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Archive for May 20th, 2009

It is Not What It is that Really Matters

with 2 comments

Rob Bowley wrote a thoughtful post entitled Kanban it just a tool, so why is it being treated like a methodology? To quote Rob:

The thing that’s making me itchy is how Kanban has somehow been elevated into a methodology unto itself… I’m sure proponents of Kanban will say no one is suggesting Kanban is a methodology and I would agree I’ve not seen anyone say it is. The problem is interpretation. People have a habit of focusing on rules and methodologies because they’re a lot more easy to tackle than the problems they we’re created to solve… Kanban is a small part of something much, much bigger, see the whole.

While I agree with just about everything Rob writes, I would like to point out two aspects of Kanban that are of great importance in the context discussed above:

  1. Kanban seems to have an effect on individuals, teams and organizations. The case studies in the LK2009 conference proceedings document some very interesting dynamics.
  2. From a marketing standpoint, Kanban is a fantastic sound bite. I am hard pressed to recall when I last heard such a catchy sound bite.

I have no doubt that additional case studies on the effects of Kanban will be very beneficial. I also know that sound bites can lose popularity faster than you can say “Kanban.” Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with Rob on the importance of setting realistic expectations around  the tool.

Having said that, I would refer the reader to Dean Leffingwell’s post on the LK2009 conference in which he gives the overall lay of the land from multiple perspective. The picture might, of course, change. However, Dean provides a summary that integrates all important aspects of Kanban as we experience and know them now.

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Written by israelgat

May 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

Posted in Kanban, Lean

Tagged with ,