Sessions


David Anderson
David Anderson

 Enterprise Service Planning - Scaling the Benefits of Kanban

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Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) is the new future of management for professional services businesses. Your business is an ecosystem of complex interdependent services. The new strategy for surviving in the fast moving, rapidly changing 21st Century is to create a business that this continually "fit for purpose" by installing an organizational capability for evolutionary change and adaptation. ESP enables this new strategy by helping you evolve your network of services and make them fit for purpose one at a time. ESP practices help you with Portfolio Management concerns: schedule and sequence work; forecast delivery dates and expected outcomes; allocate capacity; manage dependencies; understand and manage risk; ensure sufficient liquidity to react to unfolding       events.                                   


Noreena Hertz
Noreena Hertz

How to make decisions in a complex world

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We make 10,000 decisions a day. 277 just about food. But whilst it doesn’t matter really if you choose a cappuccino over a latte when it comes to high stakes decisions – at home or at work – the choices you make really do matter.

Yet we think surprisingly little about how it is we come to decisions. Instead we typically repeat decision-making strategies that have worked for us in the past. We turn to experts, trust our guts, run options by our colleagues, go with what just feels right. 

But as bestselling author and thinker Noreena Hertz will argue, each of these strategies can lead us badly astray.

In this talk Hertz will encourage the audience to identify their own potential thinking and decision-making traps and biases, and also lay out the concrete steps we all can take in the digital era to become smarter and wiser decision makers ourselves.


Chet Richards
Chet Richards

All by Ourselves

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Sometimes, people who have developed a high level of skill in lean and agile techniques move into management positions and want to apply these philosophies to the larger organization. They often ask: “Which leadership style is best for lean development and operations?”  For some guidance in the area, we might look to the best military organizations, which, like us, face the problem of maintaining a high level of performance under conditions of stress and uncertainty. My conclusion, and the subject of this talk, is this: You have to have a leadership style, but you can pick any style you want so long as it reinforces five key organizational elements. 

 

Board member Arne Roock asked Chet about Strategy, John Boyd, the OODA Loop, his engagement in the Lean/Kanban community, and Yoga. Check out his thoughts in the full length interview.                             


Organizational Design at Spotify and Jimdo - a fireside chat

 

Simon Marcus is head of Operations at Spotify. Arne Roock is responsible for Organizational Development at Jimdo. Recently, the two did a work exchange, with Simon spending a week in Hamburg working alongside Arne at Jimdo, and Arne returning the favor a few months later, joining Simon and his team in NYC. The two talk regularly about keeping companies rationale and humane as they scale, touching on topics that don’t get enough attention in agile circles, including people strategies, the impact of financing decisions on corporate culture, and strategic planning under high uncertainty. The two practitioners bring this ongoing conversation about stuff that works for them to the LKCE stage, opening up to questions and input from the audience as well.

Simon Marcus                                Arne Roock



Matthias Skarin                              Eik Thyrsted Brandsgård

Learnings from SAFe @ Lego 


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In 2014 LEGO Digital Solutions decided to level up Agile and embarked on a SAFe journey. Having Agile teams in place for a couple of years, many linked by a shared platform, this felt as a logical step. Let us share our story, how we got started, the challenges along the ride, what we have learned and things we tweaked. We will round off by sharing a couple of different perspectives from people touched by the journey and our recommendation to others.  



Daniel Vacanti
Daniel Vacanti

Actionable Metrics for Predictability


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Think about your current approach to estimation. Chances are that approach ranges anywhere from the irrelevant and inappropriate (like “Level of Effort”) to the truly arbitrary and dubious (like “Story Point”). How have those techniques worked for you? Guessing the future in terms of gut feeling is a misguided practice that often leaves teams working overtime to meet unrealistic deadlines. In this session we’ll challenge traditional notions of estimation and explore some very simple metrics and analytics that will truly enable your organization to become more predictable. 


Marian Willeke
Marian Willeke

Cultivating the Learning Mindset


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This session will provide context as to how adults learn effectively and methods that motivate the learning mindset. The concept of andragogy will be outlined in order to recognize the unique learning needs of adults. The value of growth mindset will be correlated to personal and professional satisfaction, presented alongside learning theories that encourage growth mindset. As a result of this session, managers and leaders will have new perspectives on creating a safe environment for continuous informal learning and exploration, as well as on how to manage the balance between imposing constraints and encouraging self-directed learning.


Patrick Steyaert
Patrick Steyaert

Using Kanban systems to enable innovation and change

 

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Knowledge work in terms of exploring new knowledge, in addition to exploiting existing knowledge, plays an increasingly critical role, as organizations need to make the paradigm shift from a focus on stable execution and reliable delivery to a focus on innovation and change in an uncertain environment. Discovery Kanban systems are a special breed of Kanban systems that establish flow in knowledge work as a key enabler to this paradigm shift.

In the presentation we will explain different Discovery Kanban systems and how they are similar but different from (traditional) delivery Kanban systems. Example Discovery Kanban systems include: Upstream Kanban (ensuring sufficient options), Experiment Kanban (validated learning) and Observation Kanban (strategic decision making). We will show how each of them are positioned in the discovery cycle and explain different applications of Discovery Kanban in the context of innovation and change.


Wolfgang Wiedenroth
Wolfgang Wiedenroth

Information is key - Kanban is information


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At LKCE 2011 Stephen Bungay told us about "Auftragstaktik" and how it can help organizations with todays challenges. One very important thing in "Auftragstaktik" is the flow of informations to make good decisions. What the radio (in tanks) was in World War II, Kanban can be for your organizations. I'll show you how the Kanban method used from team level up to the portfolio level can help you to let information flow from bottom to top and back again.


Erik-Jan Kaak LKCE15
Eric-Jan Kaak

Business is tough, but it's even tougher when you're stupid

 

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Industrial automation is all over the place and challenging industrial robustness and the software industry alike. At the end of the day every industry is part of the software industry. Industrial automation will make jobs obsolete, but if the past has taught us anything, it's that technological (r)evolutions are always accompanied by workforce (r)evolution. The Internet of Things focuses a lot on the technology, but leaves out the people developing and using these technologies. Even more; the interest in and the importance of "Big Data" generated by all these automation is on the rise. The main challenges companies are facing is how to handle the complexity of data as well how to develop capabilities for the transformation of Data into Intelligence. Super Knowledge Workers are needed within continuous changing environments.

Real-time data acquisition is challenging, but why bother to have everything in real-time, when decision making processes in companies about what to do with these insights take weeks and months.

I want to explore these questions and put them in context with new ways of work, mindsets and methods.


Håkan Forss LKCE15
Håkan Forss

Experimentation is King

 

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Developing games for the high demand, fast moving mobile market, is truly a challenge. Creating moments of magic is the art of finding the right trade-off between polish and time to feedback.  

King have developed over 190 games, including the world famous Candy Crush. In this session, we will share our recent experience in how to use evolutionary and experimental approaches in order to deliver disruptive innovation as well as continuous improvements. We will share insights in why Culture is King when you want to create an ever learning and evolving organization.


Klaus Leopold LKCE15
Klaus Leopold

     Flow Kanban Essentials -

Increasing customer value throughout the value stream

 

More and more Flow and Kanban implementations for knowledge workers are popping-up in a vast variety of industries. That’s indeed a great thing because one can achieve a lot with it: visualization of what’s actually going on in your work environment, shorter lead times and thus, shorter time-to-market, higher productivity, happier workers, etc. However, what we also see is that most Flow Kanban implementations are very shallow and unleash only very litte improvement potential of what would actually be possible when applied with a deeper understanding. That’s mostly because Kanban is seen as a (personal) productivity tool or as a tool for increasing team performance - it is neither. It is much more than team tasks on sticky notes with WIP limits. This session casts light on what Kanban really is: a mindset combined with a handful of practices that help to increase customer value throughout the value stream.


Pavel Brodzinski LKCE15
Pavel Brodzinski

The Game Changer: Autonomy

 

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We often complain about lack of leadership across organizations yet we create work environments where leaders can't emerge or thrive. As Don Reinertsen points: Decentralizing control requires decentralizing both the authority to make decisions and the information required to make these decisions correctly. In most organizations we ignore both of these requirements. Not only does it result in leadership deficit but also drives engagement and motivation levels down. How do we change the game so that we reverse the mechanism? How do we design work environment where leadership is enabled and encouraged? 


Most commonly the missing part is autonomy. Distributing authority across the board goes against commonly accepted management paradigm, thus it meets resistance. Also full autonomy with no constraints means anarchy. Finding the right balance between the two and overcoming resistance is an evolutionary process. It is, however, the process that shapes exceptional work environments.


Janice Linden-Reed LKCE15
Janice Linden-Reed

Building an Information Flow: The Kanban Cadences Experience

 

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Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) is a way to improve communication and collaboration enterprise-wide. It will bring alignment between an organization's long term strategic plans, ever-changing market shifts, and the reality of delivery capability. 

Within the ESP program, information flow is achieved with a set of feedback loops: meetings we call the 7 Kanban Cadences. Information flows in and action flows out in a deliberate sequence considering lead time, predictability, and quality. In this session, learn about each of these feedback loops and how they all work together across the enterprise.


Katherine Kirk LKCE15
Katherine Kirk

Taming Ego & Politics: Leadership in a Continuous Culture

 

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Continuous improvement, continuous delivery, continuous innovation. It all sounds impressive when it rolls off the tongue but if you've ever tried to bring this kind of culture into an enterprise or division, you know just how quickly 'continuousness' becomes hell when dealing with difficult people and challenging ever-changing environments. It takes a very different kind of leadership. Fresh from 1 year of transforming culture, Katherine Kirk expands on her 2014 LKCE talk 'Navigating Politics' by relating stories from her experience to show how she applied her Eastern & Tribal Philosophy techniques to help the executive teams cool down politics and constructively focus ego so that they could develop and lead a Continuous Delivery culture.

 

Having a strong background in turning around difficult 'out of the box' teams, (specifically with Kanban since 2009), Katherine began exploring the people's problems after working at the BBC for a number of years and seeing common patterns of behaviour which held back individual, team and enterprise transformation success. The techniques and methods she has developed are drawn from Eastern and Tribal philosophy and are specifically designed to compliment and support Agile/Lean initiatives and those working in tough, innovative, rapidly changing environments.


Irina Dzhambazova
Irina Dzhambazova

Kanban Tales by the Campfire

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Sometime about 400,000 years ago, humans learned to fully control fire. How they managed to do that remains a great mystery. The marvellous breakthrough radically changed the human diet and the human body, including the brain. With bigger brains, formed in part because of the new gained ability to cook, people began to form symbolic thought and communication, the first ingredients to intimate conversation and storytelling. Fire then also transformed human culture. With the warmth and light of fire after dark, people had extra time, which they decided to use to unleash the imagination and tell stories of far away lands, people and habits. The mundane topics from the day had no place around the fire. It was a time and place reserved for the stories that helped them understand the world. 

 

Nowadays we are as fascinated by those kinds of campfire stories as our ancestors were back then. That is why Irina wants to take you away from the theory and the mundane daily business to tell you a few Kanban tales that she has gathered in her explorations. Not dry experience reports filled with irrelevant numbers but narratives from near and far away lands, tales of individuals who strive to be better at what they do. Their journeys are anything but mundane. Their stories will hopefully help you understand the world, or at least this thing called Kanban.


Sabine Bernecker-Bendixen
Sabine Bernecker-Bendixen

Debugging your communication for more success and efficiency in DevOps 

 

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DevOps is far more then just the tools to be used in an organizational change. DevOps is a mindset, which requires a lot of “soft skills” of all stakeholders in this system. And these skills are important for the success or the failure of the experiment “DevOps”.

In this talk we will focus on the role of communication for a DevOps team, although we will also touch psychological aspects of mindset, attitude and behaviour.

Whenever people come together, communications starts at once. In addition to the original face-to-face communication we use a lot of different communication channels like phones, chats, live webinars and emails in our modern times. As communication is a very complex topic misunderstanding is part of daily our work.

The more different characters work together in cross-functional teams like DevOps the higher the probability of misunderstanding. With release cycles getting shorter and shorter or continuous delivery, time is a very precious factor in IT projects. So why do we waste time in clearing up misunderstanding? For more success and more efficiency it will be extremely helpful to identify the bugs in your communication and eliminate them to reduce misunderstandings and save time. In this session theoretical background will be combined with best practice and the importance of further education in communication skills especially for “people from IT” to reach more efficiency will be pointed out. 


Tonianne DeMaria Barry and Jim Benson
Tonianne DeMaria Barry and Jim Benson

SCIENCE!

Or Absolutely Every Reason Why Personal Kanban Works (Except for Maybe One)

 

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When we first introduced Personal Kanban back in 2009, the global feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. People and organizations from industries and professions as disparate as software and education, government and interior design, law and entertainment shared with us how powerful the mechanism was for communicating, tracking, focusing, and improving both their individual and team work. Simple yet robust, it likewise proved accessible to families and kids, who also began sharing success stories of their most creative design patterns. Yet we didn't quite understand why Personal Kanban was resonating the way it was across cultures and verticals and even generations.

After all...it's just Post-Its on a whiteboard, right? As it turns out, not so much. In this interdisciplinary session, we'll delve into the tool’s universal appeal, exploring the neuroscience, psychology, and sociology inherent to why Personal Kanban really works. We’ll cover the internal biological and cognitive elements, as well as the external social elements of this particular visualization within the social structure and culture of the organization. Attendees will gain a better understanding of why something as innocuous as pulling sticky notes through a value stream proves intrinsic to not only the completion of meaningful tasks, but by extension and perhaps more importantly, the humanization of work and the virtuous cycle that can result.


Dominica DeGrandis
Dominica DeGrandis

How Kanban helps Operations Teams Become more Predictable    

 

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For a variety of reasons, we overestimate the ability to get work done. We over commit our teams and ourselves. This is particularly true for Operations teams with high variability and leads to broken promises, unhappy customers and unhealthy businesses. This talk demonstrates how to use a Kanban flow approach to measure the probability of delivering work on time.    


José Casal
José Casal

Kanbanising the Scottish Government

 

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The Scottish Government is embarking on a number of initiatives aimed to reform the way Scottish citizens engage with government and to renew the democratic processes in Scotland. One of the main initiatives is the mygov.scot programme of work. This digital transformation programme is delivering informational services provided by the Scottish Government from the perspective of the citizen needs.

The mygov.scot programme impacts a complex structure of over 180 public organisations with thousands of civil servants and employees that can be affected by the change in perspective.

Following an initial year full of uncertainty, mistakes and learning, the programme started adopting Kanban in February 2015 to help improve the management and flow of work, improve the decision making processes and transform the ways of working and culture of the programme.

We are in the middle of an ongoing process of learning and adaptation and this session will share our experiences to date and how some of our Kanban-related changes are beginning to generate important results and impacts.


Nadja Schnetzler
Nadja Schnetzler

Kitchen Kanban (20by20)

 

With a friend of mine who is a gastronomer I have explored the following questions over the past year:

1. Can preparing some kind of meal serve as an icebreaker session for an organisation to embrace Kanban?

2. Is Kanban in itself a method that can be used to simplify complexity in kitchen environments, professional or private?

These two questions we can answer with yes.

The third question: Would a Kanban system be applicable in a professional kitchen, one of the last bastions of strict hierarchical thinking? We are still exploring this.

The talk will show images from the different sessions we have conducted with clients and kitchen crews.

The main insight could be that sometimes bringing Kanban into a context outside of the office can help break the ice for teams to embrace Kanban as an approach.


Chris Young
Chris Young

Kanban, DevOps, Design Thinking and BDD for great good

 

Stories are how I learn. I love hearing stories of people's experience and telling stories from my own practice. This year I've told three different stories, to different audiences, all drawn from the experience of the same piece of work.

For the LKCE-session I'd like to bring these three stories together into an audience led "Mega poster" talk about how Kanban, DevOps, Design Thinking and BDD work together for great good.

There will be a big 3x2 meter poster on the wall showing artefacts from the project including Story Maps, Architecture Diagrams, Code, Skype Transcripts, Screenshots and Cumulative Flow Diagram which we will use to explore the story of the work. The audience can pick an artefact to talk about and we'll use it to explore the story and themes of the work. We'll bring the artefact which is being talked about up on the big screen so everyone can see it.

This means the participants can decide how much detail we go into and which of the themes to dwell on.


Em Campbell-Pretty
Em Campbell-Pretty

The Magic Carpet Ride: A Business Perspective on DevOps

 

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Having problems convincing your stakeholders to try DevOps? Confused about how DevOps can work at scale? Or even just wondering where to start with DevOps? Don’t worry you aren’t the only one!

Imagine being the business owner of an application that was the complete antithesis of Continuous Delivery i.e. no delivery ever! Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. Let’s just say the realisation of benefits from projects developed on this application were few and far between.

You are presented with Agile - a silver bullet - and you wait, and you wait and you wait, but the magic doesn’t happen. Eventually someone starts a conversation about “agile technical practises”, finally you know the spell to cast to make the magic carpet fly, or so you would think…..

If you want to hear the rest of the story you will just have to attend this session. Set in the context of an Enterprise Data Warehouse, this session will tell the story of how a scaled agile adoption created the case for change and subsequent implementation of DevOps practices. This tale from the trenches will provide insights into both the mistakes made along the way and the ideas that made all the difference, in completely transforming the delivery capability of the organisation.


Wendy Robinson
Wendy Robinson

Using Communities of Practice to Strengthen Manager Learning and Development

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For the past two years, Etsy has experimented with and iterated on several employee leadership and management development models. Based on what we learned, we incorporated best practices into a company-wide, comprehensive management training model we use to develop in-person and remote managers across the world. One of the most popular initiatives are small cohorts of managers we call Studio Groups that function as Communities of Practice to increase management learning and capacity. Studio Groups function as safe spaces for managers to share best practices, discuss challenges and learn through practice and participation in a social, yet professional, context. Wendy will share the theories, practices and early results of our management training approach, including how Studio Groups function within the model. 


Markus Andrezak
Markus Andrezak

One size does not fit all: 3 questions, 3 answers, 3 types of work

 

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The biggest mistake companies can make is to define their (one) process, culture, way of work. The work that needs to be done in a sustainable company differs in at least three fundamental ways. This can easily be understood following three questions and answering these honestly. The talk introduces these questions, as well as fitting areas of work and management methods that are at a minimum requirement to sustainable success. Sadly, this is not enough and a little bit of strategy is also required.


Ian Carroll
Ian Carroll

Kanban's Geological Record

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In this talk you will hear about the story of how one Business Analysts stamp (card) collecting hobby lead to better, more responsible product decisions across a large scale 24 team investment portfolio for a £183m UK dotcom. We will go into detail on how KanbanESP investment policies permeate through classes of service at the team level to guide Product Owners on making the right (responsible) prioritisation and selection decisions.


Paul Reed
Paul Reed

DevOps' Killer App: Visibility

 

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Despite its incredible rise in industry mindshare and its age (coming up on six years now), DevOps is a movement that continues to defy definition. Due, in part, to its definition- and manifesto-resistant community, organizations often begin their "DevOps transformation initiatives" without a clear understanding of why they're doing aspects of it, what benefits they will truly realize, and how it's different than strategies the industry has deployed before it (Agile, anyone?). This lack of clarity can also create an environment where the practioners may not be clear on situations "the DevOps" is, in fact, ill equipped to address.

In this talk, we'll examine the dichotomy between DevOps' lack of definition and the commonalities between so many organizations' DevOps journeys. We'll dig into why so many of these rollouts contain strong threads of Lean thinking and why Kanban is such an oft-deployed tool to facilitate the "DevOps transition," to reveal DevOps' actual killer application: organizational visibility.

We'll look at the areas DevOps, through the concrete practices we do talk about, brings visibility to organizations and why that is so powerful in modern software shops. We'll also look at organizational corners that DevOps doesn't necessarily shine a light on, but we can use its core techniques to build even more resilient, agile organizations.    


Eike-Marie Eiting
Eike-Marie Eiting

Moving desks to facilitate the in-house cultural dialogue at Jimdo

 

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The concepts of Kanban and Kaizen form an important part of Jimdo’s company culture. Still, it seems a common consensus that this applies to Jimdo as a software company, but not to all parts of the company: “Customer Support,” colleagues said, “is different.”, implying that different means “It’s not for us.” To me, as a former customer support representative working in a cross-functional development team at Jimdo, this did not feel right.

When I was offered the position of Head of Global Customer Support, my aim was to show the doubters that continuous improvement can be for everyone. However, reality can be useful, and team size and structure are very different in the eight customer support teams at Jimdo: The biggest customer support team has 24 team members. Retrospectives in a team of that size can be tough and lengthy. I decided to do something, which I hoped, would help and, at the same time, facilitate the inner company cultural dialogue: I divided this team into a team of four smaller teams and put these closer to development teams. I did not change processes or workflows, I moved desks. And I prepared the ground for more autonomy among our customer support teams.

This is a progress report: What did I learn so far? Would I do it again? What tools and practices proved useful?


Jim Benson
Jim Benson

I say "Limit WIP", you say "Seriously?"

 

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Anyone who has worked with Kanban knows that getting people to limit WIP is not easy.

 

We say "limit WIP" which is about as helpful as saying "eat food." Yes, we should eat food, but there are many types of food that have very different impacts on your body and health. Limiting the number of user stories or features a team is working on is nearly meaningless. Humans work and if humans are overloaded, the system still breaks down.

 

WIP isn't just WIP. There's ambient WIP, hidden WIP, Guerilla WIP, Induced WIP, Black market WIP, forced WIP, and more ...

each type of work requires its own form of management, mitigation, and care. Jim Benson will describe the impacts of these types of WIP on individuals, teams, and companies. He will also provide mitigation strategies.



Erik Schön
Erik Schön

Ways of Working in the #NetworkedSociety –

Strategy Experiments at Ericsson 3G

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In this interactive session, I’ll try to demystify strategy by sharing a few experiments on how we have worked with how to (1) devise a strategy, and, (2) bridge the gap between strategy and making strategy happen - in a Lean/Agile/Flow context.

 

Our starting point has been analogies from complex, competitive domains such as war and sports and inspiration from strategy practitioners like Stephen Bungay, Chet Richards, Roger L. Martin and Willie Pietersen. This session is highly relevant for leaders in organizations large and small that would like to realize their true potential through effective strategies.


Karl Scotland
Karl Scotland

Turn Your Organisation Into A Laboratory with Strategy Deployment

 

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For large enterprises, the ability to deliver early and often is necessary, but not sufficient. Without clear and transparent alignment to a strategy, the organisation might still end up being very busy, getting better at delivering more and more of the wrong thing, but not achieving any positive results. However, knowing what the right strategy should be can also be a challenge in today’s complex world. Strategy Deployment is the Lean approach to meeting this challenge. Organisations need to become laboratories, in which they are constantly running experiments, generating learning, and applying that learning to continually progress towards their True North.


Benjamin Mitchell LKCE15
Benjamin Mitchell

Common Communication Failures (and ways to get avoid them!) when implementing Lean and Kanban


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When learning and implementing Lean and Kanban ideas it's scarily easy to communicate poorly and therefore block the improvements you could make.


Drawing on examples of common communication failures, many based on personal experience, this talk will highlight common communication problems. These can include assuming that visible data is all that is necessary, forgetting that feelings and relationships matter, and the challenges of “gaining consensus” when you’re just sure your idea is the only obvious way forward! 


This talk will also present models and techniques that can increase your ability to work with others to implement improved processes and achieve better results faster.


Ken Power LKCE15
Ken Power

Making sense of organization impediments: managing complexity for organization effectiveness

 

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Whether undergoing evolutionary change or radical transformation, all organizations face impediments to managing the effective flow of value. Making sense of these impediments is critical. Simply asking what impediments exit is not always enough. Teams and organizations are complex adaptive systems, and conditions within and around them are constantly shifting. From understanding how an organization is progressing towards its strategic goals, to the daily work of managers and engineers, organizations can get real time insights that show where they are doing well and where they are encountering impediments. Using the Cynefin framework, Sensemaker, and Human Systems Dynamics, this talk will show how to use elements of complexity science and social science in practical and tangible ways to help leaders identify organization impediments and then design interventions to make improvements.


Arne Roock
Arne Roock

A Salary Experiment


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Remuneration seems to be one of the things that everybody hates. And it‘s one of the things that become more and more difficult when a company grows. At Jimdo we wanted to learn more about remuneration and staff responsibility. Two teams were given some high-level constraints and then designed two experiments.

The objectives were to learn:

  • more about “fair” salary setting
  • if transparent salaries would be an option and which problems they might cause
  • to what extent a team would be capable and willing to manage itself - not only salary-wise, but also regarding feedback, evaluations, written warnings, firing etc.

In this talk I will share our learnings from the two experiments and, perhaps even more interesting, how we designed the experiments and what we learned during the process.