The Original Post (largely relevant still)
I’d like to introduce a new simple tool, the STATIK canvas. STATIK is an acronym that refers to the Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban in Your Technology Business.
Kanban (in the knowledge work context) is an evolutionary improvement method. It uses virtual Kanban systems as a way to catalyze improvement and adaptive capabilities. A Kanban system is introduced into the environment which comprises the service delivery team and its customers and partners. This is a critical moment. Systems thinking is key!
It is not the goal of this post to explain STATIK, it is rather to introduce the canvas and let people download and try it. Therefore I’ll skip this explanation and encourage the readers to explore the key STATIK resources:
- Video of David Anderson’s Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban talk at LSSC12 – possibly the first talk on the subject
- Slides of Mike Burrows’ talk STATIK: Kanban’s Hidden Gem (Lean Agile Scotland 2014)
- Video of Mike’s STATIK talk (LKCE14)
- Collection of Mike’s blog posts on STATIK
The proposed STATIK canvas is roughly the size of an A3 paper. It is intended to be filled in by pencil and capture only the most important stuff. The following are instructions by section.
1. Context for Change
This section captures the internal and external (from customer’s perspective) sources of dissatisfaction and variability. Stories collected in this section often contain words that reveal work item types, hidden risk information, odd patterns of demand, unmet expectations (used in Section 2 – Demand Analysis), external and specialist dependencies (Section 3 – Workflow Mapping), implicit classes of service (Section 4).
2. Demand Analysis
This section contains the demand analysis template introduced by Dave White. The following information is collected for each work item type:
- Source – where the requests to deliver this type of work item arrive from
- Destination – where the results of work are delivered to
- Arrival rate. This must be a number of requests per unit of time. (“We have 300 items in the backlog” is not good enough. If you get this answer, ask where they come from and how.)
- Nature of Demand – note any patterns.
- Customer’s delivery expectations, even if unreasonable.
3. Workflow Mapping
Map the workflow for each work item type. Note the similarities and variations. Pay attention to concurrent and unordered activities, too. Note external dependencies, specialist risks, etc.
4. Classes of Service
For each work item type, specify which class(es) of service are being provided, their policies and delivery expectations.
5. Input and Output Cadences
Specify them for every work item type.
6. Kanban Board Visualization Design
This section is intended to be a simple sketch helping the delivery team, manager and coach figure out the major outlines of the visual board. These may include swim lanes, two-tier structure, use of colour, etc. There should not be any need to make this section a miniature replica of the actual board.
Here is a number of things I hope to learn by trying out this canvas. I expect its design to improve as a result.
- Whether the canvas is helpful to capture the thinking process of introducing (or updating the design of) a Kanban system
- Whether it is helpful to hang the canvas near the Kanban board to help remember why certain visual Kanban board elements are the way they are
- The relative proportions of the sections
- Level of detail or instructions needed in each section
- Whether the “Roll Out” section belongs in the canvas
- Any surprises, things I don’t expect to learn