Our first Kanban meetup

On 29.4.2019, the RWS Group Scrum masters team got together in Mikulov for a rather unique meeting. One of the biggest advantages of our meetup, and the reason we decided to hold it offsite, was the fact that we were all together outside of the office, without influence or distractions from colleagues, so we could focus on the main topic: Kanban.

It took away the naive idea that Kanban issues can quickly be resolved within one day. Our Scrum Masters Andrea Hendy and Dominika Pajgerová gave a presentation that was very informative, raised a lot of questions and made us discus this topic at length. The overall subject is quite complex, so it required more time to study and understand it. Based on the presentation, we also decided to present topics to the team more often, since there is always room to improve our presentation skills.

But as I mentioned earlier, this meeting made clear the essence of Kanban. It was an opportunity for all of us to get feedback and find out what we know, what we think about this framework, how we can use it and if we could implement it throughout our teams. This event was proof that these offsites have a purpose and that it is important to have them from time to time.

We also had an opportunity to play a Kanban game that illustrated that it is not best practice to work simultaneously on a large number of tickets. It may sound counterintuitive, but this game proved to us how valuable that is. It also showed us that there is a difference between the speed at which the customer receives the first iteration’s deliverable and the speed at which the customer receives the delivery of the entire product. We simulated a principle: that less WIP (in the game, the number of coins) makes your work flow faster through the process. In the simplest form, the coins represented work items, although in reality work items are often of different sizes and complexities.

In addition, we identified that our meeting needed further planning and that we need to create more thorough agendas and follow them so that we can cover more topics or develop more. But overall, this offsite gave us an opportunity to remind ourselves of what we already know about Kanban and what we have yet to explore.

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