SPA Conference session: Kanban, Flow and Cadence

One-line description:Three important Lean concepts which can be combined to generate a more pipeline-based approach to software development - and associated consequences
Session format: Tutorial (150 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:Some teams struggle to get buy-in to use Agile methods such as Scrum, or experience difficulty implementing the approaches successfully. This results in the teams being less effective than they could be, and can give a poor impression of the benefits of Agile development. Kanban, Flow and Cadence (KFC) are three important Lean concepts which can be combined to generate a more pipeline-based approach to software development, as opposed to the more common timebox-based approaches used by more traditional Agile methods. Using Kanban, Flow and Cadence can smooth transitions to Agile development, or further improve the productivity of existing Agile implementations.

The presenter will describe his experiences implementing these ideas at Yahoo! and explain the concepts using examples, simulations and games, as well as facilitating group discussion. To tie all the ideas together, the session will close with a large simulation and demonstration showing how a real Kanban system might work.
Audience background:This tutorial will be relevant for anybody with some experience in Agile development, looking for new ideas which they might apply to their own environments.
Benefits of participating:An understanding of a different approach to Agile Software Development, along with some experience of how and why the might apply that with a team. Kanban is the mechanism which manages the workflow, Flow is the approach to maximising value and minimising waste, and Cadence is the means to ensuring reliability and commitment.
Materials provided:Slides and simulation instructions and samples.
Process:Based around a powerpoint presentation, but intermixed with group discussions, exercises and simulations. Discussions will be small break-out groups where participants can brainstorm how the ideas might be applied to their own environments. Groups will present back their outcomes and ideas so that they can be captured for publishing on a blog or wiki.
Detailed timetable:[This will now be a 150 minute session on Sunday]
00:00 - 00:30 : Introductions
00:30 - 01:30 : Kanban
01:30 - 02:00 : Pull Exercise
02:00 - 03:00 : Flow
03:00 - 04:00 : Cadence
04:00 - 05:00 : KFC Simulation
05:00 - 05:30 : Close + Q&A
Outputs:Outputs of discussion groups can be captured and published.
Materials will be available for download.

History:This presentation grew out of a number of OpenSpace talks, was given at AgileNorth in April (alongside David Anderson) and more recently, was given as a half day session at Agile 2008. The Agile 2008 session received extremely positive feedback and also demonstrated that a longer session would be valuable.
1. Karl Scotland
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