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Kanban for Shared Services Teams – Using data to deliver predictably

Many organizations have departments within IT where teams or individuals are specialized to do work to support product teams. These teams are often considered shared services, with team members having specific skill sets or working in an area which has traditionally been maintained by a small team. These teams often have their own initiatives to …

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Who defines the workflow, you or your team?

We regularly talk about optimizing the workflow but we don’t talk as often about who should be doing that optimization. Should it be the manager, or some dedicated process specialist, or should we be leaving it up to the team to figure out their own workflow? Spoiler: We should let the team figure it out. …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Epilogue – Professionalism and ProKanban.org

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

What does the future of Kanban look like? You’ve had a great view into how Kanban got started, and how it should look, so what is next for Kanban? I don’t know how long the changes the pandemic brought to the working world will last but there is one that I hope sticks- the relentless …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 8 – Thoughts On How To Get Started

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

As you read this book, you are probably already forming a decent idea of what a Kanban system would look like in your context. The harder part often is just getting started. Here we describe an approach to help you get started. There are multiple ways to start with Kanban, the one described below is …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 7 – Unleashing the True Power of Kanban

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

Having gotten to this point in the book, you could be forgiven for thinking that Kanban is only applicable to development teams. However, we would argue that the true power of Kanban is unleashed only when we start scaling our implementation along the dimensions described in this chapter. While the implementation and optimization of a …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 6 – The Basic Metrics of Flow

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

The four flow measures to track in Kanban are: WIP: The number of work items started but not finished.Cycle Time: The amount of elapsed time between when a work item started and when a work item finished.Work Item Age: The amount of elapsed time between when a work item started and the current time.Throughput: The …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 5 – Improving a Workflow to Optimize for Flow

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

In the Kanban Guide, we purposefully gave preference to the word “optimizing” over  the word “maximizing”.  This is because to “maximize” value is a very dangerous sentiment.  Its fairly straightforward to maximize value over the short term.  Just burn your people out, make decisions where you favour long term risk for short term gain (instead of short term risk …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 4 – Defining and Visualizing a Workflow

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

Pre-covid19 pandemic definition of Kanban: “We have Post-Its up on a whiteboard”. Post-covid19 pandemic definition of Kanban: “We have a Jira board set up”. I’d love to know where the misconception that Kanban is only about visualizing work came from.  Saying that Kanban is only about visualization is like saying Scotland is only about whisky or …

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The Kanban Pocket Guide: Chapter 3 – Actively Managing Items in a Workflow

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series The Kanban Pocket Guide

I once worked with a team that had designed a Kanban board which had a global Work In Progress limit of 9.  They had also added an expedite lane on their board (a big no-no as anyone who has followed my work knows) but at least had set a WIP Limit of 1 for that expedite …

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