And since David was at our offices, we discussed how we do Kanban at Typemock and heard lots of suggestions on how we can improve our service process (where Kanban is implemented). We also discussed what Kanban means in terms of implementation and change. Riveting stuff.
One of the things we talked about was how the dev team should produce effectively with constant nagging from marketing and sales. If for example, sales needs demos from the dev team, it obviously lowers their velocity, but also allows for less confidence in their ability to release, because they can’t plan ahead. An option (that we implemented at Typemock) was creating a special role for that (mine). Detracting a person from the dev team lowers the velocity, but also decreases the variance caused by interruptions. Confidence in the ability to release is now bigger.
At one point I asked David if there’s a Kanban specialist in the organization, where should he come from – the development team, or another position closer to marketing, sales and other teams. I liked his answer for two reasons.
The first was that David said it’s an excellent question, which he never got asked before.
The second was that the person should be selected not by his expertise in Kanban (or any other process), but by his ability to communicate to the other teams. My role today both internally and externally is translating between different languages. Communication is key to every successful endeavor, and that includes process changes in the organization, like Kanban.
David, I hope we’ll meet again soon, it was a very interesting meeting.