Lean Kanban France 2017, mes notes et quelques photos

It was my first visit to Lean Kanban event. Great experience! Here are some photos and quotes I want to remember…

Nota Bene: most of the conferences I chose were in english, then most my notes are in english, then most of this post is in english. But not all, it’s a mix because I hate to translate. Sorry about that!

Beating Uncertaincy (Adam Wu)

We live in an uncertain world… yet we hate uncertainty.
We want to remain uncertain about our engagement… yet we want others to be certain to us.

Management by certainty thinking: “no defect!” can work for complicated systems… for a while. But it leads to always more control, policies… that drags down the lead time! Certainty thinking is not adapted to complex systems.

We need to manage uncertainty at the organization level. Organize teams matching you value stream(s).

Goal communication more than goal assignment.

Lead time is a good KPI for leaders. Make them shift their focus: make leaders focus about the flow efficiency!

Quelques photos :

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Design sprints at scale (Tomomi Sasaki)

Mind-blowing design sprints: key factors for success, joy and happiness

  • Cross-discipline
  • No hierarchy
  • Vision
  • Everybody sketches
  • Safe space
  • Decisions are made in the room
  • Designed experience (workshop <> meeting)

Design sprint examples and feedbacks? Go to https://sprintstories.com/ !

At scale, some things can be stretched, some others cannot, it would break the experience. Back to the WHY of design sprints, not mimicking a methodology!

Tips for bi-language design sprints:

  • Co-facilitators
  • Instructions in both languages
  • Lead with English (or the language everyone understands)
  • Diverge (have subgroup workshops) in mother tongue
  • Converge (share results) in common language

“At scale” example: 70 participants, 6 sprint masters, several month of planning!

When do we sprint?

  • Product discovery
  • Big challenges
  • Create a momentum

Best quote of the day :


Kanban Metrics (Stéphane Wojewoda)

Key metrics:

  • Cumulated Flow Diagram
  • Number of items blocked
  • Cycle time

CFD valuable uses cases examples:

  • Estimate end date
  • Value in stock à cost of delay

Essential prerequisite: STABLE TEAM!!!

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C’est quoi la data ? (Adrien Gardou, Léo Beaucourt)

3 définitions possibles et complémentaires d’un projet Big Data :

  • 3V
    • Volume (quantité d’objets à traiter, ce n’est pas une question d’espace disque !)
    • Vélocité (afficher l’information avant qu’une nouvelle vague de données arrive)
    • Variété
  • La complexité des données traitées dépassent l’entendement humain
  • Processus de création d’information / valeur à partir des données disponibles


Modèles mentaux (Thierry Montulé)

Référence : “La Cinquième Discipline” de Peter Senge

Disciplines / conditions pour devenir une organization apprenante

  • Partager la vision
  • Personal Mastery
    • Clarifier ce qui est important pour moi
    • Créer une image du futur anticipé
    • Apprendre à voir la réalité plus clairement
    • S’engager sur la vérité
  • Team learning
    • Workshops, rétrospectives…
  • System Thinking
    • Passer de « C’est la faute du système » à « tout le monde fait partie du système »
  • Modèles mentaux
    • Gérer, manager ma manière de percevoir le monde, d’interagir avec les autres, de prendre des décisions. C’est ce qui conditionne notre réalité.
    • Prendre conscience des biais de perception : pré-supposés, généralisations, simplifications, raccourcis, sélection d’informations, représentation partielle, confirmation (l’équilibre que nous construisons va en permanence s’auto-valider)

Les problèmes d’aujourd’hui sont les solutions d’hier.

Nos organisations sont le produit de notre pensée et de nos interactions. Il faut travailler sur les modèles mentaux d’entreprise. Quand on balaye un escalier en commence par le haut.

Le bingo des « killer phrases » :


Complexitools (Niels Pflaeging)

Funny game about McGregor’s theory X/Y

  • Everyone has two post-its (yellow and blue for example)
  • On the yellow post-it write X or Y whenever you think you are
  • Shuffle yellow post-its within the audience
  • On the blue post-it, write the % of X persons in your organization (guestimation)
  • Shuffle blue post-its within the audience
  • Look at the post-its you have (everybody should have a yellow and a blue)
  • Rise yellow post-its with X
  • Rise blue post-its with 0% (or less than 10%)
  • What do you think?

Theory X people don’t exist. Everyone is Y, but some behave like X. Why? Because of the system they’re in. When there is a problem, we tend to look for someone to blame, but 95% of the time it’s a system problem.


Swearing, nudity and other vulnerable positions (John Le Drew)

If I had to choose only one conference for the whole event, it would be this one.
John Le Drew (@antz29) is a wonderful speaker, and his experience on this subject is amazing.

Here are some insights :

Psychological safety definition proposition :


See Google’s Five dynamics of team effectiveness


Psychological safety is related to our fear to be perceived negatively:

  • About our competence
  • About our situation awareness
  • About our attitude (fear to be told we are negative)

In organizations, some people can be “energy black holes”. They have been confronted with an unsafe environment and they decided to stay… and now they REALLY stay!

About remote teams:

  • Good news, you work with humans, they are creative, they can adapt
  • Bad news, you work with humans, they need to connect !

We cannot punish a mistake (no one decides to do a mistake), we only punish the initiative to try / do something.

Tip about pair programming :

  • Pairing an introvert + introvert is fine
  • Pairing an introvert + extravert can is fine too
  • Pairing extravert + extravert can be… at least difficult!

In problem solving meeting, we should have an “improvisation theater” mindset. The icebreaker “storyline” can help.

  • One person starts a story (one sentence) and places himself at the beginning of the line
  • Another person ends the story (one sentence) and places himself at the end of the line. The story ending may have no connection at all with the beginning
  • One by one, the other participants will complete the story (chronological order) and the physical line, one sentence each. The idea is to reach the pre-defined end!

Curiosity over judgement. Entering into judgement negates the ability to connect.

In stress casing causing low engagement, or low engagement causing stress?

Psychological safety is #1 indicator of effective teams!

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