Stop the Line: How Lean Principles Safeguard Quality

stop the line

At LeanKit, we have a very thorough process for quality assurance, but sometimes, issues with unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances (such as DNS providers, hosting services, etc.) can result in a critical issue affecting our software, which can have a significant impact on our users. This is why we choose to stop the line when critical issues arise — to stop, assess, and resolve the issue, and learn how to prevent it from occurring again.

We take these kinds of issues very seriously, since a relentless focus on delivering customer value is at the core of everything we do. Read to learn how we employ Lean concepts at the organizational level to tackle potential issues head-on, address them quickly, and use them as opportunities to make our product — and our people — stronger.

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How Lean Improvement Methods Enable Respect

lean improvement methods

Growing up Vietnamese-American, I was taught to honor and respect people, never to waste anything and to always think beyond myself. I was also taught to hide conflict and to ignore problems, especially if had to do with someone senior to me.

I learned quickly that honor and respect cannot last without surfacing conflict and proactively resolving issues. At LeanKit, our culture starts with people. The diverse, quirky personalities in our company are allowed to shine through — they make us who we are.

But our traditions go deeper than bacon, Doctor Who, and Nerf guns. They’re rooted in an intrinsic hunger and drive to work together to improve the way the world works. We know that respect for people is one of the most effective Lean improvement methods, which enables us to maintain our agility, and adapt to change quickly and sustainably.

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The Myth of Multitasking: Why IT Operations Needs WIP Limits

WIP Limits IT Ops

It may sound hard to believe, but multitasking is an effective way to get less done. Juggling multiple tasks at once interrupts your focus, which can cause you to spend more time on each task than if you had completed them one at a time.

While research proves the harmful effects of multitasking on productivity, many of us still approach our work with an attitude of “do all the things, and do them right now.” It’s especially true for IT Operations teams that are overloaded with handling new requests and keeping production stable. In our experience, that describes every IT Operations team we’ve ever worked with.

Kanban seeks to minimize multitasking by employing work-in-process (WIP) limits at strategic points in a team’s process or workflow. True to its name, a WIP limit is a tool for limiting how much work can be in process at one time, thereby helping to expose bottlenecks and improve the flow of work. Here’s what IT Operations teams can learn about using WIP limits to get more of the right work done at the right time.

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Continuous Improvement in Lean

Continuous Improvement ImageContinuous improvement is one of the pillars of a Lean environment. It sounds pretty lofty, doesn’t it? “I work for a company that’s always evolving,” is a great blurb for LinkedIn, but what does that even look like? How is a company sure that they’re practicing continuous improvement in Lean ways? This article will discuss two techniques that you can use to build the right mindset across your organization for continuous improvement in Lean.

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Introducing Office Hours

Office Hours Image

Our Customer Success team is excited to introduce Office Hours, a virtual meeting room where our experts are available to answer questions, teach and reinforce Lean and Kanban concepts, and guide you through any challenges your team may be facing. Whether you have a question about a Lean concept or a LeanKit feature, our experts are ready to coach you to success.

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How Kanban Keeps Us on the Same Page


My name is Ariel Klontz, and I have been working at LeanKit for the past few months as an intern alongside Andy Hoover on the Customer Documentation team.

When I first started here, I was nervous about how much work I could really accomplish on a part-time basis; but working at LeanKit opened my eyes to a whole new way to manage work. Working in a virtual Kanban board showed me how powerful our tool is — it keeps our entire team on the same page, even when the pages are constantly turning. I don’t have to wait to be told what to do. I can see what work I need to accomplish by glancing at our board, and I have the tools to move forward with it.

Today I’ll share how LeanKit helps our team systematically update our Knowledge Base based on product updates and customer feedback, so customers always have the latest information about our product. I’ll also explain how using a virtual Kanban board enables everyone — even part-time interns — to add real value.

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What’s New: Increased Visibility with New Integrations


Our new integrations help you deliver value faster by enabling you to create a single, virtual system that optimizes your value stream. LeanKit Integrations provide a powerful way of enabling each team to work in their tool of choice while maintaining a single source of visibility into work details and status.

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