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Learning About Kanban

September 29, 2020
4 minute read
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From Essential Kanban Condensed by David J Anderson & Andy Carmichael

Kanban is a method for defining, managing, and improving services that deliver knowledge work, such as professional services, creative endeavors, and the design of both physical and software products. It may be characterized as a “start from what you do now” method—a catalyst for rapid and focused change within organizations—that reduces resistance to beneficial change in line with the organization’s goals.

The Kanban Method is based on making visible what is otherwise intangible knowledge work, to ensure that the service works on the right amount of work—work that is requested and needed by the customer and that the service has the capability to deliver. To do this, we use a kanban system—a delivery flow system that limits the amount of work in progress (WiP) by using visual signals.

I’ve been reading this book on Kanban (the alternative path to agility) to familiarize myself with the method before taking the Kanban course by Accredited Kanban Trainer Travis Birch.

Two points from my learning are the principles of “Change Management” and “Service Delivery.”

Kanban regards “Change Management” as an incremental, evolutionary process as Kanban is utilized. For example, Kanban starts “with what you do now.” A business agrees to pursue improvement through evolutionary change, which happens over a period of time, based on experience and understanding. If one is using Kanban for the first time, there may be some awkwardness at the beginning, with a number of people trying to understand the principles, and how the visual board works. As the work goes on, understanding is increased, and with the new learning, change occurs in a very organic way. Acts of leadership are encouraged at every level. Changes can occur in all sectors: within individuals, within the environment, and in the cumulative outcomes of the work.

“Service Delivery” in Kanban requires that there is an understanding of and focus on the customer’s needs and expectations. The work is managed by people self-organizing around the work, and by the limiting of work-in-progress (WIP). This can help people feel that they have the right amount of work to accomplish with the right amount of time. WIP limits are policies that need to be made explicit in order to establish flow. The work on the board is “pulled” into the in-progress section only as people become available to do the work. An employee can focus on bringing higher quality to the work, and not feel threatened by a backlog that is crushing them. Policies are evolved to improve outcomes for the customers.

Of the nine values outlined in Kanban, three are directly related to change management and service delivery. The first is “respect;” by limiting the work-in-progress, respect is shown for the employee’s time and efforts, along with respect for the customer’s expectations. “Flow” refers to there being an ordered and timely movement to the work being done that is not overwhelming. “Transparency” occurs because everything is visible on the Kanban board and it becomes clear what is being done, when and by whom.

It’s been proposed that Scrum is for teams and Kanban is for services. In that way, they are both essential to the improvement of many organizations, especially those in which pure Scrum is not enough. They are complimentary from the perspective of improving business.

Kanban has principles and general practices, but these must be applied in context, where different details will emerge as we pursue the common agendas of sustainability, service-orientation, and survivability. As a result, the journey is an adventure into unknown territory rather than a march over familiar ground” (from Essential Kanban Condensed).

 


 
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  • Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) badge

    Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)

    16 FEB 2023 - Thursday - Online - David Vicentin

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    - Boost your Agile Team Performance -

    This 1-day course guides you in the foundations of the Kanban Method® and serves as a fast starting point to an alternative path to Real Agility™. This course is designed for you if you are facilitating teams doing projects, operations, development, support, or research. Achieve the Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) credential with Kanban University® by successfully completing this course.

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    - Build a real-world Kanban board with guidance from our trainer
    - 8 PDUs | 8 SEUs
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    Please note that to become certified with Kanban University, you must keep your video on throughout the duration of this course.

    Download the recommended reading by "David J. Anderson and Andy Carmichael":
    Essential Kanban Condensed


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    Location:

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    Date:

    Thu 16-Feb-2023

    Time:

    09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (EST)

    Trainer:
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    David Vicentin


    Senior Agile/Lean Consultant
    About Trainer
  • Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) badge

    Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)

    19 APR 2023 - Wednesday - Online - David Vicentin

    Early-bird Discount! C$1195.00 C$1015.75 Until 19-Mar Register Now

    - Boost your Agile Team Performance -

    This 1-day course guides you in the foundations of the Kanban Method® and serves as a fast starting point to an alternative path to Real Agility™. This course is designed for you if you are facilitating teams doing projects, operations, development, support, or research. Achieve the Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) credential with Kanban University® by successfully completing this course.

    - Participate in the FeatureBan simulation for immersive learning
    - Build a real-world Kanban board with guidance from our trainer
    - 8 PDUs | 8 SEUs
    - Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) certificate
    - Profile listing on the KU (Kanban University) alumni page
    - Registered Education Provider with KU
    - Taught by Accredited Kanban Trainers only

    EXCLUSIVE: Free "Kanban for Teams" e-book written by BERTEIG consultants!

    Please note that to become certified with Kanban University, you must keep your video on throughout the duration of this course.

    Download the recommended reading by "David J. Anderson and Andy Carmichael":
    Essential Kanban Condensed


    [Register using a corporate email address, for corporate loyalty program discounts.]
    Read More

    Location:

    Online

    Date:

    Wed 19-Apr-2023

    Time:

    09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (EST)

    Trainer:
    David Vicentin

    David Vicentin


    Senior Agile/Lean Consultant
    About Trainer

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