Kanban, and Lean in general, both promote doing things at the last responsible moment. That can be a little against the grain for those who consider it good policy to get things done well in advance “just in case.” The last responsible moment is another way of saying just in time or deferred committment.

The thought behind this is simple. Doing things before they need to be done is a type of waste and a main tenet of Lean is to reduce waste. If you are doing things that don’t yet need to be done then you are, presumably, NOT doing things that DO need to be done. Call it misguided prioritization and/or opportunity cost. You are costing yourself, your team, your company, the opportunity to produce something that is more beneficial to them in that moment than delivering something that is not yet needed.

The question we should be asking ourselves is why. Continue reading