Yesterday I attened an Open Space Meeting at Agilenetið and this meeting setup is quite nice in a way that it’s there to encourage discussions.

There were 8×30 min. meetings in 3 timeslots so I got three:

Estimating best practices & certainty
Discussions on how it’s possible to give reliable estimates of the work that is highly uncertain. The endless conflict where the customer wants to know the price for something that you can’t tell until you do it. Ideas about breaking down the work into smaller parts and keep the customer informed about the situation at regulars intervals. Some debate on points vs. hours and some have moved into a time to estimate. Most considered a better option was using points and getting the customer into the Agile mindset rather that planning the unknown in hours and failing.

Kanban best practices and measuring
Speed lanes (Firelanes or Express lanes) in Kanban were the main issue here and how they can become the only thing the Kanban board really is about. Each area of the Kanban table has to be well defined and also what can go in/out. If the Highway is needed then it must be well defined what can go there and this should be an exception of the norm.
Measurements were also discussed where the size of issues that get into the table (work is stated on) are not clear and can vary greatly.
Hugsmiðdjan categorizes them into 3 sized (Large, Normal, Small) so they have some measurements of sizes that get through. Also using a “base” size to measure from can be useful.

The impediments backlog
How should you manage the “improvements backlog”. SM has often the task to maintain this list and make sure that it’s items are carried out. Follow-up is especially something that is missing. Everyone was familiar with seeing over and over again tickets like: “Remember to put AC lighting behind the story” and “Test More”. It is often difficult to create an innovative routine to address improvements in order to sustains and won’t be be forgotten as soon as the card is removed from the wall.