At the monthly Communitech Agile and Lean Peer-2-Peer meeting in Waterloo today, our speaker was Jason Little. The title of his talk was Making Your Organization Progress and Agile Transition Visible. Some materials from this presentation are posted on his blog and the full presentation may be available later.
I am not going to give a recap of this presentation here; instead, I want to write down a couple of things that were the most important to me.
First, I liked how the presentation showed the layout (“open, collaborative space”) that three agile coaches had an opportunity to implement at a company. Many companies tried to make a change from “cubicle farms” of the 1990s, but most ended up with just more, smaller cubicles with lower walls. Here, it was clear what “open” and “collaborative” meant: long, straight, pair-programming-friendly tables, lots of walking space and walls free of any furniture.
Second, and this was very impressive, there were walls of cards everywhere: task and backlog board for each team (there were 9 product teams in the engineering department of about 100 employees), release board, agile transition board, and several “common” boards to visualize company-wide information. Note that there would be no place to put all this visualization if walls were obstructed by cubicles and filing cabinets.
Third, the agile transition board, which was used to track individual teams’ agile adoption progress, was a kind of a kanban board. It had the initial state (“not started”), the done state (“on their own”) and two intermediate states: “training/kickoff” and “embedded coach.”