Pull Systems

The Benefits of Defining your Service Level Expectation

“In Kanban, how do you determine what size of work item you should pull in?”  This was recently asked in one of my Kanban classes.  Often, this type of question comes from someone familiar with the Scrum framework who is trying to understand how to break work items down in Kanban. As part of the …

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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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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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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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