While Lean concepts have now been successfully incorporated in western manufacturing and operations, their application to software development has mainly been through timebox based methods such as Scrum and XP, collectively known as Agile.
More recently, flow based methods such as Kanban have been successfully introduced where agile proved problematic. Scrum can struggle where there is enterprise level scale, unpredictable work arrival and processing times, a lack of cross functional teams or day to day re-planning. Kanban can provide a mechanism to implement ‘pull’ and achieve a flow of work through simple Work In Process (WIP) and Kanban signalling systems.
As well as coordinating activities across the value stream, Kanban creates an environment to drive continuous improvement, highlighting impediments to flow and encouraging collaboration to resolve issues. In the words of David Anderson, the creator of Kanban, ‘Lean is a destination; Kanban is a means to get there’.
In this 2 day course, we delve into why Kanban works so well both as a change management and project management approach. We look at the benefits of Kanban compared to plan-driven approaches, particularly in complex projects with a lot of churn. We examine some of the theoretical foundations for empirical control methods, and the economic realities of software development that make Kanban so compelling.
This is followed by a deep dive of Kanban practises and tools, including Value Stream Mapping, Visualisation of Work Flow, Metrics (Lead Time & CFD), Limiting WIP, Managing Flow and Attaining Pull, Work Item Types, Classes of Service, Explicit Policies and Feedback Loops. We explore what Kanban means for the evolution of organisational structure, roles and responsibilities, and working with stakeholders.
Then we review some Kanban case studies, focusing on project contexts where Kanban might be particularly suitable as an alternative to or in conjunction with other agile or plan-driven methods. Then we examine the steps to implementing Kanban in your organisation, including a recipe for incrementally adopting and deepening the application and effect of Kanban while minimising the ‘cost of change’. The course will include exercises to illustrate important concepts and a comprehensive Kanban simulation game to allow attendees experience concepts such as pull and flow first hand.
This course is intended for Transformation Agents, Agile and Lean Champions, Project Managers, Developers, Testers, Analysts and any other roles contributing to software development and IT.
Ideally candidates will have attended our half-day introductory course “Introduction to Lean & Kanban in Software Development” making them familiar with some of the foundational Lean and Kanban principles.
A comprehensive two-day course from a very experienced professional and excellent trainer