Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Listen to you Board, it's trying to tell you something! with Fernando Cuenca

Introduction Slides

Main Presentation

Recording Uploaded

A series of articles with this material (by Fernando): https://www.squirrelnorth.com/post/visualizing-work-if-you-can-t-see-it-you-can-t-manage-it


Listen to your Board, it's trying to tell you something!

Effective work visualization goes beyond a 3-column “To Do/In Progress/Done” board. A well-designed board will “speak” to you, whispering hints about your process and your work. This session explores the various things we can visualize so that this whisper comes loud and clear, leading to action.

The principle of “Visualizing Work” will come to no surprise to anyone with some familiarity to Kanban. That said, there’s more to effective work visualization than a 3-column board showing “To Do/In Progress/Done” columns, and visualizing work items is only the first step.

This session will explore approaches for visualizing otherwise invisible aspects of work, such as commitments, process, rules and, of course, work items, and using them to enable more effective management and collaboration. Its essential premise is that our tracking boards are effectively speaking to us with information about what’s going on, therefore the way we design our boards makes the difference between a garbled signal and a clear whisper.

Topics covered include:

-Visualization of Work Items: focus on customer recognizability
-Visualization of Workflow: focus on knowledge discovery, batch strategy, and levels of abstraction
-Visualization of Policies: focus on guiding decision making
-Visualization of Commitment: focus on understanding commitment scope

The role of visualization supporting evolutionary change
People attending the session can expect to walk out with a list of “stand back and observe” pragmatic tips to help them design their boards more effectively, and “tune their ears” to what the board is telling them.

About Fernando Cuenca:

Fernando started as a developer in the early 90s (C++ used to be his best friend), discovered Extreme Programming in the early 2000s, carried the “dev manager” title for a brief period, and became a full-time Agile Coach by 2009. Since then, he has worked for organizations in various industries (such as Finance & Banking, Oil & Energy, Marketing, Correctional Services, etc.), coaching teams to better understand the way they do work, introduce technical engineering practices and help them improve their processes incrementally, drawing from the Agile and Kanban bodies of knowledge.

His focus these days is working with leadership “above the team” to better manage the end-to-end flow of work in ways that yield better, systemic results. He holds a degree in Information Systems Engineering and a Kanban Coaching Professional accreditation from Lean-Kanban University.

F4P Cards (Fit For Purpose Feedback)

Attendance: 35 (aprox -  30 forms handed out, plus a few people joining later during the talk)
Surveys returned: 19

Overall score: [76:15:9](7)

Reported purposes:
  • Learn (something): [75:0:25] (4/19)
  • Learn about Agile/Scrum: [50:0:50] (2/19)
  • Learn about Kanban: [100:0:0] (2/19)
  • Learn about work visualization: [82:18:0] (11/19)  (*session topic*)
  • Curiosity about the event: [100:0:0] (6/19)
  • Food & Drinks: [100:0:0] (1/19)
  •  Networking/Socializing: [50:38:12] (8/19)
Audience Segments: (not sure how you want to segment your audience, but as an example, I used something similar to those I use for KanbanTO)
  • Learners:  [86:0:14] (14/19)
  • Socializers: [50:38:12] (8/19)
  • Foodies: [100:0:0] (1/19)
What people said about the session:
  • About purposes considered to be UNFIT:
    • confusing message related to high-level vs. Teamwork. The best idea was the categorization of what a board helps with. The details were at times questionable, and might put teams in the wrong direction
    • not much time to chat
  • About purposes considered to be FIT:
    • - more examples could be included
    • - Very useful, relevant, high level of detail
    • - time to chat after (purpose: Networking)
    • - I like the emphasis on visualizing the stages the work goes through instead of the activities people do
    • - learned not to mix 2 workflows 
    • - good examples and resources were provided
    • - [would like to] receive some material before [the meeting?]
  • About purposes considered NEUTRAL:
    • - would like to see more examples - interest in ways to organize the board, types of information most valuable to show, triggers that prompt action, what actions to take
    • - expected to see simple elements of using a board, fundamental reasoning to why we need a board
    • - not much time to ask around, too much background variety (purpose: Networking)
    • - had to leave the meetup to attend a work meeting
    • - did not have time [to connect with people]. This is on me. Limited to talking with 1-2 people.
  • The session was mostly FIT (76%). 
  • Learners' satisfaction was above the overall score (86%)