Scrum not for you? Try Visual Management

New Thinking 17 April 2018 Jessica Nel

Everyone seems to be doing this ‘Agile’ thing. After all, who wouldn’t want to jump onto a trend where the key benefits being targeted are so enticing?:

  • Accelerate product delivery
  • Enhance ability to manage changing priorities and requirements
  • Increase productivity
  • Improved project visibility

A few years ago, Agile was seen as new and exciting. In recent years however, Agile and Scrum, its most popular framework have become the status quo. However, Scrum often isn’t the best framework and can be tricky to implement. To be really successful, Scrum has a few guiding principles that may not be applicable to you:

Explore Assurity

Project Management Conference builds on agility

The upcoming PMI Project Management Conference 2017 (20-22 September) in Christchurch will feature Assurity’s Edwin Dando and Bruce Keightley presenting a half-day...

  1. The need to have cross-functional teams
  2. Having a single product owner
  3. Increments of time to focus on a backlog of requirements
  4. Requiring a Scrum Master
  5. Limit external interruptions during iterations

It is possible to work around these constraints but why implement workarounds when there’s an alternative?

Visual Management is a technique used not only to visualise the state of work, but also to provide data that will enable you to make informed decisions on how to improve your process efficiency.

Visual Management is based on the technique of Kanban, a Japanese word meaning ‘sign board’. By using Kanban, teams can visualise their work, identify bottlenecks and implement techniques to adjust and improve the way in which they deliver.

Visual Management can bring similar benefits to Scrum:

  • Responding to changing requirements and priorities
  • Reduction of wasted work/wasted time
  • Increased productivity and efficiency

If your organisation is wanting to realise these benefits but feel that a framework such as Scrum may not work for you, then Visual Management is a great place to start.

When implementing Visual Management, you ‘start with what you do now’. You can do this by visualising how you operate today and then, using the six Kanban principles, make small incremental changes to improve your processes.

Visual Management can be used for any type of activity and at all levels in an organisation in any sector. We’ve worked with individuals and teams all the way up to exec level.

We’ve also recently launched a new Education course in Visual Management, the first date being 15 May in Christchurch. Find out more and book here.