Feedback from Agile2014 Personal Kanban workshop

wowThe votes and comments are in! A little over a week ago, I led a Personal Kanban workshop at Agile2014.  It was to be both informative and interactive. Below is what Agile Alliance sent me.

Dear Derek Huether,

Thank you for presenting at the Agile Alliance Agile2014 Conference; your session helped make the conference a real success!

Please find attached the raw feedback data (including comments) for your session entitled "At home and work, how to get more stuff done. An introduction to Personal Kanban", in which 14 attendees left feedback.

The feedback questions are based on a 5 rating scale, with 5 being the highest score.

Your average ratings are shown below:

  • Session Meets Expectations: 4.57
  • Recommend To Colleague: 4.71
  • Presentation Skills: 4.71
  • Command Of Topic: 4.86
  • Description Matches Content: 4.79
  • Overall Rating: 4.79

Screenshot 2014-08-09 09.26.34

Lean Coffee Baltimore Topics for August


Lean Coffee Topics in dot-voted order

Lean Coffee is a structured, but agenda-less meeting. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. Conversations are directed and productive because the agenda for the meeting was democratically generated. We met at Mad City Coffee at 07:30 . We enjoyed an hour and a half of coffee and conversation.

August Topics

Distributed Teams

When everyone in your company is distributed, what are some ways you can stay connected?

Paired Programming

How do you sell paired programming to your organization? Management sees it as one for the price of two.

Test Driven Development

How exactly does it work?  We hear that it's a good thing but why?

Method Turf Wars

Coaches and consultants get so passionate about the frameworks they promote. It used to be Waterfall against Agile.  Now it's seemingly SAFe , Scrum at scale, enterprise Kanban and Lean... For the customers, do they really care? They just want stuff to work!

Meetups and Conferences

Have you been to any good meetups or conferences lately?  Do you know of any upcoming events?


We had some really good conversations around the topics. Rather than bullet them out here, I'll respond in the comments to encourage a little conversation.

My Personal Kanban deck at Agile2014

Here is the deck from my Agile2014 workshop on Personal Kanban. Participants were introduced to the principles of Lean and the application of Kanban to visualize their work, limit distraction and waste, and get stuff done. I covered the core concepts outlined in Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry’s book, Personal Kanban, to get attendees of my workshop started.

Click here for Agile 2014 Workshop Tasks.pdf, referenced in my workshop

Follow the Process

A process isn't a process if you don't follow it

I've been on the National Yellow Pages consumer choice opt-out list for 4 years.  Since registering, how many times in the last 4 years do you think I have received a Yellow Pages phone book?  That's right, 4 times!  Each year I receive a phone book and promptly throw it into the recycle bin; each year I promptly submit a complaint to the website. Within 24 hours, I get a notification that they will notify the distributor of the error.

Why does this process fail?

  1. The people who are supposed to follow the process just don't care.  If the job is to deliver phones books quickly, I wouldn't be surprised if they dumped the entire annual delivery at the local recycling center and nobody would even care.
  2. The feedback loop is annual.  I doubt someone chooses a career in phone book delivery.  Even if they do read the non-delivery address list, they'll be out of there before the next annual delivery.
  3. Nobody is held accountable. If they were, I would have complained once. Still, it's not worth a class-action lawsuit. I'll just blog about it.






a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
"developers not unit testing their code could derail the application development process"
synonyms: procedureoperationactionactivityexercisejobtaskundertaking More


perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.
"the various stages in processing the change request"

Still getting a phone book? Tell me why! I'm sure it took a while to phase out buggy whips when the automobile came along. I'm still scratching my head on the whole phone book thing.