When I got my license to teach ProKanban.Org courses in early 2020, the pandemic was just around the corner and with health restrictions in place, opportunities to meet other trainers in-person were more difficult unless you live in the vicinity of other PK trainers. Fortunately, last month, ProKanban.Org trainers had their second in-person Face-to-Face since the inception of ProKanban.Org. It was at Improving! Atlanta office (thank you Improving) where I had the chance to exchange ideas and learn from other trainers’ experience.
The Kanban Guide
ProKanban.Org has so much to offer and I would like to take the time in this blog post to review its value proposition to your work. First and foremost, it supports the Kanban Guide, a 9-page guide to understand what Kanban is. If you haven’t read it yet, have a look. It is translated in more than 12 languages and sums up what Kanban represents for this community.
ProKanban is also a set of classes to up your game with Kanban. Yes, Kanban is more than a board with Post-it on it. When done well, I believe it is a very disciplined approach to delivery value to your customers. ProKanban.Org offers 4 classes to help you become better with Kanban:
- Applying Professional Kanban (APK)
- Applying Metrics for Predictability (AMP)
- Applying Scaled Portfolio Kanban (ASPK)
- Applying Flow Metrics for Scrum (AFMS)
What I like about the title of those classes is the word ‘Applying’. All of the classes are pragmatic classes where you leave with actionable items to apply in your work environment right away.
If you have taken the time to study and use Kanban in your work, ProKanban.Org offers a set of assessments to validate your learning. For me, this is the most important part of ProKanban.Org. Gone are the days where everyone could state how good they are with Kanban. There is now a set of assessments to validate your understanding of Kanban. The questions are based on the knowledge of Kanban experts.
Finally, an online community is accessible through their own Slack. It is accessible to anyone by simply going on the ProKanban.Org website. If you have a Kanban question, want to inquire about classes or talk about the assessment questions, the Slack community would be a great starting point.
During my time at the Face-to-face, we took time to review some of the most difficult questions from the assessments. This was an exciting and challenging hour because we were not only challenging the wording but also trying to understand why students did not choose the right answer.
Open Space Evolved
This Face-to-face was facilitated through Open Space technology. In the past, I attended similar events where Open Space technology left me feeling unfulfilled. In those previous experiences, there was a lot of talking and a lot of energy but at the end of the meeting or the event, there are no action items or if there are some, they are huge and nobody wants to take ownership.
Not at the ProKanban.Org Face-to-face
The goal of each topic was to figure out an experiment to validate a hypothesis. So instead of talking and talking and talking, we spent time to agree on the hypothesis to validate. Then, we spent time thinking about the smallest experiment we could do to validate the hypothesis. Even though each topic was timeboxed for an hour, some topics were done in 20 minutes because we had decided on the experiment we wanted to run.
For me, this was my greatest learning from the event. It was challenging and fun to live and learn this process. Conversations are not driven by the most extroverted person but by people who are thinking of the experiments we should be doing to validate our learning. It changes the conversation and enables us to be more focused on the experiment and our learnings.
I left the Face-to-face with new connections with whom I know I will stay in touch. It got me more involved with ProKanban.Org as I want this organisation to succeed and shine for the benefits of a lot of professionals out there. I’m already excited to attend next year’s Face-to-face to make new connections and strengthen our community. If you are thinking of joining ProKanban.Org as a trainer, I recommend it and hope we can meet at a future Face-to-face in 2024.