We used an Agile Kanban board with sticky notes to track the work items of preparing this book. It helped us stay on track since the work was stretched out around other projects, due to poor WIP limits at the time. The Kanban helped us get back on task quickly.

We used a product backlog column for the whole book, and iteration backlog column for the times we could do focused work on it, a work in process column and a done column.

For learning experience development teams, our boards are more detailed with a column for each process step, but for this book we stayed simple. Mostly to help communicate about Agile, and also because our specific steps are proprietary. We just needed a way to track the work remaining. We annotated time spent on each sticky note, so we could estimate the total authoring time for the first draft, editing, et cetera. Capturing performance metrics helps estimate future projects that are similar.

With courseware projects, we have the challenge that the teams are virtual with people geographically dispersed across the United States. In that context, we use virtual Kanban boards in software applications rather than a physical white board because we cannot colocate all the team members. We have a similar constraint in that some management is also not at a single site, so they can’t just wander into our work area, or what Lean calls gemba, and see our Kanban board. So we have extra licenses for them to see the virtual board.


Line By Line

Here a Little, There a Little, Layer by Layer.

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