Our Inaugural Episode: Gradients of Agreement, Forms of Waste, Real Kanban Boards, and Longer-Term Scrum Planning


Melvin Perez-Cedano joins host Mark Griffin to discuss two recent engagements: a Lean-Agile Practices custom workshop with a team using proto-Kanban (a board without work-in-process limits) and a deep-dive Scrum class with experienced Scrum practitioners.

In the first case, Melvin describes using a participatory decision-making technique to determine whether everyone on the team was in agreement about the team’s primary challenges. In this case, team members ranked the severity of the seven forms of waste (according to Lean) in their efforts, and Melvin and Mark review these forms of waste. Melvin then describes guiding the team to redesign their Kanban board so as to improve visibility (by adding missing steps and buffers) and to better manage work-in-process (by establishing WIP limits). To-Do, Doing, and Done columns don’t make a Kanban board! Melvin goes on to describe multiple ways to approach setting good WIP limits.

Regarding the second engagement, Melvin describes many organizations’ desire to do longer-term planning—that is, to plan beyond the current sprint. For example, will a particular feature be available by a particular date? Melvin describes the shorter-scale release planning that is possible with Scrum, which involves forecasting based on team velocity and determining on an ongoing basis which features will provide the most value.