Guest post: Playing The Kanban game
By Kirstin in Agile on December 04, 2013
Garreth Morgan and 2 of his colleagues from ikeGPS here in Wellington recently joined us to play The Kanban Game. Playing with two games and two teams was great for giving us all that competitive edge we needed to push us that little bit further. Garreth was kind enough to give us some feedback on his experience of playing the game and we’d now like to share that in this post:
Findings from The Kanban game
The Importance of Metrics
We felt we could have used metrics better in the game (and in our day to day work) to help make decisions:
- We could have more effectively prioritised tasks to pull if we had examined their likely value and estimated how long they would take to complete.
- Next time we try Kanban on a project we will focus on how we are tracking day to day to keep throughput and value added at the forefront of our decision making.
Keeping track of value added
It would have been nice to track how much real value we were getting out of High, Medium and Low value tasks as it would have aided decision making when prioritising tasks. Although the actual value is realised as soon as tasks are deployed in the game, we could have looked at this a lot more closely for future rounds of the game.
On reflection we feel that we could have improved communication throughout the game and noted the following points:
- ensuring all team members had relevant information would have been helpful
- we felt that even around one table we had silos of information
- taking the time to communicate would have improved our decision making
Daily decision making
The game required us to make decisions on a ‘daily’ basis and during the course of the game we made the following observations:
- it was important to work as a team to check how we were doing, which areas we were struggling in, how to divide resources and how to prioritise tasks
- making decisions as a team is something we need to get better at in real life
- being brave enough to make painful choices is key
- being fully informed of all the circumstances surrounding a decision eased the decision making process
Overall we felt The Kanban board game was a great learning tool and we believe it would be of value to our team to buy one for ourselves if we decide to do more Kanban in the future.