Project Management

How to Use Agile Methodology to Maximize Your Team’s Productivity

By July 24, 2017 No Comments

A few weeks ago, I delivered a webcast all about how Agile methodology and PM is changing IT for the better. This is something I’m passionate about and teach in my Agile courses. A big thank you to our attendees for your feedback on this event! The comments have been so encouraging and overwhelming from attendees that we’ve decided to share this recording with our blog subscribers!

Here are a few of the comments from the webcast:

“Ashley was fantastic. I could have listened to her all day, I have never experienced someone so passionate.”

“Much more substance than I thought would be. Very impressed with Ashley and her ability to flow, connect and interact with the group so quickly.”

“I thought Ashley did a fantastic job.  She kept it going, good interaction from the participants.  The material she covered I felt she believed in and understood and made it interesting for a person like myself who finds it hard to sit through a webinar, even though I do them for the company I work for.”

“I enjoyed the course. Ashley is a dynamic instructor with great communication skills. I find her to be an engaging, helpful, friendly, and attentive instructor. I intend on looking more into the Kanban board and implementing it in my own work habits.”

This hour long webcast focuses on the fundamentals of Agile methodology and how to apply some of them to your team tomorrow. This webcast was a lot of fun to put together and I look forward to creating more in the future! To give you an idea of what we covered during the “Increasing Organizational Innovation with Agile” webcast, here is a snippet all about using Kanban boards in IT: (If you have any issues with the video, I have included a transcript at the bottom of this post).

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Kanban boards and Agile principles, click the button below for instant access to the full-length webcast. Thanks again to all our attendees and I look forward to having you in class sometime soon!

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Transcript of the snippet video:

“… All right. My last favorite thing is a Kanban board. Now, some of you said, “Hey, I’ve heard of Kanban.” Kanban actually was created in the Toyota factories, after they came to Detroit to study car manufacturing in the United States. They just so happened to go into an American grocery store. What they noticed is that they were stocking the shelves with only what needed to be replaced. So they started studying Just in Time, and supply chain, and things like that. Obviously, grocery stores don’t keep a lot in storage, because of expiration dates and so on. But the philosophy of that was sort of born, the Just in Time philosophy.

So, Kanban is the Japanese word for sign, sign board, card, signal, things like that. And so, what inevitably occurred is, in the manufacturing environment, and in an environment right now … I have one in my office. If I could take my camera, I’d show you. Basically, it’s a big huge whiteboard with post-it notes and swimlanes. All right? And the very first lane is backlog. This is everything that I’ve gotta do in the next month. That could be teach a class, write a class, do this, do that, work on a project. Everything is individually written on post-it notes, okay? Front and center. And then I will select the work that I’m working on today or this week, and I call this work in progress. It’s what I’ve selected to work on, and when I’m finished with it, I move it from work in progress to done.

Kanban Board for IT

[Photo credit: kanban_tool via Foter.com / CC BY-SA]

Everything is individually written on post-it notes, okay? Front and center. And then I will select the work that I’m working on today or this week, and I call this work in progress. It’s what I’ve selected to work on, and when I’m finished with it, I move it from work in progress to done. If it needs to be accepted by a customer or a boss or something, I’ll add that, and it’s waiting in queue to be accepted.But the bottom line is, I’ve got post-it notes all over my board, and I move them over … I’m working on this now, and I move it over. The cool thing about this is, if I had 10 people in my office, they would walk by. They’d see all the work in progress, what’s been done, what’s been selected. This is what’s called low-tech, high-touch. How many of you have a whiteboard in your office where you jot things down that you’ve gotta get done? Or maybe you’re old school, and you carry around a calendar or a Day Planner, something like that? Or you use an online calendar system, something like that to keep you organized? I’m sure the majority of us do, right? Time is money, for sure.

But the bottom line is, I’ve got post-it notes all over my board, and I move them over … I’m working on this now, and I move it look I'm so organizedover. The cool thing about this is, if I had 10 people in my office, they would walk by. They’d see all the work in progress, what’s been done, what’s been selected. This is what’s called low-tech, high-touch. How many of you have a whiteboard in your office where you jot things down that you’ve gotta get done? Or maybe you’re old school, and you carry around a calendar or a Day Planner, something like that? Or you use an online calendar system, something like that to keep you organized? I’m sure the majority of us do, right? Time is money, for sure.

But what do you think about this? Having something front and center that’s physical, that you can physically touch and move. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to use your calendars. You can. [Reading comments from attendees] Fran’s saying, “I use these small stickys on my desk for some things, and a notepad for others.” Okay, so if you have sticky notes, post-it notes all over the place, this would be great for you. Because they used to be stuck all over my desk, forehead, you know, whatever. But I would put them on that board, and now it’s organized.

Nancy says, “Yes, absolutely.” Christopher, “Use a whiteboard.” So what do you think about this? And maybe you’re almost doing this anyway. “Use a calendar,” Bruce is saying. Yeah, me too. I have a calendar, also. That’s my schedule. But the work that I have to do, I put on a Kanban board. So, if you’re already using post-it notes, just create like three swimlanes. Here’s what’s backed up, stuff I gotta do. Here’s work in progress, and here’s the stuff that’s done. I don’t know, it’s kind of like crossing a list off of to-do. You can see it. Everybody can see it. This actually changed my life. The way that I schedule … Because I’m very scheduled. I was used to Gantt charts, and man, I didn’t like them. And so, Kanban boards or Scrum boards or something like that.There are also digital versions of them. Smartsheet has a Kanban board and a Gantt chart and a calendar. So there are ways that you can do this

There are also digital versions of them. Smartsheet has a Kanban board and a Gantt chart and a calendar. So there are ways that you can do this technologically if you don’t like the post-it notes all over your office …”

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