One of the interesting things about Kanban, is that it has a set of organisational change management principles. One of these is to ‘Start with what you do now’. What this means is just that: focusing on what you have now and gradually applying Kanban practices and principles. This means you can get off the ground quickly with Kanban and then evolve your system. Two good places to start evolving your Kanban maturity is the board and your cadence or ceremonies.
The simple ‘Kanban’ board used by other methodologies and the ‘Kanban’ modules of project management software are a starting point but to get the power of Kanban you must evolve them.
Kanban boards, like the one pictured, have true workflow mapping, waiting columns, limiting of WIP, classes of service, commitment points and pull policies. These elements are the ‘secret sauce’ that allow you to really visualise and manage flow.
Cadence is also an area that needs attention in a developing Kanban implementation. It is not unusual for teams to feel unsatisfied with Kanban and without a sense of achievement There are a set of, often over looked ceremonies in Kanban, with some similarity to Scrum, that create a rhythm or cadence and help to generate a sense of purpose and achievement. Kanban ceremonies group into three areas:
• Getting things done — Stand-up, Delivery planning and review
• Doing things better — Service delivery review, Operations review and Risk review
• Doing the right things — Strategy review and Replenishment
Using these meetings, we can create a cadence to whatever length we desire. Establishing this in development is important to give us a sense of achievement, progress, and general well-being.
In this short article, I hope I have given you glimpses of evolving Kanban maturity and its power.
I co-forganise the Kanban Mentoring Group on Meetup where we are looking to discuss subjects such as this. So if you are interested in Kanban join up and come along to one of our sessions