Day 3-5 Kanban Board

That last 3 days have been very productive. Here is what we have created:

  • Created avatars for each person so it was easy to see what people are working on. (One small problem is that we have half of our scrum team in India, so I will have to tackle the problem soon)
  • Created some classes of services. The color of the cards represent the class of service
  • Created the value stream columns
  • Had our first “walk the wall” daily standup


Had lots of questions about:

  • What the “rules” are for moving cards from one state to the other.
  • Had questions about how many cards could be in each state
  • How many cards can one person be working on
  • If something is moved to done and then a defect is detected later, does the card get moved back

Here what we have settled on for our columns (working backwards):

  • Production
  • Done – Not in Production
  • Testing / Defect Fixing
  • Ready for Test
  • Development
  • Analysis / Design / Requirements
  • Ready for Development
  • Stories Created
  • Themes (class of services)
  • Backlog


So next week I will work with the team to identify policies for moving cards and creating WIP limits.

In general, it feels like we have too many things in progress and not getting things moved to done.

However, it is still better then what we were doing before.


Day 2 – Kanban Board

Today was not very productive. Had all kinds of other meetings plus a doctors appointment. I did however make some lines on the baord which already created plenty of dicussions. Both testing and development were excited about the board and willing to give it a try. They all agreed that our electronic board “hides” data and does not give a good view.

Tomorrow I only have one meeting and hope to make a major dent.

I think I am going to start with what @markotaipale recommended.

Day 1 – Kanban Board

Here is our new white board where my Kanban board will go. I stopped at Office Depot and picked up all kinds of stickers and dots to help with making work visible.
My thoughts on columns are:
1) Done – Not in Production
2) Testing
3) Ready for Testing
4) Development
5) Ready for Development
6) Backlog

I am sure it will change, but I thought we could start with this. Let me know if you have other tricks or thoughts.

Lean Software & Systems Consortium Conference

The Lean Software & Systems Consortium Conference has inspired me to start a blog about my road from Waterfall to Agile. On Monday I plan to create a Kanban board.  

 Here were my takeaways from the conference: 

1. Make Work Visible
– In my organization we have all of our worked stored in a web-based system. I think this makes it hard for everyone to see what we are working on which prevents questions and conversations from happening. @cmshinkle ‘s presentation really helped me see this. I really liked the 10 foot 3 second rule. You should be able to look at a board and see where there are problems within 3 seconds
2.  Value Stream Mapping
– Waste is not always in the development organization. I think mapping out how work gets into development, within development and then out of development would give everyone more visibility.
– Assigning Work In Progress (WIP) limits would make sure there is a steady flow.
– Developing metrics and policies
3. What is Kanban
– It is all about setting up a flow and then setting limits. Some of our problems is we get too much started and then we don’t finish anything. Kanban is just another set of tools, just like Scrum is.
Lean Software & Systems Consortium Conference 2010

Favorite Quote:

Metrics are like a lamp-post for a drunk, it provide illumination and support.

What I do?

Welcome everyone, my name is Chad Holdorf and I am a Program Manager for a large machinery company . One of the challenges I continue to face everyday is that our processes are developed for hardware, not software. Hello, not the same thing! So my hope is to share my challenges and solutions I use each day though Agile methodologies.