Why not use digital tools to capture and measure workflow to get to Done?
BeautifulAgile are strong advocates of experimenting with techniques that are right for you. You could choose just visual management, just digital management, or a combination of both. However, BeautifulAgile believes in the transparency, collaboration and waste-minimisation benefits provided by employing visual management.
What can physical walls* tell us?
Agile-wisdom cards on physical walls are the basis of a visual management system (metrics and tracking are also required which will be examined later). Agile-wisdom cards bring walls to life.
Ideally, walls are positioned where the work is. Walls displaying your workflow enable understanding of:
-your workflow ie how you’ve agreed work will progress from idea to completion
-what’s happening now
-what happened recently
-what’s up next
-when anyone needs to worry
Benefits of physical walls
Physical walls provide the opportunity to customise your work and design to your needs. You can put-up or pull-down a board as required (use BeautifulAgile coloured tapes and spaghetti string to make your walls look great). Walls do a wonderful job of infusing the personality of a team and the purpose of the work.
How do you manage physical walls for remote teams?
If teams are working remotely, including working at home, there are some ways to consider using physical walls:
-take a photo each day and share it
-replicate the same board in different locations
-use shype, telepresence, screens to share the board
-ensure card IDs are used and call the cards as you ‘walk-the-wall’ over teleconference
A couple of different walls to consider
You can also use different walls to highlight particular areas of improvement
- Retro walls & action plans to keep commitments top-of-mind
-Shout-out walls for team/squad members to recognise each other and for stakeholders to provide positive feedback
-Achievement walls to make sure good times don’t just disappear
-Blockers walls - systematically review what’s holding up the work. It may be something simple or require deep root-cause analysis. To create more focus, Blocker walls can be placed on dark clouds or glitter, for example, depending on your approach
-Policies-clarify and document agreements
-Portfolio timelines and roadmaps
Some of these benefits outlined above can be achieved using digital tools but some are just better in physical form. Create policies on how you use and manage your walls to determine what’s going to work best with your day, in your way. The Agile-wisdom cards are designed to minimise low-value work on cards so you can concentrate on clarifying the customer requirements and tasks to move you through your workflow as effectively as possible in the ‘Description’ ‘Definition of Done’ and ‘Acceptance Criteria’ sections. Keep experimenting and learning with your visual management system to try to minimise waste; help clarify where you need to focus; where any impediments to success might be; and to feel the sense of achievement as you physically move the work through the value chain.
*Walls are interchangeable for Boards. You can make a wall or a board wherever it’s practical to do so - on glass walls, windows, whiteboards, blackboards, standing boards, on desks, on paper for personal kanban boards etc
At home - on cupboards, refrigerators, backs of doors