Thursday, 6 March 2014

March 11: getKanban Games

Join us on Tuesday, March 11 at 5:30pm for getKanban games!

getKanban is a board game invented by Russell Healy and designed to teach Kanban in an interactive, fun, engaging manner. Russell rightly won the Brickell Key award for his invention. The game has been used over the last several years as a very effective tool to teach Kanban principles and mechanics. But its real genius is in how it elicits reactions from a group of people to the events unfolding on the board. Thus, every time you play it you learn something new and help others learn.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend - that will help us plan the catering and room setup for the meeting. We will play several games in parallel and have an Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) from Lean Kanban University in the room during this meeting to help facilitate the game and answer any questions. If you have played this game before we'll use advanced modes and some rule modifications to give you new challenges.

The location is 151 Charles Stree West, Kitchener, Ontario.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Slides from Bernadette Dario's talk Double K: Kanban and Kata

Bernadette Dario who presented recently to our group shared the slides of her talk, Double K: Kanban and Kata.  You can find and replay the slides here:

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Next Meeting: Kitchener, Nov. 12, 5:30-7:00, Bernadette Dario speaking: Double K: Kanban and Kata

The next meeting of our group will take place on November 12 at the usual place in Kitchener.  Here is the RSVP page.

We're excited to announce our next speaker, Bernadette Dario!

Bernadette is an Agile and Kanban coach currently working at a public sector organization. For the past 1 ½ years, she has been heavily involved in a large enterprise-wide transformation initiative.

Bernadette has over 18 years of experience in Information Technology, progressively fulfilling the roles of a technical writer, developer, tester, and project manager in multinational Manufacturing & Distribution, as well as Consulting companies. In 2001, she joined an offshore company experimenting with Extreme Programming. This turned out to be her first exposure to Agile practices. Her first deliverable was to put a lightweight methodology in place to guide the XP teams. Since then, she has focused on the process side of software development, helping teams utilize both structured (CMMI) and lightweight (Agile) frameworks to enhance product delivery.

Bernadette is also a Kanban Coaching Professional (KCP) recognized by the Lean-Kanban University.

Here is the abstract of her talk:

Building mutual trust between internal IT teams and the Business is not easy. Inadequate transparency, insufficient collaboration, and unmanaged expectations are some of the reasons for the lack of trust. IT teams in this situation often find it difficult to successfully deliver software that meets Business expectations. More so, these teams find themselves preoccupied with firefighting and delivery only, with no time left to look into improvements.

In this session, I will talk about the journey of two IT teams to continuous improvement using Kanban and Kata. I will share how they utilized Kanban practices to gain the trust of the Business and establish a true partnership.  I will also discuss how the teams used the Improvement and Coaching Kata framework to plan, execute and validate data-driven improvements utilizing short experimentation cycles.

The time of the meeting almost the same: 5:30-7:00.  The doors will be open at 5.  If you prefer to network with other attendees before the presentation, please feel free to arrive a bit earlier.  Or you can arrive just in time for the feature presentation at 5:30.

AgileTour Toronto 2013 On October 29

You can still register for the biggest annual Agile conference in our region: the 2013 AgileTour Toronto.  We highly recommend that our group members turn out for this event on October 29, connect with fellow practitioners, coaches and managers, confer and learn.

You can still register for this conference on their Web site.

Included in the conference program are several sessions about several Lean topics, modern management methods and continuous improvement.  For example, Jeff Anderson and Alexis Hui who spoke to our group about a year ago will present the latest from the evolution of their Lean Change method.  There will be sessions on Lean Startup, A3 Thinking, Agile management among others.  You can check out the whole conference program here.  Several Kanban Coaching Professionals (KCPs) will be in attendance as well, so you can ask them any question about Kanban you might have.

We hope to see you at the conference!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Update on the Group Situation and Plans

The summer has ended and many of those who attended our group's meetings in 2012 and 2013 may have wondered why they have not received announcements of upcoming meetings and presentations.  I would like to give you an update on behalf of all three co-managers of group (Jim, Kurt and myself).

Our group, like several other groups in the region, has experienced some delays.  Wanda, our long-time Communitech liaison, has resigned from Communitech after eight years.  It now takes some time and effort to pick up where she left off and reestablish some working relationships.

We have received the (generally positive) results of the group participant survey we conducted in July and thank all who responded.  We will be working with Communitech soon to process the survey results and make decisions about the future.

In the meantime, please continue to keep in-touch by joining our LinkedIn group and by subscribing to the mailing list and this blog.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Next Limited WIP Meeting Announced

Speakers: Declan Whelan & Yuriy Solovyov

Register Now

Tuesday June 4, 2013 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM EDT
Communitech Hub

Building successful businesses is tough - especially for software startups. The principles and practices from lean startup and agile/lean development can certainly help. But what do you do if these approaches are new to the team? How do you strike the balance between learning, team improvements and delivering value?

In this session we will explore three key areas:

1. Lean Startup and Agile Applied: You will learn how lean startup and agile was introduced to the team at Printchomp. Some practices were very successful and others did not catch on. You will learn why this was so and practical insights to bring about change on your teams.

2. Building Trust: Trust is crucial to prevent costly handoffs and bloated processes. At Printchomp we are a new team and we need to rapidly build trust while building processes that work for us. You will learn how we used visibility and the principle of 'trust but verify' to build trust.

3. Building a Learning Environment: At Printchomp we selected a technology stack and market vertical that were relatively new to most of the team. It was crucial that we build mechanisms for rapid learning. You will learn about the tools we used to promote learning and how we balanced learning against other outcomes under a strong pressure to deliver.

You should come away from this session with insights and practical ideas you can apply to improve life with your team - whether it is a startup or a traditional team.

Register Now

Monday, 29 April 2013

Lean Kanban North America 2013 Conference Report

The Lean Kanban North America 2013 conference is taking place in Chicago right now.  It is the main annual event for the global community of practitioners of Lean and the Kanban method in knowledge-work industries.

The managers of this group have been looking for someone to present a conference report to our local group and this has been difficult because, unfortunately, there are no attendees from the Kitchener-Waterloo region this year.

Fortunately, it appears now that we will have such a talk, including a report from LKNA13, but it will likely be on a short notice to the group's participants.  We're working out of the details with the speaker and will let you know the date as soon as possible.

In the meantime, stay tuned and connected to the group via the mailing list, this blog, or our LinkedIn group.