3 Tips to improving your Kanban stand up

Regardless of what method is used almost everybody working in an agile way agrees that having a regular stand up brings great value. It gives you as a team the chance to make a plan for the day. What will we work on, what will we finish, what are we stuck on? Whether it’s Scrum, XP, or Kanban this is one of the first practices teams implement after setting up a board.

In a lot of organizations I see stand ups being done in the same way regardless of what method / framework the team uses. More often than not this leads to stale or ineffective stand ups. This post is how you can make your Kanban stand up more effective with 3 easy steps.

  1. Ask the right questions
  2. Focus on completion
  3. Manage the work, not the worker

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Lost in translation

For a little while now I’m encountering an issue and I hope with this post to get some perspectives and tips from fellow non native English speakers.

Since most of the stuff written about for instance Kanban, Scrum or other related subjects are in English it feels natural for me to not translate some words or expressions but use the “common” English term when in conversation with like minded people. This is mostly because I can’t really find a good translation for the word in Dutch. What I’m finding, and I doubt this is specific for the Dutch language, is that some words don’t translate very well. They just get a very subtle different meaning from the original English word.

Unfortunately in some situations it is just not possible to not translate the word. For instance: translated texts (duh), quotes or workshops with people that are very new to that particular scene. The issue I’m having is that I don’t really see the difference in meaning when translated, just because I have the English word in mind. Other people don’t so they will debate whether the word I’m using is the correct one. It turns into a semantics discussion very fast.

I would really appreciate tips and/or experiences from people who have had this issue, have translated texts or had their text translated.

Lean Kanban Netherlands 2012 is almost here!

A little while ago I received the good news: an acceptance to speak at Lean Kanban Netherlands on the 25 and 26th of October. This event will take place for the first time and is looking very promising. An amazing line-up of speakers and a great venue.

I will not be speaking alone. Together with Sarah Reeder and we are verymuch looking forward to an interactive session. We will talk about why we believe the Kanban principle “Encourage Acts of Leadership at all levels of the organization” is the key to sustainable change. With examples of real life teams supported by research from the change management field we will elaborate on:

• That sustainable change is achieved on a different level than most methodologies act on
• Why we think a organically grown (viral spread) approach will trump a big bang implementation
• Why change shouldn’t be managed and consulting/coaching to a predetermined outcome is impossible

If you are thinking about going and would like to pay less: contact me (via mail or twitter) or any other speaker. We haz discounts 😉

If you are not thinking about going: you should. This is the place to be when it comes to Lean and Kanban in the Benelux!

Hope to see you there!

Conferences, conferences and more conferences!!!

Summer holidays are almost over and that means that there are a lot of conferences coming up!

I’m very excited to have the chance to share, attend, learn and meet a lot of old friends and new people. So if you are near one of these or can find any excuse to join, please don’t miss that chance as the programs look very promising!

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