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Improving & Scaling with Kanban

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Posted on August 31, 2014 by David Anderson

Learning about Risk & WIP from Real Life

I find that real life examples can help people understand why you can't talk about kanban systems without talking about risk, and why you can't calculate WIP limits without understanding work item types, risk and classes of service. Consider the humble problem of "how many shirts do you need hanging in your closet?"...

 
Posted on August 30, 2014 by David Anderson

Sneak Peak at Modern Management Framework

In China, "Kanban" simply means "looking at the board." For a Chinese audience, Kanban is encapsulated in the cartoon on the cover of my Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business. They don't need to look further than the characters standing in front of the board. Hence, to a Chinese mind, our management approach is centered around a standup meeting. All well and good and why not?

However, a senior executive at one of our clilents felt that this perception was likely to undermine the true value and the potential impact of our teachings on his business. So he suggested that we give the wider collection of ideas, intellectual property and teaching tools, a different name. It so happens I'd been thinking along similar lines and introducing terms and branding in our business to lay the foundation for this. So here it is, "The Modern Management Framework." This isn't new. It's the collection of our existing class curriculum and consulting tools but presented altogether in one place for the first time and under one banner.

Posted on August 08, 2014 by David Anderson

Project Management with Kanban (Part 3) - Forecasting

In part 3 of our look at Project Management with Kanban, we consider project planning using probabilistic forecasting. Kanban originally shocked the Agile community in 2008 as it became known for not using several practices agilists hold dear: no time-boxed iterations; no prioritization; and perhaps most shocking of all, no estimation!!! So how do you plan a project with a method that doesn't use estimates? The answer is that you use historical data or a model of expected capability to build a probabilistic forecast of the project outcome. What follows is a short discussion of one simple and common model for forecasting a project dellivery schedule...

Posted on August 04, 2014 by David Anderson

Project Management with Kanban (Part 2) - Sequencing Policies

In this second in my series of posts exploring project management with Kanban, I'd like to look at how we build a project schedule.

We prefer not to use the term "prioritization" with Kanban because prioritization isn't something done once or periodically leading to a prioritized list, instead prioritization is done dynamically each time an item is pulled through our kanban system. Prioritization isn't an activity in Kanban, it is a consequence of decisions made dynamically based on the risk profile of available work when a pull signal is generated in the kanban system.

Posted on August 01, 2014 by mikeburrows

Implementing Kanban when there is no "what you do now"

David's recent post Kanban Litmus Test prompted an interesting question on kanbandev: How does Kanban apply if you don't have an existing process to change?

My first experience of Kanban was with a team that was still coming together. It was less start with what you do now, more start with a rough understanding.