Good afternoon. Good morning, depending on where your calling in from, uh, signing in from. My name is Kumar Datatran, and we are live for our Angelo Schwartz. Woah. I hear an echo. Why? Oh, I see why. I see. Okay. Let me close that at YouTube. Open and so it was, uh, it was repeating what I was saying, obviously, because it's a little bit delayed. Well, with me today, is, um, my good friend, uh, and former colleague, Mark Grove, and, um, I'm gonna let Mark introduce himself here in a second. Just, uh, wanted to say that, uh, you know, I I've always enjoyed working with him. Uh, we actually used to be neighbors. Not not that long ago, 10 years ago or so before he moved. Uh, once I moved in the neighborhood, he moved out. So I just a coincidence. Just a coincidence. Right. So, um, Mark, why don't you introduce yourself for the audience? Yeah. Well, thank you, uh, for having me here today. I appreciate that. My name is Mark Grove. I am a managing consultant and an agile coach based out of the Northern Virginia area just out of Washington, DC are outside of Washington, DC. Uh, I work for a company called Exela. And, uh, I have been an agile coach since well, for about 10 years now in the agile space since 2009. And I have a a a love affair. I guess you could say with Kanban in particular. And, uh, I'm a Kanban trainer through a common university. And I think that's what we're gonna be talking about today. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Um, so we do have just a shameless plug here. We do have a class that Angela Meridian is hosting and and Mark here is, uh, is gonna be the, uh, the the learning facilitator. I don't like to call it trainer, because trainer is has a different meaning than than what I like to think someone like you or or me delivering a class, we facilitate learning. I like that. Uh, trainers more like, you know, you go to the circus and you see this uh, the trainers training their animals and to do certain tricks. And that's not what we do. Right, Mark? That's right. We we try not to as best as as best as we can. That's right. We we want people to learn. We want people to experience, uh, what we're teaching in real time as best that we can so that they so maybe that is more than just a simple train as as you were explaining it. Right. Exactly. Um, I I think that training is is more than just learning the steps. It's understanding the why behind the steps that makes that training stick. And I know that the way you train and the way I train, we we share this. We try to make sure that we explain the why behind the what. So that people will remember, uh, even if they forget the steps, they will remember the why and be able to implement the steps in their own way. To produce the outcome. Yeah. I I am a total agreement with that. Um, it it it's easy to do the what? But lots of times, excuse me, lots of times it get lot. It gets lost in the y behind it. And what people end up sometimes doing in my experiences, they do a lot of what. They do a lot of things that they they were just told to do and Uh, but they don't, you know, they don't pause to think about why that is the case. And then to your point, they don't have the at least they don't realize they may have more of an ability to tailor these steps to help fit their particular need uh, when they don't have that why behind them. Yeah. Exactly. It's it's good to have that ability that latitude a little bit to adjust how you're working so that you can um, you know, fit fit your particular organization or the way you work, um, your environment, um, but still stick behind the the purpose and the reasoning be behind it, uh, by knowing that why. Yeah. So, uh, you mentioned, uh, Kanban and at than a love affair of yours. Uh, can you talk a little bit about why speaking of wise and what's why that is the case? Why is that the case? I I for me, it was something that really it made a lot of sense to me. Um, when you think about getting work to done or taking on work and understanding work that needs to be completed, we pretty much work whether we realize it or not, we work in some type of flow environment. And when we, you know, make that explicit and understand what that looks like and how to interact with it and get it to a point where we say, okay. Now we're done with it. Um, I think that being explicit about that really begins to help us better manage the work that we have better understand who's doing the work, better understand where do we need to to go to do the work? And I and I say that when I kinda I I picture having some type of, you know, scrum board or come on board in front of you with your work laid out, but knowing where on the board you need to go, based on, um, the curt, you know, what's going on that particular day and how many people are working, etcetera. I think all of those components really make sense within that that context of workflow from a beginning state to an end state. Mhmm. And I I it it I love it. It makes sense to me. Yeah. So that I think that's a big reason why I really like it. I could go on and I'll I'll pause there for now. You said something really interesting. It's uh that that most of us work this way anyway. Yeah. And so Kanban is I think you made the statement that it's it's easier to understand or something to that effect. Yeah. Yeah. And if if that's so, um, why why don't more more people use it. What what is preventing people from limiting, I am you're gonna use some kanban turns, which I'm sure you'll understand. You'll you'll explain. Why is it so difficult for people to limit the work in progress so they can focus on the most important things? Why is this so difficult for people to uh, to help other people on their team and their department if things get stuck and and so on. What what's preventing that? Well, I think lots of times, uh, what prevents it or makes it very difficult to see is because you're not seeing it. You're you're not visualizing it. That's one of the first practices of Kanban is to visualize your work. And when we don't visualize it or have mechanisms to easily visualize it. Uh, it it it gets hidden. And, uh, so you mentioned about limiting, you know, WIP that is the second practice of Kanban. It's hard to limit your work if you don't have a way to see what you're working on. And especially if you are working with a group of people not only see what you're doing, but seeing what your team is doing. Uh, it gets it gets really hard. And so I think that's really a really big reason or one big reason is because it's just it's hard to visualize what you're doing if you don't take the time to try to to see it. Very good points. Yeah. I I I do agree that the first step is visualizing the work and I mean, that is the first step. Right? The first step in Kanban is to visualize your work and and most, um, teams that are not employing these practices. They don't do it or don't do maybe they're not using the appropriate tools to do that. Uh, and for those of you watching, I see there's two people to at least two people that are online. Please ask your questions. Um, you know, uh, Mark, as I see them come in, I will post them up and we can we can answer your questions live. Um, so, uh, where was I? Yeah. Visualizing the work. Maybe it's the wrong tools. It's It's the it's the maybe the the lack of awareness that that's that is a practice. So when you go into an organization, Right? You're you're fresh in and and and you're you're going in as an agile coach and they're like, oh, Mark, you know, help us get better. What are what are some things that you do to assess where teams are and at what point do you have the conversation about uh, the Kanban conversation, if you wanna call it that, or what do you do? Yeah. Yeah. Well, personally, I would wanna have it ASAP. Um, and and one of the big reasons is because and well, a lot of people don't necessarily latch onto or maybe not even know or recognize is that Kanban is a management method. And so regardless of the type of regardless of the framework that you might be using or how you go about right now getting your work done, you can apply Kanban ideas concepts, tools, if you will. You can you can apply it on top of that. So there's really no reason to take the the ideas behind Cobon and begin using them right away right away. And, um, where I see this a lot is or where this could apply a lot in in particular is with scrum teams. Um, lots times, you know, there's the thought out there that you either are a scrum team or a kanban team. When in reality, you would think of Conbon being placed on top of the scrum framework. You can use the tools that Kanban provides on top of scrum. And so to answer your question, I'm taking a long way to get there. But, yeah, I would I would introduce Kanban ideas right away. Uh, it it would just it just makes sense. Well, I mean, but you gotta you gotta get there first. What about teams that are not technology? Teams. They're not building products or doing something else. Yeah. A lot of professional services teams are are perfect, though, for Kanban. Know, I've worked with marketing companies, public relations companies, and, uh, they obviously are not technical IT per se. But they still have knowledge work that they are completing and a lot of that work resides in their heads and they need ways to better manage these things. How can we make this work that we're doing more visible? Uh, how can we better manage their our dependencies? How do we understand who's doing what? And where can we put our people to maximize getting that work to done as as effectively as possible. I mean, you don't have to be an IT team to have these problems or these challenges. So, um, so it's it's good for it's good for anyone. That's great. Um, so we we covered a couple of the principles, if you will. Um, would you mind just running through them all of them. Uh, what are they? What what are kind of the steps? If you wanna implement Kanban, again, this is the what, right? And, um, what are they? Alright. You're gonna ask me that. Now the pressure's on. So, uh, it's it's been a while. Uh, no. Yeah. So visual so the practices are visualizing um, your workflow, and then, uh, limiting WIP, managing your workflow, making your policies explicit, implementing feedback loops. And then also, uh, the last one is, uh, you you want to experiment and use that uh, as a means to improve. Yeah. This experimentation. Yeah. Um, so I could talk about each of those, but those are the practices. Now how you get to those practices, you know, for example, Conbon University has something called static, which is the systems thinking approach to introducing Kanban. And I think that's an absolutely great session or excuse me, great opportunity I think that is a great approach for opportunities that want to learn more about Kanban. And I can talk more about that too. But, uh, so between the static approach and the practices that really get you into a a good place. And I'll also say real quickly that for those who take and Kumar mentioned this earlier, but we do have a training coming up And what a lot of people like about this particular training is on day 2. We walk through kanban system design that day 2 training. We walk through that static approach. So that you you can walk away at the end of the day. And believe me, I've seen lots of groups do this. You walk away with something that you can actually use at work the next day. And what is the static approach, Mark? Sure. So static is the systems thinking approach to introduce in Kanban, obviously, in acronym. And it breaks down a holistic systemic view of your organization, your work environment, um, used, you know, facilitated by a Kanban coach like myself, And we would look at things like, um, what is your customer complaining about right now? You're a service delivery, presumably. Are you delivering what your customer wants? And if not, why not? So your internal stripes uh, those would be external stripes. What does your customer think is going wrong? Or how would you if we would talk about that, you know, we would facilitate a whole discussion. It's not just talking about it. Internally though, we would also ask the people that you're working with. What do you think is going wrong? Why are you having difficulties? And we see lots of things like the usual stuff. There's dependencies. Our work is hidden. We don't know where things are. When you begin to talk about that type of those issues, you begin to kind of break away a little bit what those barriers are and how to approach them. That's just one step. We would also, uh, begin to I'm not going in the exact order, but we would also begin to, uh, talk about your work item types. So what's type of work that you're being asked to. Yeah. We would, um, we would, uh, model your workflow. Which a lot of people like doing. You know, like, let's stop talking about our workflow. Let's actually get an idea of what it looks like, a visual idea. So we would model your flow. We would talk about class as a service. It goes on and on. We talk about metrics, but all of that is what makes up static. And it is I've done it multiple times, and it's a great way to get a a team kick started off the ground running with Kanban. That partially answers the question that someone asked biggest challenges when helping teams implement Kanban and how you address them. So I sounds like you start with the static approach, which is this, again, the systems thinking approach to introducing Kanban. Um, and that helps address maybe the first part of it, uh, but it doesn't answer the question fully. Like, what are some challenges that you face when you're trying to implement Kanban with teams. Yeah. There and you can imagine there's a lot. Yeah. Uh, one of the challenges. I, you know, I worked for a very, very large financial organization, um, not too long ago. And one of the big hurdles I found there was going back to something I said earlier, people thought you could either be Kanban or scrum. And so one of the challenges was we're a scrum team. We don't need Kanban ideas. Well, I stopped using Kanban. I would just try these ideas with them. You know, I wouldn't even you you learn not to even use the work on that anymore. But that could be a challenge where you say, hey. I've got, you know, let's let's compliment kanban, well, we can't. We're a scrum team. So one challenge would be just educating people to understand that it's a management method It is not a framework. It is not a process. It's a it's a it's a method to manage your knowledge work. So that that would be one challenge. But let's say you get yourself in the door there and you can begin, um, at least they'll listen to you and and you can begin, uh, of there. I would say another challenge um, would be, uh, people being wanting to It it's really getting buy in to understand what you're trying to do with Kanban. So even if you get your foot in the door, going through that static, those static steps and having people see where exactly how this all ties in people have to be a little bit patient and let let the magic work over time. I see that as being another challenge where they want just show me what to do. And it's not about just what to do, but the thinking behind it, there's a lot of thinking and experimenting going back to the 6th practice. Behind Kanban, you need the patience and the time to actually let things play out. Use metrics if you want to see are these decisions that I'm making good or bad and what do my metrics say? But let things play out so that you can make better decisions based on that. Mhmm. No. I love that. So, um, I hope that answered the question. If you're still, um, uh, viewing the video, uh, just post a comment if you have a follow question. Anyone else has joined. Post a question for Mark. Um, and I wanna just point out that static is it's a really powerful tool. And in the 2nd day of the class that Mark will be teaching in a couple of weeks, uh, you will get the experience that the entire static method where you will it's a simulation and you'll go through the whole, uh, static method to be able to, if, you know, implement Kanban using that as a as a framework as a tool. And I will say that I've been through the class. I I took the class with Mark. And static seems like an an incredible way to approach any kind of transformation with the team. Forget Kanban, because the questions that that are asked there are applied to any team doing anything. You know, again, you can take the word kanban out if if people don't want to, um, um, they're like, ah, we don't want that agile stuff, you know, oh, is that agile mumbo jumbo? No. Take the word kanban out, but still the value in static is so great that you can use it and help teams improve. Um, there is a follow-up question. I'm gonna put it up on the screen. Uh, it seems that one of the challenges is the human element of teams changing how they work that can be another challenge. It's from Catherine Kumba. I think is how it's pronounced. Yes. I would agree with that. That certainly can be a challenge. And so one of the ways Kanban and and Kanban coaches, trainers, try to address this, um, is in what turns people a lot of people on, actually, I feel is that, um, that that we have the saying, you know, you start with what you do now. And so it's not meant to be a big bang change approach. Um, big bang being the tib words here and not, you know, walk in and all of a sudden, everyone's got new roles. Everyone's gotta do things differently. Let's take your current process Let's be explicit about it. Let's take the moment to be explicit about it. Let's take your current process and begin to model it Let's visualize it. Let's understand what goes on in this. And then let's gain agreement that we do want to improve upon it. And so there we feel that the challenges might be, um, lessened a little bit because people aren't as scared of having a big bang approach. Uh, but you're right. The human element is always going to be a challenge. And, you know, you can leave the animal or horse stood to the river, but you can't make them drink, you know, true. If you got someone who doesn't care, doesn't want to improve, then that will always be a challenge. And that's that's the challenge of coaching, right, and mentoring. Um, it's the people on the team may not want it. They may be they may be reluctant to change the way they they work. They're happy with the way they work. What is this? Who is this coach coming in and telling me I have to change. I have to visualize my work. I have to, uh, go to a stand up every day and tell other people on my team or the group that I'm in, what I'm working on. No. I work alone. I don't need to tell anybody these things. I work alone. Work is fine. And therein is a challenge, right, if if you're changing, um, the culture to be more collaborative and more supportive that there's gonna be resistance to that. And that's where as coaches, um, it's and leaders, really, the leaders of the organization, the job that they have to do is very hard right, to get buy in into the change from different levels in the organization. Uh, find the catalyst in the organization to support that change and then have people like Mark, uh, to come in and and help shepherd that change. You know, coaches aren't aren't necessarily gonna be able to do it without that kind of help. Right? And that's that's the key is to get people in the organization to help drive that change. A little off topic. Um, so the class coming up, what can people expect when they are done. So when they get a certification, great, yay. So what? Right. Um, I, you know, I I I would hope that people take the class not just to have a certification, but to actually get something out of it. And, uh, though you, of course, will get your certification. Um, but what would you get out of it? Again, the reason why I think this class is is really, really great. And and the feedback that we get, you know, helps support this is that I really feel I mean, 1st of all, the class kanban system design. So it's how do you design it focuses on how to design a kanban system. Okay. The system in which you are currently working, uh, is what we will use those practices on use the static approach on to design, um, and you will walk out at the end of the class with something that you can implement in real time. In that second day, we ask for volunteers to bring Well, actually, I would do it on the end of the 1st day, but to come to the next day's class with a real working, a real world uh, work scenario that you're currently experiencing that you would like to build, um, you know, you understand better how to build a common system around it. And people do that. And it's it's it's a lot of fun to to work all day long on having them build that out And like I said, the feedback we get is they they take it to work and they're able to actually walk in the next day with something tangible, if you will, that they can, you know, use as a springboard for for better improvements. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And and really Kanban can be used for just about anything, which is what I love most about it. And, uh, I know we're running long here. I I just remember using it with my kids when they were growing up. Uh, we had a cotton bond board and they had their homework on it and so on and so forth and their chores and whatnot. Work really. It works very well as a personal tool as well to help you organize your life and make sure you're focused on the things that are most important to you. Uh Oh, you can't see. There's my combo. My my background blurred, but Yeah. Planes on the back of my door. Yeah. I I use it all the time. It's not on a a physical board because I travel a bit for work and so it's on my computer and on my phone. So I'm not never far from my board. Right. Alright. Um, I'm gonna see if there's any other questions from the audience, please ask them. And and and while they're doing that, um, I wanna thank you, Mark, for for being here today. Uh, visit the website if you're interested in learning more. Join our community. There's a lot of resources that'll help you learn. Something about Kanban, totally free. Uh they're available for you on the community. Just go to agilmoradian.com/community to join and you can there's, again, there's a ton of resources. Uh, and hopefully, if you feel inclined, the certification is super valuable Uh, because again, it gives you some real skills, uh, to go out and apply immediately after class. It will change how you look at work. I guarantee it. Uh, I I learned Kanban a long time ago. I remember I was working at a client's side. I was a scrum master and I don't know what this kanban thing was. I'm like a kanban. What is that? And it really did change my life. It it I used it. I helped. It helped my team become incredibly efficient and productive. Um, and of course, I had the benefit of having a team that was willing to try out these things, right, and, uh, these concepts. There were scrum team, but they were using Kanban layered on top. Anything you'd like to say before we, um, sign off, Mark? Uh, I if you haven't taken the class, take, you know, take this opportunity to look into it more like Kumar was saying. And, Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want to learn more. And thank you again Kumar and Agil Meridian for having me today. Of course. Thanks and thanks for all that, uh, join live. Um, and we will see you later. Bye bye. Bye bye.