Interesting question. My thoughts are: I think the visualisation of workload, in whatever format, is threatening — and that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for teams to know they can’t slack off because individuals have their name attached to something. That’s what creates a high-performing team. Pressure is a good thing. It’s also good for execs to see that their projects have direct and immediate impact on all the other things that are not getting done as a result of their HIPPO project.
Secondly, Kanban (or Scrum or whatever) won’t help with the cultural issues that pervade like HIPPO opinions creating feature factories. The best way I’ve seen of avoiding this is autonomous teams with a responsibility for a ‘metric’ or theme — let’s say ‘Conversion team’. They don’t ‘own’ part of the app or a particular feature. They own a KPI. This forces execs to be acutely aware of the things that actually add value to the business and structure teams accordingly. That’s the painful part that they’re usually not willing to do. But once they do, the teams are left to be largely autonomous in achieving goals aligned to those metrics.