The Great Wall

The Great Wall

When launching a large-scale agile initiative or program (e.g. one that requires more than just few teams) then careful consideration should be given to how teams align and how information is shared across. Applying standard scaled agile frameworks (i.e. Large-Scale Scrum or Scrum@Scale) to support your initiative is a good start. 

'The Great Wall’ is a lightweight yet powerful approach to support scaled agile frameworks to enable alignment, transparency and collaboration between all the members. This wall might vary based on the context but having one or various Kanban boards to visualise the value stream and how work flows is an excellent approach to try out.

Why various and not just one?

Well, if you have a program with several types of work like initiatives that expand several quarters and epics that expand several months in a program with more than seven to ten teams then just one board will be cluttered. Hence, a board for each of the elements mentioned above will help you tons. You just decided when you need to zoom-in or zoom-out with any of the boards… ;-)

Why a Kanban board/s and not a Gantt Chart, Roadmap or similar?

These type of solution might help if you want to have a high level idea of when things will be ‘completed’ but to be honest, if you are looking for predictability I would recommend you to have a look to Montecarlo Simulations tools to make sure you don’t based your commitments on fantasy or just luck. On the top of that, a Kanban board will help you to focus on flow, reduce WIP and a consequence reduce cycle and lead times enabling your teams to be more predictable which at the end is what you were looking from the charts.

I would like to touch on the ‘completed’ above which was between quotes for a reason. The reason is that ‘completed’ might not be delivered but validated learning or change of behaviour from our customers. In any of these cases, is really difficult to predict when we are really ‘completed’. That’s why, flow more than predictability its the wiser approach from my humble point of view.

The TED Talk ‘3 ways the brain creates meaning’ by Tom Wujec is an excellent resource you should consider to check it out before you start to build your own wall.

What really motivates us?

What really motivates us?

Priorities based on the economics view of flow

Priorities based on the economics view of flow