Kanban Board – Making Work Visible – Day 7

I continue to change things to make it feel better for the team and myself. This week I have added a few things to help:

1)      Bug avatars – I added bugs to cards that have open defects. So now you can look a card and visually see how many open defects there are.

2)      Policies – I also started adding “policies” to column. These are kind of like checklist to make sure we are doing the correct things prior to moving it to the next column.

3)      Road Blocks – I also made it visible if a card is blocked by something. You can see a big “roadblock” sticker. This helps to quickly identify what is preventing a card from moving forward.

4)      Snake on the Wall – I also started to make it visible if people are working on something other than the cards, this way we can reflect if we need to make a change in the department to address something. http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/12/snake-on-the-wall

Some of the things that we are struggling with now are:

  • WIP – I really need to crack down on how much work can be started at once. We didn’t have anything for testing to test so they just started testing all kinds of weird combinations that created a bunch of defects.
  • Done vs. Done/Done – There are some features that work and work fine, but since there are open defects, the Product Owner team thinks they are not done. I’d argue and say that it is working as expected, and we are chasing the 20% perfection that could go on forever. At some point you have to move on.
  • Metrics – Need to start keeping track of how long cards stay in a column. It is kind of tuff right now because most cards are in progress or testing because we are just finishing up a project. However, I think I should just start or I will continue to make excuses on not tracking it.

Overall the board is working great to make things visible and drive the right behaviors.

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