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LKCE13 – A Short Review (part I)

Lean Kanban Central Europe 2013 left me with a lot of new impressions, insights, ideas, new concepts to follow up online or in books, and of course refreshed and new acquaintances in this great communities!

Here a brief review of the sessions I attended containing my personal key take-aways. I will add further links as presentations and/or videos become available.

Monday sessions

Jim Benson: “Ghosts in the machine”

  • Aa surprising opening for me. Great and inspiring!
  • “We will turn into machines if we’re not allowed to live in it”
  • Jim expressed some criticism at the Agile Manifesto as it separates people from processes. He believes people and process are symbiotic. Interesting thought!
  • Being mindful vs. having one’s mind full! (with the latter usually equating to too much WIP)
  • Deming: “To manage, one must lead. To lead, one must understand the work that he and his people are responsible for.” A good practical advice for any manager!
  • Being and becoming – we are at a certain standard at any time of “Being”, and evolve further to (becoming) our next state of Being, where in a lean environment we spend a rather short time in the respective state of being.
  • The important and powerful thing about visualization is that it must be confronting folks all the time with their inefficiencies 😉 (Katherine Kirk might not necessarily agree here, see “Continuous Improvement – Hell on earth”, though I think she was thinking larger scale improvements).
  • His t-shirt was saying “Believe nothing. Question your process.” Need to order a few of these!
  • Suggested to use PDSA instead of PDCA – substituting “check” with a more thoughtful “study” followed by “adjusting” the plan.


Jabe Bloom‘s “Learn like a scientist”

  • Jabe Bloom: Learn like a ScientistIt was a bit confusing at the start, but turned out really interesting with some good impulses.
  • In a pragmatic form of science, he suggested to add the concept of “Abduction” to complement the otherwise closed cycle of deduction and induction. Duuuuhhhh…. what the heck is abduction? (For the German readers, looking it up on was not much of a help as it resulted in words like Verschleppung and Menschenraub).
  • Abduction basically means making guesses about the potential reasons for certain phenomena / problems observed, as long as they sound plausible and justifiable.
  • Then, models need to be formed based on these “guesses” which are then hypotheses. Experiments need to be undertaken to verify these models, with the result being mulled over and then leading to the next steps.
  • This confirmed my experience that doing experiments driven by a clear hypothesis is usually far more valuable than just “trying out something”.
  • Jabe stressed a few things that I memorized: FAIL by definition involves a fair chance that an experiment can fail! To avoid bias, it is important to write down the expected outcome before the start of the experiment and also show that to colleagues / team members. After the experiment, report on it publicly and openly. //note — I think this has some interesting links to cultural questions.
  • Safe-to-fail experiments: A picture says more than many words. Be careful where you punch the holes into your boat during the experiment. If you must go below the waterline (making the boat sink in case of a failure), be sure to get some backing for it. Also try to make your experiments short.

    Fail-Safe Experiment Boat

    Fail-Safe Experiment Boat


Now that I’m working through my notes and sketches I realize how much I’ve taken away from the conference. This is great! Well it it also means I’ll need more time writing it all up, and I need to stop for today…

I attended quite a few more really interesting sessions:

  • Agile for building, lean for learning (Regis Medina)
  • Keynote by Troy Magennis about cycle time analytics
  • Great PechaKuchas
  • Kanban in IT Ops by Dragos Dumitri
  • Lessons learned from 50 Kanban rollouts (@chrisach)
  • Keynote by Stephen Bungay – book is ordered!
  • Lessons learned from Kanban at SAP (Dr. Alexander Gerber, Dr. Martin Engel)
  • Kanban, Leadership and Alignment at Jimdo (Fridtjof Detzner, Arne Roock)
  • Fixing Portfolio Management (Pawel Brodzinski)
  • Continuous Improvement – Hell on Earth? (Katherine Kirk)
  • last but not least: Keynote by David Anderson Himself 🙂

I hope to post more about them over the next few days.



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