Last week I was fortunate to go to Sapanca in Turkey with the Lean Kanban University (LKU) for the Train the Trainer (TTT) course. It was a little daunting to work with 7 other candidates that I didn’t know from all over the world; however we soon bonded as a community in a shared goal.
Class of Sapanca July 2013
It was great to finally meet David and some of his team who came with him (Mike, Dragos, Janice, Agnes and Mihaela) and to hear the journey they have been on with Kanban. The stories and learning they shared were extremely valuable and really helped me to understand how others across the globe had gone about their adoption and the roots of Kanban.
The course also highlighted that no matter how much we think we know as coaches, there is so much more out there to learn. Whilst it was a challenging week, I definitely believe I have grown in my Kanban knowledge and feel confident to co-train my first course next week. I am actually excited about the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for Kanban as a newly Accredited Kanban Trainer (wooooo!)
Back to the Basics
I love the fact that Kanban (like other methods) has Values, Principles and Practices and this is something that I use and quote regularly to keep me true to what I am practicing. As practitioners & coaches we need to keep these close to our hearts and make them part of our everyday life. You would not believe how many situations I find myself in day dreaming about flow optimisation. I can’t even go to Mc Donald's now after Kanban Dan ruined it for me with his drive through flow scenario
Lets take a minute to remind ourselves what they are:
- Customer Focus
There is an awesome blog by Mike Burrows in this area.
- Start with what you do now
- Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
- Initially, respect current roles, responsibilities & job titles
- Encourage acts of leadership at all levels from individual contributor to senior management
The Core Practices
- Limit Work-in-Progress
- Manage Flow
- Make Policies Explicit
- Implement feedback Loops
- Improve Collaboratively (using safe to fail experiments)
I challenge you on your perceived knowledge of Kanban . There are so many misconceptions out there that it’s just about visual management, but it is so much more. Kanban is an evolutionary method that uses scientific theory to enhance the flow of work in the system. There is also a misconception out there that Kanban can only be used in manufacturing, but this is not true. It can be used in software delivery, but also any knowledge work.
Kanban doesn’t imply that it is the end to end solution and recognizes that we pull from many different tool boxes in its application.
Part of the TTT course was based around the AKTs bringing case studies for how we have implemented it in the organisations we work for and so I have not only experienced this first hand for myself, but seen other organisations deliver great results also.
What beliefs have you formed about Kanban or any method without really understanding what is at the heart of them. We are often dismissive on little facts or one negative experience. Like learning to drive, maturity comes over time and with practice. Chances are that we may have a prang or maybe even a write off, but we still continue to drive and learn from the experience.
Consider getting yourself on a course and see how an AKT can open your mind.