Swarming – A Characteristic of Improvement Focussed Teams

In Kanban or Scrum the removal of impediments or blockages is critical for the productivity of teams. One effective behaviour is swarming. Here’s what it is and how it works …


In lean production the andon cord stops the line and all employees affected by the stoppage swarm to collectively resolve the issue. How can this effective behaviour applied to software development?

When upstream folks such as developers and testers help systems-maintainance people to recover an environment, this behaviour is often referred to as swarming. Swarming implies the concept that the team swarms together to work on a single problem until it is resolved. The nature of Kanban encourages teams to focus on lead time, throughout, and flow throughout the value stream. By aligning all the groups up and down the value stream with the same goals, there is an incentive for swarming behaviour to emerge. Everyone wins when idle pople volunteer to collaborate to resolve an issue that affects them event though it is not in their immediate work area or are of responsibility.


Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David J. Anderson


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This blog is a digital memory for me. I store nuggets of information, ideas and resources on these pages so that I can access and share them easily at any time, from everywhere. I always felt a strong passion for continuous improvement and that is why I am now super happy to be a professional Scrum Master. Scrum, Kanban, Agile Project Management, Coaching, Learning and Self Management are my passions and that is also what my blog is about ...

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