Lean Tool Roundup: Kanban is King

lean tool

Enjoy this excerpt from the Lean Business Report. Download the full report here.

Part of the beauty of applying Lean to knowledge work is its versatility. Teams in every department — from Software Development to Organizational Development, IT Operations to Marketing Operations — practice Lean in their daily work.

The workflows, organizational structures, work types, and associated challenges for each of these teams play out in diverse ways. Lean has universal applications, but it’s not universally applied in the same way. There are, however, some overarching trends: Flow is top priority, Kanban is king, and WIP (work in process) is the most common metric.

Continue Reading

5 Kanban Strategies to Help IT Operations Teams Meet and Exceed Deadlines

it operations

What do you do when urgent work constantly interrupts planned project work? Time after time, you put down the project work so you can put out the fire. But then what happens to the prioritized work? It gets delayed. With the unpredictable nature of IT Operations work, it can feel impossible to hit deadlines for prioritized work — which creates mountains of technical debt that add even more pressure. This creates an environment that is bad for morale and ultimately, unsustainable for keeping talented employees.

To balance prioritized and unplanned work, IT Operations needs a way to visually manage everything in one place — to keep the entire team aligned while keeping work moving at a controlled, sustainable pace. Kanban helps IT Operations teams do exactly this. Read on to learn how IT Operations teams can use Kanban to improve predictability, helping them meet and exceed deadlines for important, prioritized work.

Continue Reading

4 Benefits of Kanban Project Management

kanban project management

As a project manager, you probably spend a lot of your time trying to get a clear picture of the current status of your projects. Between spreadsheets, email, and meetings, you’re constantly deciphering and relaying back information to various stakeholders and team members. Kanban project management is a highly visual method that gives project managers the visibility you need to deliver work on time, on budget, and on value.

Continue Reading

How to Motivate a Team Resisting Continuous Improvement

resisting continuous improvement

When practicing continuous improvement, the only constant is change. For teams that have achieved moderate, predictable success by following the status quo, embracing this change can require a major paradigm shift. Resistance to change can come in the form of foot-dragging, sabotage, and even rebellion, and can have a toxic influence on your Lean implementation.

As a leader, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make everyone on your team completely comfortable with change. You’ll first have to identify the causes of their resistance, and find ways to move through them.

From there, you can do your part to minimize discomfort by giving your team opportunities to gain the autonomy, mastery, and purpose they need to stay motivated. Keep reading to learn why people resist change and how to motivate teams to embrace continuous improvement.

Continue Reading

Kanban and Agile Marketing: Why Teams are Getting On Board

Agile marketing

One of the reasons I love Kanban so much is that it’s so ubiquitous: The principles and practices are very easily portable between domains. While the Agile Manifesto, for example, is very development-oriented, if you look at Kanban and the Kanban Method you will not find such domain-specific language — making it much easier to apply in other value streams. Read to learn how Kanban can bolster your Agile marketing practices.

Continue Reading

5 DevOps Books to Read with Your Team

devops books

Officially coined in 2009, the term “DevOps” has become a business buzzword in recent years. But what is it exactly? DevOps describes a cultural movement in IT focused on collaboration and innovation through systems thinking. The term is often incorrectly used to describe a development methodology or a new type of team. Luckily, there are many excellent resources on DevOps that can help to clear some of the “cloudiness” around the movement and its ideals. We recommend these five DevOps books to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of DevOps.

Continue Reading

Kanban: The Key to Unlocking SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework)

scaled agile framework

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)® provides enterprises with a proven framework for applying Lean-Agile practices at scale.

The wider inclusion of Kanban in SAFe 4.0® enables organizations to improve business flow at every level of the business.

LeanKit is uniquely suited to help you coordinate efforts and accelerate delivery across large, complex value streams. Get the most out of the Scaled Agile Framework® by implementing Kanban at all levels with LeanKit.

Continue Reading