We have been using agile methods – a typical mix of Scrum and XP – for some years now at Caplin. Though all of us have had some level of formal training and many years of experience in agile techniques, I have observed a couple of drawbacks with the Scrum process and the use of it within our organisation:
- It’s very difficult to use velocity for Scrum sign-up because team personnel change frequently
- Unexpected work can impact the project teams resulting in a demotivated team because they sometimes do not complete what they have signed-up for
There must be a better way?
I have been thinking about this for some time and our vision is continuous releases (apologies to the Marketing Department) whereby development teams pull work from priority boards, with the work moving through the necessary stages, culminating in the final stage being “release into production”. A blissful continuous work stream where capacity and demand are in harmony and value is pulled through the system and delivered to the business as early as possible. Idealistic? Maybe, but there seems to be some momentum gathering in the world of “Kanban Systems”, which appears to deliver our vision, so here at Caplin we are trialling this new way of working with one project team.
If you want to find out more about Kanban Systems and Lean techiques these four websites are a good start:
We will also have some attendees at the upcoming 1-day Lean and Kanban Exchange on the 1st December, run by the always excellent Skills Matter.