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.

Published by Martien van Steenbergen

Martien is a Master Agile & Lean Trainer & Coach.