Pull Systems

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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How to Limit Your WIP in Kanban

One of the most asked questions during Kanban training is: how to limit WIP? But before we talk about it, what is WIP anyway? WIP is the acronym for: work in progress. Which is a flow metric that shows how many items that have started but not finished. When we talk about limiting WIP, we …

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Designing Your Board to Focus on flow

We all want to design our Kanban boards to enable consistent, smooth flow of work all the way from start to finish. Unfortunately, that capability doesn’t come naturally and the way we often visualize our work processes can unknowingly cause dysfunction. In this post, we share some important things to consider (at least from our …

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The Kanban Perspective on Teams

The comparison between Kanban and Scrum obviously comes up often when we’re talking to teams, especially in the context of Professional Scrum with Kanban. While they are more similar than many practitioners realize, one key difference is the perspective on Teams. If you look at the definition of Kanban or Lean, you wouldn’t find teams …

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Business Efficiency? Watch the Ball, not the Player

In football, the team that wins is the one that gets the ball in the other team’s goal most times. Not the one that runs the most. What matters most is what is happening to the ball. So, we need to watch the ball, not the player. Business is no different. In Knowledge Work what …

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Slack is not a dirty word: How ‘slack’ can improve your products

In a Kanban system you introduce WIP limits at each step of the value flow. This means, that if you get stuck at any one step in the flow and things are not moving forward, then all those who operate in earlier stages of the system enter a holding pattern. If you’re explaining Kanban to …

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