Agile.FM Podcast: Agile Day NYC and Kanban Thinking

Podcast in Retro

Photo Credit: themaccraic-david

I recently met up with Joe Krebs in London and recorded a podcast with him. Joe is organising the Agile Day NYC conference which I will be speaking at in September (straight after RallyON). As well as the conference, we talked about Kanban Thinking, the subject of my talk there, and the Lean Systems Society Reactor Conference, which is also coming up in September.

Listen to the podcast, and hopefully I’ll see you at one of the event next month.

3 Reasons Not To Miss RallyON Europe

RallyON Europe 2013

In September I’m going to be involved in the second RallyON Europe conference which we are running in London again. This year’s theme is “Scaling an Agile Organisation”, and I expect that it will be another great event. Here are 3 reasons I’m particularly looking forward to it.

Bjarte Bogsnes Keynote. I’ve known Bjarte for a few years now, and he’s a fellow LSS Fellow. Its a real coup to get him as our keynote. I’ve always found him to be an informative and entertaining speaker and I’m sure he’ll deliver once again. Beyond Budgeting, the topic of his talk, is an approach to management which is incredibly compatible with Lean and Agile approaches, and absolutely necessary to successfully scale an agile organisation.

A Guide to Achieving Flow. I’m going to be co-presenting this brand new session with Sallyann Freudenberg. This will be the first public airing of a new game we have co-created. Sal has taken a game I created years ago and spiced it up with Lego. Why would you not want to come and play with Lego while learning about flow?

People, Practice and Technology. Its a real pleasure at the moment to be part of an organisation which is focussing on helping to build agile businesses. The agenda is full of sessions which go beyond team agility to how the combination of people, practice and technology combine to scale an agile organisation. Come and find out more about topics such as the Agile Portfolio Management, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Devops, Metrics and Agile Leadership.

There are also a number of training courses scheduled to follow the conference, with the some great prices that include the conference registration. And if you want to attend as a group there are also discounts available. And if you use the code SPEAKER50 you can get $50 off. Register today, and I hope to see you there.


Agile Central Europe Keynote

I’m really honoured to have been asked to give the closing keynote at this year’s Agile Central Europe conference in Kraków, Poland, 15-16 April 2013. ACE has a strong Kanban theme this year and I am going to ask whether Kanban isn’t just commons sense?

Kanban: Isn’t it Just Common Sense?
Many problems we are trying to solve in software and product development are complex, with no obvious solution. As a result it is not possible or appropriate to simply define and follow best or good practice. Instead me must think in terms of heuristics to discover contextual solutions. I will describe how we can use Kanban as a set of heuristics to learn what those solutions are.
If you can make it, please use the discount code “ACE!25KS” to get 25 EUR off the price. That’s a 10% discount if you book before April 8th. Then the price goes up from 250 EUR to 350 EUR. So register before April 8th to save 125 EUR!
I also have a free morning in Kraków on Wed April 17. If you know of any interesting organisations I could go and visit to share and learn, I’d love to know!

I’ll be at Agile India 2013

I’m really excited to be able to make my first visit to India to participate in the Agile India 2013 Conference, which is 27 Feb – 2 Mar in Bengaluru. I’ll be giving a talk on “5 Kanban Leverage Points: Making a Project Impact“, running a workshop on “Applied Kanban Thinking“, moderating a panel and giving a couple of Rally demos. Its going to be busy!

Its going to be a great event to learn about Kanban. As well as my 2 day workshop which will allow participants to practice Kanban Thinking to design a Kanban System, Masa Maeda is also running a 1 day workshop on “Kanban for Success” which will introduce the foundations of the Kanban Method. And what’s even better is they don’t clash, so it’s possible to attend both, learn the basics with Masa, and then apply what you’ve learned with me!

Here’s some more info about the conference:


At Asia’s largest & premier international conference on Agile and Lean Software Development methods. Starting Feb 26th 2013 in Bangalore

Agile India 2013 is a refreshing, yet intense 4-day conferences where you can:

  • Learn from experts like Craig Larman, Mary Poppendieck, Rebecca Parsons, Fred George, Jeff Patton, Jez Humble, Linda Rising, Naresh Jain, Neal Ford, Venkat Subramaniam and many other Agile Thought Leaders...
  • Network & share your knowledge and experience with over 1500 international delegates from literally every software company practicing or exploring Agile & Lean.
  • Explore diverse and interesting solutions and contribute to the future of Agile software development.

Full Conference Program: (PDF)

Last few seats left, register at:

Speaking at Lean Agile Scotland

How could I not attend a conference named after me? OK, maybe not named after me, but at least relatively local.

How could I not attend a conference being held on my birthday? OK, I could also spend my birthday with my family!

I will be at Lean Agile Scotland, however, which is being held September 21-22 in Edinburgh and I’ll be talking about “Understanding Kanban Thinking”.

If you want to go, I have a code which gives a discount of 10% on the ticket price. However, this will expire on the 6th of September. Let me know if you want the code, and then go to and and follow the eventbrite steps.

Lean Flow Bag Stuffing Videos

The last few years I’ve helped out with the bag stuffing at the Agile200X conference. It started out as a fun experiment in applying our lean and kanban craft in a different context. It has turned into a tradition, and something we have learned huge amounts from. Last year Christopher Avery took some video and he’s recently published an number of posts with some of the content.

I’m not at Agile2012 this week and so missed the exercise on Sunday, but I’m hoping that someone will publish any metrics and learnings that came out of the latest instance of the experiment.

My CALM Beta Pre Work

I posted recently about by involvement in CALM Beta in Boulder. One of the things we added to the registration process was some “pre-work”.  The intent is to find out something about the people attending before they arrive in order to create a better event for everyone. As part of a post on the Rally blog, I decided to answer the pre-work questions myself, and I am repeating them here.

The Early Bird price of $350 ends on July 1. Register now to attend a couple of days of great discussion at a great price.

Why do I want to attend CALM Beta?

Apart from being one of the group organising the event (!), I’m excited about the possibilities of blending and learning from different ideas, approaches and disciplines. I hope that by exploring both what works in what context, and why, we can become better at choosing the right approach for the job at hand.

What experiences will I bring to CALM Beta?

I have been applying Agile ideas for more than 10 years, and Lean and Kanban ideas over the last 5. I have learned that helping teams and organisations understand why and how they can apply Agile and Lean thinking is essential to avoid practices being used by rote. As a result, I have recently started to use Cynefin techniques to help understand what approaches to use in their context.

What new insights do you hope to gain from CALM Beta?

I am hoping that we are able to explore the synergy between Cynefin ideas and some specific Agile and Lean techniques. For example, what is the relationship between A3 Thinking and the design of Safe to Fail probes. Or how do Lean Startup ideas fit in with those of working in the Cynefin complex domain. Or how can anecdotes and narratives be used to discover great user stories. In doing so, I hope to learn more about the appropriate use of those techniques, or identify areas where they might be modified or extended.

How would you answer these questions? Register and let me know!

I won’t be at #LKSE12, and…

I posted last week about the fact that I’ll be at the Lean Software & Systems Conference (LSSC12) in Boston soon. Well, there’s another smaller but similar conference coming up, which unfortunately I can’t be at. Why only blog about conferences I’m going to? This is one I would be at if I could, so here are the details.

Lean & Kanban Southern Europe 2012 is the 1st conference of its kind in the region, being held in Madrid, May 9-10. Speakers include many who also be at LSSC12, along with local practitioners talking about their experiences and learnings such as Brickell Key nominees Erika Weiss & Oscar Garrido. There will also be a track full of Spanish language content on Day 2. I don’t speak Spanish, but I highly recommend it!

I’ll be at the Boston Lean Party #LSSC12

I’ve just been putting together my personal program for LSSC12. This is the main US Conference put together by the Lean Software and Systems Consortium, which will be in Boston from May 13-18. Its definitely my favourite conference of the year and always gives me new insights and new ideas by bringing together a really diverse set of people from all areas and disciples.

David Anderson has written a couple of good blog posts if you want more info – there’s still time to register!

I have a session on Wednesday May 16, 4:20pm – 5:00pm @ Harborview 2 with my Rallt colleague Larry Maccherone where we’ll be introducing some of the great work Larry has been doing with metrics and data visualisations.

I hope I’ll see you there – let the Boston Lean Party begin! This is what I expect I’ll be doing the rest of the time.

Scrum Gathering London – A Blast From the Past

At the Scrum Gathering in London this October, I had a bit of a flash-back to the last time the Gathering was in London. At that event, during the Open Space, I announced a Kanban session with words along the lines of “My team recently stopped using Scrum and our productivity has improved”. As I recall it, there was an audible intake of breath, although I’m sure my memory has exaggerated the effect!

I was reminiscing about this with Rachel Davies, who facilitated the Open Space at both Gatherings, and she shared the photographs she had taken of the output, which she still had. Here they are for posterity. I expected to find much of my thinking had changed since then, but apart from having less focus on waste and inventory now (preferring to know emphasise value and flow) it still seems relevant.

Here are the photos – thanks to Benjamin Mitchell for being the scribe. I’m hoping to add some of the audience which I know are out there somewhere.