Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scaling with Kanban

Here's a neat idea for scaling Agile from David Joyce:  As an alternative to Scrum of Scrums, consider Kanban at the programme level:
The programme board has cards for each of the sub projects or sub feature sets (MMFs) only. The detail for each of these is broken out on each of the teams Kanban boards, not on the programme level board.

This approach visualises what is going on at a higher level, and enables the various representatives from each of the sub teams to collaborate, understand what is coming their way that could affect them, and facilitate synchronisation.

A daily standup is still held, but the rhythm is around:
  1. what is blocking your team, or about to block another team
  2. what work is in progress
  3. bottlenecks (either current or impending)
  4. are priorities clear on what gets pulled next
  5. what needs to be expedited
The standups still run from right to left on the board, in other words upstream; from what is about to released, back all the way to analysis.  More...
If we think of a story wall as a dashboard for the team (and other interested parties), the programme level Kanban can be thought of as a (higher-level) dashboard for the overall programme.

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