#NoVSM: Understanding and Mapping Your Process of Knowledge Discovery - Alexei Zheglov (#043)

The process of delivering value in knowledge work is primarily about information arrival and knowledge creation. But, when creating Kanban boards, we are still influenced by value stream mapping. This often leads to visualizations still showing how a piece of work moves between workers or organization units as if they were machines on an assembly line. Sometimes workers toss a work item back and forth like a hot potato.

This session proposes a better alternative: visualize the process as accumulation of knowledge, find which activities dominate it at each phase, and model processes as sequences of dominant activities. Between those activities are not hand-offs, but changes of activities and collaboration patterns. Speaking from experience, I will show examples of such process maps not only from software engineering, but also from entrepreneurship, marketing, training, documentation and other fields.

The #NoVSM approach integrates easily with STATIK (systems thinking approach to introducing Kanban): understand what services are being delivered and visualize the sequence of dominant activities for each service. I will share stories and give pragmatic guidance on bringing groups of people together to explore their processes and create such visualizations. The result is effectiveness of the Kanban visualization practice: simple-to-use boards, showing how the work is actually done, having fewer back-flows, avoiding inertia and stimulating improvement and better collaboration.


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