Kanban Coaching Professional

Posted on August 16, 2012 by admin

Today Lean-Kanban University announced the launch of the Kanban Coaching Professional program and the designation KCP for those who have demonstrated an advanced knowledge of Kanban and success leading change initiatives using the method.


The KCP program comes as a direct response to community reaction after the launch of the Accredited Kanban Trainer program in February 2012. On the Kanbandev list some prominent community members expressed dissatisfaction that the AKT designation was showing favoritism to those who offer Kanban training classes, while those who were doing great work within corporations were going unrecognized by the authoritative body that controls the quality standards for the Kanban Method.

This was a real and genuine concern. The AKT program was never intended to cast a negative light on those who don't teach. Its intent was always a positive one of bringing quality standards to Kanban training throughout the world and building trust in the LKU brand for corporate training.

For those who have taken advanced Kanban training, my coaching and leadership workshop as it was known, now the Advanced Masterclass, they will instantly recognize the sociology in this situation, it is both tribal and relative. By giving a designation to some members of the tribe, it was interpreted as a slight on the others. Professional and experienced Kanban coaches would not only recognize this behavior, they ought to be able to predict it. So today, Lean-Kanban University fixes this tribal issue by introducing a designation for those experienced in leading and coaching Kanban change initiatives.

Organization and Structure

The KCP program will be controlled by an advisory board. This board is chaired by me and initially includes Mike Burrows (Positive Incline, UK), Jeff Anderson (Deloitte LEAN, Canada), Klaus Leopold (LEANability, Austria), Håkan Forss (Avega Group, Sweden), Michael Robillard (McKesson, USA), Laurent Morriseau (Morriseau Consulting, France), Chris Shinkle (SEP, USA), and Stephen Reid (Ultimate Software, USA). The advisory board will set the requirements for achieving KCP status and will appoint review panels for each application. The review panels will consist of advisory board and charter members who volunteer to serve on a panel to review new applications. There are a considerable number of people in the community who already meet the requirements for the program. Each of them is being invited to join as a charter member. These invitations are going out overnight.


Applicants for the KCP designation are currently required to have completed a 3-day Advanced Kanban Masterclass. Currently, such classes are only offered by David J. Anderson & Associates. After completing the educational requirements, applicants must submit an application to the advisory board detailing their experience leading Kanban initiatives. A panel will then be appointed to review their case. The panel may request a face-to-face interview and these interviews are likely to happen at Lean Kanban conferences and Kanban Leadership Retreats. An annual fee is levied for KCP members. The fee is adjusted, like all LKU fees, for purchasing power parity, in some regions and countries. This makes involvement in LKU affordable for those in countries where their currency has a low value and the cost of living is relatively cheap in comparison with the United States.

How do I get started on the road to KCP?

For complete beginners the road to KCP starts by attending a 2-day accredited Kanban training class offered by one of over 20 member companies throughout the world. For those already with Kanban experience the second stage is to attend a 3-day Advanced Kanban Masterclass. These advanced classes take up where the Kanban book leaves off. These 3-days of intensive content involve material not yet published or not easily discoverable - presented at conferences or in blog posts in years gone by. Following this, those leading Kanban initiatives must gain experience and document it before submitting an application to the KCP advisory board. The next two 3-day classes are in Chicago and Stockholm in September. Sign up now to progress on your personal journey to the KCP designation.


Advantages of Becoming a KCP

Lean-Kanban University hopes to build a trusted brand around the KCP designation. We already know that alumni of the advanced 3-day classes have a much higher chance of success leading Kanban initiatives than those who have not attended. Learning the psychology and sociology of change initiatives and understanding how to avoid basic mistakes that invoke resistance are elementary to the 3-day training. Graduates of the 3-day training are automatically invited to Kanban Leadership Retreat events and together as a group they have a shared language. They understand why "Kanban should be like water" and why the philosophy of Bruce Lee provides an important framing for the Kanban Method. They understand the answer to the question, "How many Kanban coaches does it take to change a lightbulb?" They understand how to identify the rocks that will stand in the way of successful change within an organization and they learn how to design kanban systems so that those rocks are motivated to change or simply diminish and go away. Coaching Kanban is about judgment, system thinking, and knowing how to design a system to catalyze a desirable outcome. Those bearing the new KCP designation are trusted by Lean-Kanban University to know these skills and to utilize them to delivery superior results when leading improvement initiatives.