agile architecture lean pearl

Improvement Board

Henrik Kniberg says that Squads at Spotify are using Big Visible Improvement Boards that focus on one to three Actionable Accelerators like:

  • What is blocking us?

Also, the board shows a Definition of Awesome that includes things like:

  • Really finishing stuff.
  • Easily ramping up new team members.
  • No recurring tasks or bugs.

Beyond that, the Definition of Awesome Architecture makes explicit:

  • I can build, test, and ship my feature within a week; and
  • I use data to learn from it; and
  • my improved version is live in week two.

Awesome is a direction, not a place, so it does not even have to be realistic. The Squads use a Definition of Awesome to help focus improvements and track progress.

The Improvement Board is inspired by a technique called Toyota Kata, showing:

  1. current situation;
  2. target situation in the form of a Definition of Awesome telling a little story about the perfect world;
  3. realistic next target condition that is one step closer to awesome; and
  4. next three steps, actions that take you to the realistic next target condition;

When these get done, the Squad fills them up with new improvement actions. This section also shows a little week calendar.

The Improvement Board is very similar to an A3 Solver, a pattern or Pearl, and the general Beyond Bullet Points structure.

Source: Spotify Engineering Culture » Part 2.

By Martien van Steenbergen

Martien is a Visioneer and touched by software.
people | software | happiness™