Note from the editor: This article was originally published on TechBeacon.com.
We humans are optimistic creatures. We think we can finish things faster than we actually can, so we tend to say yes to requests that we should probably decline, or at least postpone.
We also tend to underestimate the number of disruptions that sidetrack us from finishing work on time. Before we know it, it’s 8:30 pm on a Sunday, and instead of spending time with our families, we’re working on that thing that’s due tomorrow at 9 am. Because we think we’ll be able to get requests done sooner, we set ourselves up for an unsustainable pace that leads us headlong into the pit of doom. We’re always falling behind instead of catching up.
How Kanban Enables Speed
A common theme in workplaces today seems to be “crazy is the new normal.” Unfortunately, most teams and organizations don’t thrive in chaos — they need help to create a rapid, sustainable pace of delivering quality products and services. Lean principles and tools, like Kanban, help organizations realize this goal through a continual focus on optimizing the flow of value from ideation all the way through delivery to the customer. One way to keep this focus top of mind is through your daily Kanban standup. Try asking these three questions in your next Kanban standup to keep speed a priority on your team.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To the uninitiated, Kanban might sound more like an appetizer you’d order at a sushi restaurant than a method of project management. Kanban may not be edible, but it is a Japanese export. It was created by a Japanese engineer at Toyota in the 1940s as a way to organize work and address inefficiencies in the company’s manufacturing system.
Kanban first piqued the interest of business leaders in the early 2000s, when it was primarily used to optimize software development workflows. Today, Kanban is being applied across all disciplines of knowledge work to help teams visualize, manage, and optimize their work.