customers. So here's a controversial idea; instead of starting a new agile project or agile business transformation by training your team, start by training your customers. We talk about investing in our staff so why not also invest in our customers? After all, they are the reason you are in business in the first place. …