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Tuesday, May 21 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Experience the Kanban Policy Game (continued) - Improving Performance Through Evolutionary Change (Jason Newberg, Rakshinda Aslam))

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The Kanban Method emphasizes the importance of policies considerably. In the service delivery principles, “Your organization is an ecosystem of interdependent services steered by its policies, reflect regularly on their effectiveness and improve them.” So, instead of viewing our processes as a sequence of activities, workflows, roles and responsibilities, we view the existing processes as sets of policies and define those policies explicitly. The fourth practice of the Kanban Method asks us to “Make policies explicit", allowing the policies to be challenged and changed.

The Kanban Policy Game is a fun way to experience how policies affect productivity (i.e. number of work items produced per unit time). The game has rules and policies. Rules are fixed and cannot be changed, but the policies evolve experimentally.

In the game we act as an Agile coach hired to improve the performance of teams in the client organization. The game has three iterations.
  • In the first iteration we make our three policies explicit: “Collaboration Policy”, “Pull Policy” and “WIP Policy”. We want to understand and measure the current state of the system. We discover that the organization measures individual productivity and wants their "resources" to be fully utilized.
  • In the second iteration we change only the “WIP Policy” by limiting the work in process.
  • In the third iteration we change only the “Collaboration Policy”. From now on the organization will not measure individual productivity but the performance of a team as a whole.

"When you want to make a change, first, make the change easy. (Warning, this may be hard.) Then make the easy change.” ~ Kent Beck

This session is targeted for practicing agile team members, managers, and coaches.
Kanban Policy Game created by Dimitar Bakardzhiev is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Featureban is a game created by Mike Burrows and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Learning Outcomes:
  • “Collaboration Policy”, “Performance Evaluation Policy” and “WIP Policy” have huge impact on productivity.
  • The J-curve effect can be experienced if we limit WIP in an organization where collaboration level is low.
  • Limiting WIP when we measure individual performance has a negative effect on the productivity of the team as a whole.
  • Limiting WIP when we don't measure individual performance has a positive effect on the productivity of the team as a whole.
  • The collaboration level in a team can be measured.
  • Policy changes are cheap and have huge effect on productivity.
  • What a Kanban system looks like and how to apply the 6 practices (Visualize invisible knowledge work, Limit WIP, Manage Flow, Make policies explicit, Implement feedback loops, Improve collaboratively - evolve experimentally)

avatar for Jason Newberg

Jason Newberg

JPMorgan Chase
Jason Newberg is member of a team of coaches in Global Technology at JPMorgan Chase focused on enabling organizational and business agility at every level of the organization. Jason’s approach to coaching is grounded in the principles of Socio-Technical Systems theory with a focus... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
E-4025 (4th Floor)