Getting to “pull” at enterprise level: Why is it so hard?

In part 1 of this series I described the incredible benefits that Kanban is providing to organizations around the world. I asserted that far greater gains could be achieved if only Kanban initiatives were fully embraced and moved to a deeper level of “pull” at enterprise scale.

But how do we even know if we are achieving a complete pull system or not?

Getting to “pull” at enterprise level

On my recent trip to China, I visited several companies with vast and impressive Kanban initiatives. In this 3-part blog series, I will share my realizations about the value of Kanban and the potential to do more, even at enterprise scale. Kanban is Ubiquituous! It’s...

Avoiding Failures with Kanban Initiatives

There are two recognized types of failures with Kanban initiatives: a failure to install, Kanban aborted before it gets started; and a failure to improve after an initial shallow Kanban adoption. Both of these failures are avoidable and both are reasons why the Kanban...

What We Know About Duration: Comparison

This is part 3 in my series dissolving our fascination with prioritization using Cost of Delay and related queuing theory equations such as WSJF (Weighted Shortest Job First) or derivatives thereof such as CD3 (Cost of Delay divided by Duration). I truly believe we all need to be protected from this latest cult. I don’t think it is serving the Lean or Kanban movements well – people simply can’t generate reliable numbers for these prioritization equations and even if they could the underlying mathematics isn’t sound. It’s going to take me 6 parts to fully deconstruct the futility and uselessness of these methods. This is part 3, the final part examining the denominator in such equations, the duration …

What We Know About Duration: Workflows

This is the second in my series of posts about Cost of Delay. This post looks at what we know and understand about duration (lead time). To catch up, you can read the first in the series, What We Know About Duration: Individual Activities. Aside: Recently I attended...

Agile Fluency & Organizational Maturity

I was requested by a client to provide a mapping of my organizational maturity model and patterns of Kanban maturity, to Jim Shore & Diana Larsen’s Agile Fluency model which has been boosted by the support of Martin Fowler. The clients’ request was...

Driving Evolutionary Change with the Kanban Method

This is part 4 of my series looking at Kanban, organizational maturity and evolutionary change. If you haven’t yet read parts 1 to 3, you can catch up here: Part 1: Organizational Maturity & the J-Curve Effect; Part 2: Patterns of Kanban Maturity; Part 3...

Kanban Patterns & Organizational Maturity

This is part 3 of at least 4 parts in a series studying kanban system and board designs and relating these to organizational maturity as a core coaching tool. If you need to catch up, read Part 1: Organizational Maturity & the J-Curve Effect and Part 2: Patterns...

Patterns of Kanban Maturity

This is part 2 of current series on organizational maturity, evolutionary change, and Kanban. Catch up on Part 1: Organizational Maturity & the J-Curve Effect for more context. What follows is in no way intended to be an exhaustive set of Kanban board designs....

Organizational Maturity & the J-Curve Effect

This is the first in a series of at least four posts about Kanban, evolutionary change and organizational maturity. In this first post in the series, I look at the psychology and impact of traditional large scale managed change initiatives and how evolutionary change...

Survivability – Kanban’s “Purple Cow”

Seth Godin once suggested that you only get one chance to be a purple cow. A “me too” position with marketing isn’t remarkable or differentiated and doesn’t capture imagination or mind share. If people have already picked a solution they like...

Kanban’s Service Delivery Principles

This is the second post outlining the 6 principles of The Kanban Method. This one explores the 3 Service Delivery Principles. While service delivery has been core to Kanban since 2004, the emphasis on it in our literature is recent and this text is new and still...

Kanban’s Change Management Principles

In 2016, we are extending the Kanban Principles to specifically break out Service Delivery from Change Management as two sets of three. In the first of two posts on this I lay out the 2nd Edition of The Kanban Method, Change Management Principles. Change Management...

Your KPIs Probably Aren’t! But What Are They?

This is the 2nd part of my post following Defining KPIs in Enterprise Services Planning. Running our classroom exercises with private clients this past 18 months has shown me that most businesses have KPIs which really aren’t Fitness Criteria Metrics. In other...

What We Know About Duration: Individual Activities

The latest fad in the Agile software development community is to promote the use of Cost of Delay for prioritization. Many readers will know that I have been an advocate of Cost of Delay style prioritization and my 2003 book, Agile Management for Software Engineering...

Evangelizing A Product Concept By Validating A Design

The following article was first published June 7th, 2000. It describes a project to create a design for a set of wireless data applications for Nokia at their Americas office in Las Colinas, TX. This edition has been slightly edited for style, and in content to keep...

Fitness For Purpose Score

Regular followers of my work will know that I have expressed dissatisfaction with Net Promoter Score (NPS). Steve Denning in his book Radical Management suggested NPS was “the only metric you’ll ever need.” Steve is a writer for Forbes, an investment...

Proto-Replenishment

There is a class of replenishment meeting which I believe we need to call out and name separately. In these replenishment meetings the backlog is already committed and often already prioritized. I am proposing we label these proto-replenishment meetings. This post...

Will Role-based Training Be Introduced Into Kanban?

With the acknowledgement that two clear roles are emerging in Kanban implementations, the Service Delivery Manager, and the Service Request Manager, does this signal that Lean Kanban University will be reorganizing to offer role-based training? It’s a fair...

Emerging Roles in Kanban

Kanban has always been the “start with what you do now” method, and no one gets a “new role, responsibilities, or job titles” at least not initially. However, it is now clear that some roles are emerging in the field with some implementations....

When Do We Need SDM & SRM Roles With Kanban?

With the emergence of the SDM & SRM roles with Kanban, we need to ask the questions, when do we need these roles? When do we need both? And are they merely roles an existing member of staff takes on as new responsibilities, or might they be new positions for which...

Is Agile Costing You Too Much?

For a decade now, Kanban has offered an alternative path to agility. At the time of writing my first book, Agile Management for Software Engineering in 2002, I believed that an alternative path was required because too many people were resisting adoption of Agile...

Team Kanban Practitioner

Lean Kanban University is introducing a new entry level Kanban class for Team Kanban together with a certification and professional credential, TKP, Team Kanban Practitioner. This new class becomes the entry level on the “alternative path to agility” and...

Kanban – the alternative path to agility

The Kanban Method was conceived as an alternative path to agility – as a means to improve responsiveness and adaptability without any significant revolution or reorganization in your way or working or political structure of your business. Lean Kanban University...

Kanban Cadences

Recently, I’ve taken a new approach to teaching The Kanban Method. The new Lean Kanban “Practicing the Kanban Method” class is built around the 7 Kanban Cadences – the cyclical meetings that drive evolutionary change and “fit for...

The Meaning of Kanban From the Inside

Kanban from the inside! What does that mean? Perhaps it’s about practicing Kanban and it is written by a practitioner? And that would be true! Perhaps it’s about understanding Kanban and its community of followers from a community insider? And that would...

LeanKanban Training Roadmap 2015 Edition

We’ve updated the LeanKanban Training Roadmap for 2015 following the introduction of the modular 5-day Enterprise Services Planning class. 2015 Edition LeanKanban Training Roadmap The new training roadmap includes the new Enterprise Services Planning classes but...

Kanban Coaching Masterclasses in 2015

We’ve listed only 1 public Kanban Coaching Masterclass for 2015 in San Diego in January on the week of the 19th. So far we have 11 out of 12 places subscribed and one client expects to fill that final place. We will be listing a 2nd spillover class also in...

The Tyranny of the Ever Decreasing Timebox

Agile software development methods, with the exception of Feature-Driven Development, adopt the use of fixed time increments, often wrongly called “iterations”. In Scrum, these are known as Sprints. A Sprint is a fixed period of time with a defined scope and a...

Kanban: When is it appropriate? (part 1)

In the Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass, I teach coaches and those leading Kanban initiatives how to assess the appropriateness of the Kanban Method and the appropriateness of applying a kanban system within an organization. This is the first of a series of...

Why we don’t sell process improvement

Our firm doesn’t sell process improvement or provide consulting services in defined or designed processes. I’m often asked, as a I travel around the world, “What does you firm do?” The answer to this is simple! “We are a management...

The Kanban Lens

Regular readers who follow everything I post may already have spotted that I introduced a new way of thinking about Kanban. Like almost all of these “new” things, it isn’t new at all. In fact, the concept existed in my first book, Agile Management,...

Develop Change Management Capability

This is the second post in my series related to change management and evolutionary capability, following Change Management vs Process Evolution on Friday. It seems our world is full of lots of advice on how to do things better, or properly, and suggestions on what we...

Change Management vs. Process Evolution

Managed Change Change management is the discipline of managing change in organizations. Changes to processes or changes in organizational structure the discipline used to bring some control and governance to these activities is called change management. There is a...

Kanban for “free play”

My younger daughter’s pre-school uses a kanban system. I’d been staring at it for months without realizing it was a kanban system and after I did I was troubled by the fact that it wasn’t a pull system. So I had to think about it a bit. First an explanation The board...