Agile journey started almost 9 months ago within our VATO transformation Project. We started working with Kanban Systems in all 14 Regional  Applications teams to manage the flow of work more effectively and improve our time to market. The development team was one of the first ones to set up and place a Kanban Board on their walls including a capacity allocation per Stream they were serving. This was proven very 

In the current situation when we are all working remotely. What are the challenges you face?

Visualization! The loss of the physical Kanban board has become one of the biggest challenges for us due to the lack of visibility and loss of transparency for other stakeholders. Also, the prioritization of Backlog with the rest of the teams became more complicated. In the physical Kanban board, there was a specific sequence to retrieve the new Development request and special stickers to show the urgency.

This was also a challenge for the team,  collaborating remotely and having our coordination meetings without our physical board that are still on the walls of our offices

Opportunities you have found to overcome these challenges?

It was the time to become digital! We decided to create a new visual Kanban digital board to replace the physical one which shows very useful information about projects, urgent tasks and so on. After considering several options, the tool selected has been a Guided Visual Task Board from ServiceNow (our ticketing tool) which brings automatically all the Development Requests into their respective status column according to their real status in ServiceNow.

Regarding prioritization, we have adapted the “Lead time” excel document with new columns such as “priority” or “requested for” aiming to share with the rest of the teams and update it with them in the weekly meetings. This Excel file complements the digital board.

Ultimately, we created a new Hangouts group for the whole team called SAP Developments where we are resolving doubts, following procedures, etc… and also we have scheduled two Kanban meetings per week (Tuesday and Thursday) to review the new digital board and the urgent tasks.

Any learnings to share?

Quite a few but we would highlight:

  • Adopting a continuous improvement mentality – Get ready to recognize what is working and what is not and adapting fast
  • Finding a new routine and Time Management – Establishing working slots and breaks according to each situation at home to reach a work-life balance 
  • Self-motivation in general, not just limited to Agile working mode
  • Keep work life in one specific area of home so you can close the door and walk away from work
  • Patience and flexibility to adapt and empathize with our colleagues and respond to technical limitations

Any specific message …

We would like to take this opportunity to THANK all the team for the work they have put in during these days to adapt our way of working. Thanks for their active participation and inputs provided to achieve better collaboration and ensure business-as-usual performance levels. Also, we would like to THANK all other teams for their patience and flexibility, helping us to adapt to this new challenging situation. 

Together, we will go further, together we will go for more!