Everyday Kanban

Discussing Management, Teams, Agile, Lean, Kanban & more

Author: Julia Wester (page 2 of 30)

Make your visualization about the work, not the workers

Visualize the work, not the worker

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, said “the purpose of Kanban is to bring troubles to the surface.” We bring these troubles to the surface by visualizing the work and the process it moves through, constraining how much work we handle at a time to see what problems get in our way, and continuously improving that flow to get more and more things of better quality completed faster and faster.  But, did you know that how you design your Kanban board can shape the information you are able to see and how you process that information?

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Going beyond the quick wins of visualization

busy kanban board

Over the past few years I’ve heard more and more talks at conferences mentioning Kanban boards and I’ve seen teams from a wider set of departments and industries adopting a visual work management process. I think it’s safe to say that visualizing your work isn’t just for software development anymore. While I’m excited about this progress, I see many people implementing visualization, getting some quick wins and then… nothing. I shouldn’t be surprised at this. I often tell people that when you improve one issue, the reward is being able to see the next one. The pattern is as true at this macro level as it is within individual value streams.

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What type of individual are you?

Today I spent some time listening to an audio version of Peter Drucker’s “Managing in a Time of Great Change” while riding a few trains in England. During a section about teams, I heard something that struck a chord with me. I have heard the term “Individual Contributor” a great number of times – especially as a manager. But, I had never heard the term “Individual Performer” before today and so I’d never heard them compared. It is in this comparison of the two terms that I really found value.

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