Our Company Impediments Wall
How we increase cohesion and enable faster improvement
Our company works with Scrum. We have about 15 Scrum Teams. Every Scrum Team runs into impediments. Often the impediments can be resolved within the Development Team. When this is not possible the Scrum Master steps in.
Whenever the Scrum Master can’t resolve an impediment himself or herself, he or she brings this to the Company Impediments Wall.
The Company Impediments Wall is located on a central spot in the building, clearly visible for everyone. Each individual passes this on a regular basis.
The Company Impediment Wall has 5 normal swim-lanes and a fast-track lane for urgent impediments. This means that we tackle at most 6 impediments at the same time. Anyone within the company can raise impediments, which are grouped per department below the swim-lanes. Also anyone can pitch their/an impediment to be put on one of the swim-lanes.
Twice a week we gather around the Company Impediments Wall. The group generally consists of the Scrum Masters, the (Servant Leader) Team Leads, the head of R&D, anyone with an interest in one or more impediments and anyone that is having an action to resolve an impediment.
Whenever there is room on the Company Impediments Wall, when at least one of the swim-lanes is free, we give people the opportunity to pitch their impediment. Next we vote which impediment is seen as most important to pick up. Finally we define actions for the impediment.
The other part of the session we discuss the status of the impediments on the swim-lanes. We determine the ongoing actions and whenever an action is closed we determine if an impediment requires further action or not. If the impediment is resolved we take it from the board, making room for a new impediments to be picked up.
We have resolved a lot of impediments this way.