More than 130 LeanKit employees from across the country (and even some from across the pond!) gathered at HQ in Franklin, Tenn., last week for a time of learning, collaborating and planning for what lies ahead. As a nod to our Kanban roots, we’ve named these weeks “pull planning” sessions, which serve as a time to reflect on our progress and align on what work we’ll pull next.
About one third of our employees work remotely, so we all cherished this week as a rare opportunity to have the whole company together.
Mission, Vision, Values
For many LeanKit employees, the evening was a reminder of just how far the company has come in its short history. LeanKit was founded in 2009 by four corporate IT intrapreneurs who were tired of clunky, unhelpful project management tools. They wanted to build software people that actually wanted to use, and build a company that was Lean from the ground up.
They started developing their own tool at night and on weekends, out of their dining rooms and basements. Even before it was built, they promoted their tool at tech conferences under the name Bandit Software, named after a family dog. Certain that they had something powerful, the four founders quit their day jobs and founded LeanKit.
Our founders were intent on creating an organization that they’d want to work for. They focused on two core values, which have shaped LeanKit throughout its growth: Respect for people and continuous improvement. As we’ve grown, we’ve added a third core value that has been critical to our mission: Relentless focus on delivering customer value.
Fast forward seven years, and the lasting power of these values is readily apparent: Whether embodied through retrospectives, planning sessions, casual coffee breaks or even team yoga sessions, it’s clear that LeanKit is a place where people truly care for each other, the mission of this company, and for continuing to innovate and grow together.
LeanKit Day at the Races
The Day at the Races was an opportunity for LeanKit employees to showcase their unique talents outside the office, in a variety of events: From pie eating to egg tossing, from tug of war to a Nerf gun shootout, the competitive spirit was simply palpable.
LeanKit Geek Jam Band
Thanks to our location in the Nashville area, we’re the fortunate beneficiaries of the overlap between developer talent and musical talent. The LeanKit Geek Jam Band played for hours, putting their innovative spin on tunes from “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan to “No Diggity” by Blackstreet.
In an environment of continuous improvement, it’s easy to always stay focused on what’s next. Last week was an excellent reminder of the importance of reflection.
At our company-wide meeting, team members shared stories from customers about how LeanKit helps people all over the world be happier and more productive in their jobs, and enables organizations to deliver more value to their customers. This was the vision our founders believed in from day one — a vision that fuels every team in this company to do good work, to innovate and to stay focused on what matters.
LeanKit is looking forward to even more growth and innovation in the second half of 2016. Building upon the foundation of our core values — respect for people, continuous improvement and a relentless focus on delivering customer value — we promise to continue to strive towards our vision of creating healthier, leaner, more productive organizations around the world.