Mike Burrows on Kanban Through Values

A humane approach to change
Mike Burrows on Kanban Through Values

A hot and sticky July evening provided the setting for Mike Burrows and Grant Crofton to deliver perfectly prepared presentations in a back to back contrast of engineering geekery and leadership process design. With the patio of Midnight Bell next door bathed in evening sunshine there were also plenty of takers happy to carry on the discussions long afterwards.

Mike Burrows is a passionate and very active member of the Kanban community who regularly speaks at conference events around the world. He has been hosting a dialogue on the part values can play in the Kanban method for some time and has even started a website to capture related stores.

While many members of the audience are practitioners in the agile space deep knowledge and appreciation of the Kanban method is still less common. Mike introduced the method as “...a humane approach to change, an effective way to develop the learning capability of knowledge-based organisations”. The resonance of this definition could be seen in the twitter stream and in later pub discussions. He walked the room through his “Kanban as an onion” slides to describe his set of values and the way they map to the established principles and practices. At the same time categorising the three value layers into - drive, direction and discipline. The session ended with Mike prompting the room for war stories illustrating some of his points and asking that people take the time to visit his values website and consider adding their personal experiences to the growing collection. Mike has kindly made his slides available for all to review.

Grant Crofton filled the thirty minute slot by walking through the ins and outs of getting started with F#. With stunning ASCII art and well practiced code snippets he elegantly kept the attention of the room despite the technical nature of the subject matter and the mixed audience. Note to future aspirants: live coding can be effortless and engaging if well prepared and executed efficiently. A glamorous assistant also seems to help.

Judging by the feedback forms collected on the night our intention to strive for contrasting topics and try to provide something for everyone is being well received.

The meeting was rounded off with the prize draw for books and software licenses provided by some of our sponsors O'Reilly and JetBRAINS.

As always our gatherings would not be possible without the support of all our sponsors plus the time and effort freely donated by Agile Yorkshire's team of organisers.


Royd Brayshay