A couple of weeks ago I went to two seminars with Håkan Forss at Avega Group Elevate about Kanban for business process change. Tuesday night we spent a couple of hours playing the Kanban Pizza Game. It’s a simulation for a pizza restaurant. Using paper, pen and scissors you “bake” your pizzaslices and after a round you calculate points and evaluate your process.

You start a round basically without plan. Each team member do their part of the work. After that you analyze how it went, visualize your process with a Kanban board, set WIP limits and try again. The round after that we took half of our WIP limits, tried again, analyzed, changed limits and workflow and tried again. In my team of three people we went from -19 points to +41. It’s pretty amazing how small changes can affect the outcome. The other team went from +41 to 0. 

I forgot to take pictures of our pizza game but you can take a look at the agile42 site.
I borrowed a picture from them of a slice, I hope they don’t mind.

Thursday night we got more into details and the theory of the Kanban method and how we can use it to improve our processes. I really love Kanban and how it makes it so easy to work with your process and pinpoint bottlenecks and problems.

I went to one of these last year as well. That time we played The getKanban Board Game. It’s a bit more advanced and goes into more detail of the concepts and mechanics of Kanban for software development. 

Håkan Forss is a Lean/Agile Coach and Senior Software Developer/Architect with .NET focus at Avega Group and he often speaks at Lean and Agile conferences around the world. Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.

My employer, Avega Group, have a lot of seminars and workshops. Some are only for employees but we also have many for our friends and clients.
By the way, we’re hiring so if you would like to work, with me, on a great company in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö check it out.