I’ve had a great discussion recently. A starting point was information from Kanban board – basing on my knowledge it wasn’t up to date and, as it appeared later, it wasn’t without a reason. A way of visualizing how situation looked like in a team was sort of tricky.
We used the situation to discuss in details what is happening and how we should visualize it. Anyway, one thing struck me in retrospect – the less visualization changes the fewer chances we have to start such discussions.
A good (or rather a bad) example is my portfolio Kanban board. Considering I try to visualize there projects of different sizes it’s not that uncommon when, in the long run, there are few changes on the board. On one hand, this is acceptable and even expected. On the other, there aren’t enough “call for action” situations when people are expected to do something, like moving stickies etc. Those situations that trigger important discussions.
This is also why I prefer Kanban boards that are built of rather small-sized work items than those that are filled with huge tasks. They just aren’t that lively. They tend to stall.
And when visualization stalls its value diminishes. People tend to develop a specific kind of blindness. They start treating their information radiator just like another piece of furniture, which results in the board being exactly that – a piece of furniture. Not useful in terms of improving team’s work.
So remember this: as long as you expect visualization to generate value, it should live. If it doesn’t, think how you can make livelier. You won’t regret.