April 15, 2013

Kanban Change Leadership course report

KCL AgendaWe were again the first! This time, with the first LKU-accredited Kanban training in South Africa from 10 to 12 April 2013 with Dr. Klaus Leopold and Dr. Sigi Kaltenecker. A group of 14 rather experienced Agilists, mostly with a Scrum background, participated in this 3-day professional training course.

The Kanban Change Leadership (KCL) name says it all. It holds the tension between Kanban, Change and Leadership training and the basis of the proven 4-phase Kanban introduction:

  1. Clarify where you are. The first principle of Kanban says "start where you are" - but where are we?  When we first explored where the business of our three real case examples could be seen in terms of change, what experiences they had with previous change initiatives and how Kanban fits in the corporate context, it was not so obvious. Therefore, we first clarified this by using a checklist with specific questions or providing initial input on what Kanban is about and how it can help us to improve…

  2. Manage change. Change initiatives fail not because of poor models, policies or practices. Of which there are as many as the sand in the sea. Most change initiatives fail because of poor or non-existent change management and the associated stakeholder management. In South Africa we managed very exciting changes in a protected learning situation, e.g. by creating a so-called stakeholder map, conducting interviews with key players of our current value stream and involving them in a joint definition of what should be improved…

  3. Design a tailor-made Kanban system: building on the identified expectations of improvement, applying well-known Kanban practices such as visualisation, WIP-limits, classes of services or metrics and getting final feedback and OK from the most important stakeholders. Klaus often pointed out "Kanban is not the answer!" That means Kanban is not a new recipe you must follow and all problems are solved. Unfortunately this does not work with any method-religion. Kanban shows where problems are - people have to solve them. Reflection is explicitly needed to learn and improve. In Johannesburg we created custom Kanban systems for three real work contexts. These constitute the starting point for continuous problem solving for the respective businesses…

  4. Operate and improve. When the Kanban system is designed, one is not done yet! Then it really starts: constant change through continuous improvement is the motto when companies want to compete in the ever more rapidly changing world. We developed some procedures in Johannesburg how this can be done effectively by using feedback loops within regular meetings as well as spontaneous improvements…


Here are some of the lessons participants finally took away from this intense learning journey:

“Informative and relevant to ‘real life scenarios’. Enjoyable. Highly recommend.” Melany
“Given me a far deeper appreciation of a way in which to introduce revolutionary change.” Lesley
“Great teaching, insights and opportunity to explore and practice. Respect and appreciation.” Peter
“Definitely given me a new way of approaching a problem.” Mark
“Change management explained. Relevant and needed.” Pieter
“Sign that it was great is that I have been full, a few times. Learning at my WIP-limit.” David
“Catalyst for revolutionary change for me personally. Like Scrum was, I have a strong suspicion this knowledge will again change my life.” Regina
“‘It depends’. Use the relevant solution. A course that is the start of change. Very interesting.” Nick
“I really found the course useful, not only in the content it provided, but also the format. It encouraged introspection and collaboration at the same time.” Nadia
“Energetic, inspiring, practical, powerful, life-changing.” Dillon
“Loved the interaction and learning from different people. Learning how to initiate change effectively.” Murrae

The next Kanban Change Leadership classes with Klaus and Sigi will take place on 2–3 May in Chicago (directly after LKNA, two-day format), on 19–21 June in Vienna, and on 3–5 September in Zurich (three day format).

The full three-day KCL course will be presented by Klaus and Sigi again in Cape Town on 13–15 November, 2013.
Image of peterhundermark

Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.
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Image of peterhundermark

Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.

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