Making your process visible helps everyone know what is expected. Process mapping is about knowing what the current process is so we can make improvements. Rather than a process map or value stream diagram in policy documents that no one ever reads, putting the process steps on the Kanban board makes the process steps visible to the development team and to higher ups who may want to shave time from the process.

Once the process is visible on the Kanban board, then the team can see the state of the project easily. Like the traffic helicopter gets high above the streets to see the state of the commuting process, the Kanban board puts everyone on the team in the position of seeing the state of the entire learning experience development process. Seeing it all at once makes it easier to spot bottlenecks or traffic jams. Seeing problems is the first step to improving them.

The Kanban board makes the process steps explicit which also helps when someone resigns, is replaced, or if the team size increases and new people are added. The new person sees the entire process on the board without having to experience it by OJT before understanding it, often much later.

In times of growth, when scaling by adding more teams, the visual process sequence also helps new people get aboard more quickly because they will see the process on the board during the daily synchronization meetings. On-boarding training is supposed to cover policies, etc., but they often don’t retain all that in our experience. The Kanban board is repeated frequently and helps burn in the current process. This is especially important during spikes of super fast growth where many teams are added nearly simultaneously.

Add a “Definition of Done” card to the top of each “done” column so the built-in quality criteria are explicit and they know they have met it before moving a work item card to the done column on the Kanban board. Reinforce with the team members that they are committing to the entire team that they met that definition of done before moving the card to the “done” column. This accountability to each other helps the team perform better.

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