Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So it has a name: personal Kanban

For a while I've been trying to find a way to manage my tasks. I usually have dozens of projects running in parallel, each with a number of small tasks that tend to be forgotten. Visibility has been a problem for me and likely for my colleagues too. Basically I've wanted a personal Kanban board.

So yesterday I evaluated a bunch of free online Kanban tools, on the assumption that a well-written AJAX app should work on my laptop as well as my two cellphones. I ended up with mostly because it supports swimlanes and downloadable webcals. The UI is fresh, simple and uncluttered, and although it's not optimized for mobile devices, it's at least usable. For the moment this seems to work fine. To keep things simple I've opted for a three-step workflow consisting of Backlog - In progress - Done. The web page stays open and credentials are retained even if the IP changes, so I don't have to log in all the time. And the WIP limit does wonders. The webcals don't seem to work properly, though.

I presented this to a colleague and he said "Oh, you've started using Personal Kanban. Good for you." I didn't know it had a name. ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lessons learned as an Agile Coach

Yesterday I spoke at Turku Agile Day 2011 about my lessons learned as an Agile Coach. I was asked to talk about large-scale Agile adoption from the coach's point of view and I happily agreed as I have lots of stories to tell. It didn't turn out that way however. The new company strategy made my presentation obsolete and I subsequently spent some time on analyzing, generalizing and extracting the lessons learned.

In other words I frantically rewrote my presentation on the train to Turku yesterday morning. My slides and possibly some live material (horror film at eleven!) will be available on the Turku Agile Day web pages... as soon as the guys have recovered from their hangovers.

Anyway this seems to be an excellent opportunity to stop for a moment, take a breather and look at what I and the others in my team have achieved over the last several years. Lots of small and large wins, a couple of defeats and of course what we could call the ultimate defeat: failure to deliver within a reasonable time. I'm going to look for things that worked and didn't work and try to find patterns and supporting theories. What to do with that information I don't know yet. However you can expect more updates on this subject later, and perhaps some presentations on SlideShare or maybe even a booklet. Time will tell.

With those words, over and out.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

F1rst psot!

Yay! Welcome to my blog! And this is my first post, to celebrate the occasion (and incidentally to have a placeholder to check what it looks like). There are many reasons to set up a public blog, including but not limited to:
  • I have things to write down
  • I need to hone my writing
  • I want to reply to what other people blog about
That's it! Let's see how this works out.