Kanban applies the Lean principles developed over decades in manufacturing to the Software Development and IT Operations worlds. It aims for Continuous Improvement, Waste Reduction and Value Maximization throughout your value stream. Although Kanban has 6 simple principles and advocates evolutionary change with low disruption and minimal conflict, many of its underlying concepts are counter-intuitive. Successfully adopting Kanban requires an understanding of the science behind it and embracing a set of axioms and values which depart significantly from traditional project and enterprise management orthodoxy. Training and coaching from people who have done this before is essential to making Kanban ‘stick’.
Kanban can be used as an alternative, or as a compliment, to Agile methods such as Scrum or XP. It doesn’t require that you re-engineer the existing way you work, your roles and responsibilities, your tools and practices. Instead, it creates an environment where impediments to getting valuable work done are exposed. It encourages collaborations to improve across teams, functions and departments. It leads to radical reductions in wasted effort, reduces leads times, improves predictability and gives better quality. It can be applied at any and all levels in the organisation, from individuals to teams to business units, across software development, project management, portfolio management, infrastructure operations and even customer support.
Kanban can be particularly suited where time-boxed methods like Scrum can struggle – in high churn environments with a lot of un-plannable, event-driven work and lacking the ‘stable team’ structured preferred by Scrum and XP. IT Support/Operations groups and customer-facing solutions/applications groups often struggle with planning two or three week iterations/sprints – the work is too unpredictable. An urgent customer request or production bug can render such plans unachievable at any time, and much of the planning effort wasted. This is where Kanban can provide the waste elimination, agility and continuous improvement of agile without the constraints of time-boxing.
As well as our Kanban Bootstrap® service to get your initiative up and running rapidly, AgileInnovation offer two standard Kanban training courses (though these can be customised to your exact requirements if needed):
Lean & Kanban – Executive Briefing and Overview (half day)
In this course we introduce the core Agile & Lean principles underlying the use of Kanban to evoke continuous, evolutionary improvements in the flow of value to your customers. Kanban can be applied to a wide range of software development and IT situations, including development, operations, support and maintenance. We examine the economic realities of software development and IT operations that make Kanban so compelling. and explore how Kanbans’ concrete, disciplined practices highlight waste, drive continuous improvement and foster innovation. Detailed Course Outline
Getting Lean through Kanban (two days) 16PDU
In this 2 day course, we delve into why Kanban works so well, particularly in complex projects with a lot of churn and unpredictable workdemands. We provide a deep dive of Kanban practices and tools, including Visualization of Work Flow, Metrics (CFD), Limiting WIP, Managing Flow and Attaining Pull, Classes of Service, Explicit Policies and Feedback Loops. Then, after reviewing some Kanban case studies, we discuss a recipe for incrementally adopting and deepening the application and effect of Kanban while minimizing the ‘cost of change’. The course will include exercises to illustrate important concepts and a comprehensive Kanban simulation game to allow attendees experience concepts such as pull and flow first hand. Detailed Course Outline