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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems

Kanban Instructions Guest was David Anderson

Related Podcast: Evolutionary Change thru Kanban

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems David Anderson, author of the book, Kanban and the leader of a growing Kanban community appeared on the Business901 podcast and updated us with the latest Kanban discussions. David is a thought leader in managing highly effective software teams. He is President of David J. Anderson & Associates, based in Seattle, Washington, a management consulting firm dedicated to improving leadership in the IT and software development sectors. David has been part of the agile and lean methodology movement since 1997 when he participated in the team that developed Feature Driven Development at United Overseas Bank in Singapore. He has 26 years’ experience in the software development starting in the computer games business in the early 1980’s. As a pioneer in the agile software movement David has managed teams at Sprint, Motorola and Corbis delivering superior productivity and quality. At Microsoft, in 2005, he developed the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement methodology – the first agile method to provide a comprehensive mapping to the Capability and Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). His first book, Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results, published in 2003 by Prentice Hall, and introduced many ideas from Lean and Theory of Constraints in to software engineering. David can be found at AgileManagement.net

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe Dager: Welcome everyone; this is Joe Dager, the host of the Business Manual and Podcast. With me today is David J. Anderson. His name is synonymous with Kanban. He has been a manager and leader of great software teams, delivering cutting edge software since 1991. Last year David’s book Kanban published taking Kanban to even greater heights. I'm pleased to have you on board here, David. David J. Anderson: Thank you, Joe. Thanks for having me. It's good to be back again. Joe: I don't have that many people that actually come on two or three times, in fact. It seems Kanban has been a big part of it. Jim's been on it a couple times and now this is your second time. So I must like Kanban. That must be it. David: Thanks for inviting me back. Joe: I always like to ask an author after his books been out a little bit. What did you find about the development of Kanban that you didn't really expect after you published the book? David: The biggest surprise is the growth of the Personal Kanban movement; that Jim Benson has so much traction around that idea now. I think that that really started before the book, my book came out. I remember Personal Kanban can trace its roots to a tea shop in a neighborhood of Seattle where Jim and I had tea one night in May, 2009 talking about the application of Kanban just for managing personal tasks and helping people to get things done. We had this conclusion that it was a little different from what we'd been teaching people in terms of an organization and office label, and off we went. Did a few blog posts and it really went quite viral after that. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems So that's been a huge surprise. Since my book came out I think that perhaps the biggest surprise has been the enthusiasm for translating it into other languages around the world. We have some of those published already and quite a few more in the pipeline ready to go. Joe: Well, I think that hits upon a point that I've noticed. I've noticed a lot of interest; let's say in the European audience, in Kanban. David: Oh, for sure, in terms of real business. What I can track is interest in my own business, interest for training classes, consulting. The partners that we work with in Europe, I can observe the business that they're doing. There's no doubt in my mind that there is more business activity around Kanban in Europe than there is in the United States. There may be a lot of quiet implementation happening in the US. We can speculate on why people are not showing up at training classes or perhaps attending conferences as much as we might expect. The economy may well be something to do with it. It's hard to tell whether there's more Kanban activity in Europe than the US or not, but it's definitely generating more revenue. And as a result, I'm spending more and more of my time over in Europe. Joe: I find that to be true in a lot of Lean knowledge work. Let's say in Lean software work that it has really taken hold more in Europe. Maybe that background of Design Thinking that is so prevalent over there allows for that more. I think that Lean connotation in the States... They talk about waste and that seems to be stuck in their mind. David: Yes, it's interesting that you have this similar observation that Lean in knowledge work areas, like IT work, software development, product development, does appear to Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems have more traction in Europe. We could speculate on many reasons why. I know that specifically with Kanban, where we're using the Kanban system to provoke an evolutionary change in an organization, more of a Kaizen rather than a Kaikaku approach, if you want to use the fancy Japanese words. A continuous improvement rather than a big managed change type of improvement. The speculation that perhaps that approach is more palatable, in say Europe, or better aligned with corporate or national cultures, and perhaps that that evolutionary continuous approach is therefore more popular over in Europe. Here in America we're a little bit more revolutionary and more interested in dramatic changes and fast results, perhaps less patient. I was in Switzerland recently and the Swiss were speculating that they are a lot more patient than the Americans and who's to argue with them? Joe: One of the things that I've seen that really interested me is a recent PDF you had, or a recent presentation that you had, stating when Kanban is not appropriate? David: I think it's probably a PDF, but that was my presentation for the WIN/Kanban/Benelux conference which feels like a month ago already Joe, but actually it was the beginning of last week, or two weeks. Joe: Oh really? Man 1: Yes, the beginning of last week. It's only a week ago.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: This summarizes a little bit of what we were talking about is when you looked at Kanban's... You put it on a scale with Kanban in the middle with the capabilities on the left on one side of the scale and on the other side is the demand. That really rang a bell because it seems like we're stuck, in the US, in proven capabilities. We really need to be concentrating on the demand side because that's where the problem exists in most instances. Am I off base on your thought pattern there? David: I think that slide deck made that point and probably emphasized it when he was actually talking. I wasn't really thinking about it in a US context, particularly. But it does seem to me that because of the way we silo organizations, we create departments with titles like "Software Process Improvement" or Software Engineering Process Group" or "Agile Coaching Group." They are organizationally responsible and accountable for how it's improving the capabilities side of that balance. The other side of the scale, the controlling the demand, is a marketing teaching planning thing. Then you'll also notice I had this arrow pointing at essentially reducing failure demand. That requires a level of system thinking and perhaps larger scale intervention once you've identified root causes. My experiences of working in big corporate America, and over my career I've tasted quite a flavor of that in IBM, Microsoft, Motorola and Sprint, big corporate America is very siloed. The people who take the brunt end of the failure demand are often the customer care side. They tend to get very short shrift when it comes to the requirements that may get prioritized in a new product or a new release of a piece of software or a platform for a telephone system, something. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Not enough attention is paid to reducing the failure demand because often the different departments, the department that pays the price is not the one that asked for requirements in the first place. As a result, different levels of vice president, different levels of job titles may look differently. There isn't enough big skill system thinking to deal with the failure demand. When it comes to shaping the demand, the market segmentation and the strategic planning, that's very much the realm of independent departments sparking strategic planning. Perhaps they do work hand in hand, but it's very unusual for them to engage IT people and talk about "Would it be possible to lighten the load on IT by better shaping the demand?" So there's a lack of system thinking at the top. There are a lot of siloed organizations, and I think it's a 20th century disease in terms of corporate structure and organization. It's really not particularly an American problem, although in fairness most of the management science in the 20th century did come from American institutions, so perhaps we do have ourselves to blame. Joe: In the Kanban process I wanted to talk about how to get started. When you introduce Kanban with someone, I think you start by just telling them to start using it on what they’re doing, is that not correct? David: Well, the clear principle is, you start with what you're doing now, with where you are now, and you don't try to introduce a lot of skill change rate in the beginning. Although, there are things required to get going. The things I need to understand the Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems process to visualize it. In some organizations introducing, visualization and visibility into the work, can be threatening. There are circumstances for even such a small somewhat innocuous idea, like: "Let's make the invisible knowledge work visible, so we can all get a handle on it, and improve the way that we're working." That can be threatening. I mean sometimes, but otherwise, the basic principle is start with what you do now and evolve. We're trying to take the resistance out of change. And to do that we need to reassure people and you need to be able to break off the change in small chunks. Ideally, it needs to be changed around what's a consensus. You gain that consensus by making it visible so people can see it, and they can feel it, and they can engage the emotional intelligence in the decision making. Well, I think that's a very important aspect. Joe: I use Lean terms and it's like a current state map. But you object to that thinking, that you can just transfer a value stream map, or current state map, to a Kanban board? David: You seem to be catching up to a couple definite themes there. I'm not really a fan of the change approach where you create a map of the current state, some evaluation, trader definition, that's the current state. And then you envision some future state, and the future state is a destination resort and it's some form of Nirvana, where all your problems are solved and your business is performing much better and with better economics, and the owners of the business are happier, and the customers are happier and so on. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems To get from where you are now to this defined future state, there has to be some form of a transition over a period of time, in that transition is planned and managed, and involves swapping out different things. Or training is involved and coaching and so on. I'm not particularly a fan of these defined future state, managed transgressions, and there are a number of reasons. I actually wrote an article on this a few years ago for a company and they took off their website so I should resurrect that and put it back on the website. Define a nice goal, a nice target and the future state destination would be that you've undertaken an appraisal and that you've clearly filled in all the boxes. You get your level three appraisal and you reach the end, and of course senior managers believe targets helps to focus people and it helps to motivate them. It enables them to get commitment around the target. Of course, the initiative usually comes with a consulting firm and some funding. In order to get all that in the way of identifying it so usually the initiative has a name and it will have some grand name will be there to find out the initiative or something of like the Galileo initiative. What you've done there is you've created a target for people to throw darts at, created a heat object. It doesn't just focus their attention on the goals; it also focuses the hatred and gets them a way of focusing and amplifying the resistance to the whole thing. I'm not a fan of managed initiatives with goals and targets, probably because people resist and then that makes it easier for them to resist and probably because I don't believe that those goals and targets are particularly motivational nor are they necessary correct. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Perhaps other people have a better crystal ball than me but I find it unethical to predict the future. I've got this feeling that the right thing to do is to allow things to evolve in small increments and be able to measure whether they are on the right course or not. Perhaps we make a few changes only to have a course correct, but small incremental evolutionary change with no particular destinational evolutionary change with no particular destination of target, no defined process that we have to reach by some point in the future or no capability based target. For example for velocities currently 16 story points per week, the target shouldn't be 20 story points per week by June 2012. That will not be useful either. But we should simply measure the impact of what we're doing, has our velocity increased, has our wait times decreased, has our due date performance improved, has our customer satisfaction improved, and so on, but don't put absolute targets on it. Allow things to evolve. You do all of that by focusing on the culture of the organization, and culture isn't some weird, mystical thing that we can't get our hands on. The culture of our company is defined by the actions and decisions of its leadership and the managers within that company. The focus of my business and my work is to get leaders and managers in organizations to make better quality decisions and to act with a behavior, to example that behavior which is better aligned with empowering people to own their own process and to let that process evolve over time, and to measure only the impact as those evolutionary changes take effect. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: Actually David, what you're talking about that it's to practice continuous improvement. It's like a personal Kaizen, that you're doing continuous improvement on a regular basis and empowering the others around you to make their job easier. David: What we're looking for is a culture of continuous improvement in an organization. When I see companies say things like, we practice continuous improvement on a regular basis that to me says that they don't have a continuous improvement culture, or a Kaizen culture, if you want to use the Japanese word. What they've got is a management led, micro-managed transition culture where rather than once every six months have a big batch of improvement suggestions to evaluate and select the four or five big improvement projects to undertake. But rather they are going to do perhaps a weekly meeting and select four or five smaller projects every week that they want to undertake. While smaller batches is always a good thing compared to large, it's still very much a management driven activity and it's not exhibiting the cultural aspect that I'm really looking for. What we're looking for here is that culture changes because management behavior and the decisions change. Part of that is that it empowers the workforce to take ownership of their own process, and to study that process and suggest improvements. Understand the dynamics of how it's working, suggest improvements, and implement those improvements. Ideally in a way where they feel empowered to just go and do it, rather than asking permission first. The long-term target here is to change the way that managers think and act, and to get them to recognize that the way that they behave and the decisions they make affect the culture of their organization. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems The culture isn't an accident. The culture is a direct effect of their behavior, actions, and decisions. If we can change that, then we'll see a lot more organizations adopting this evolutionary approach to improvement, and really becoming a lot more Lean. If there's an argument here, it's the argument that the counter-intuitive way to become truly Lean is not to run a Lean initiative. It's to focus on the culture of the company, by focusing on the behavior, actions, and decisions of the managers. Joe: This is a big-picture type of thing here, but it's interesting when we talk about self-organizing teams. It's really empowering the team to self-organize, to do the job they need to do. What we're saying is really to have a self-organizing organization. That's really what we're aiming for. David: There's always a need for leadership and direction. There is also a need for management. I think that the Agile community goes too far when they talk about, "Managers are not required." There is a need for managers. There's a need for someone to take responsibility and accountability for how the system works, how the process works. It's unreasonable to expect everyone on the workforce to be a system-thinker. It is, however, reasonable to expect individuals in the workforce to take accountability for their own capability. Joe: One of the things that I always remember, that I think it was Mike Cohen, said one time where he talked about project management. Is that you have all these project managements, broken down into all these tasks, but it's like a funnel. When you get down Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems to the neck of the funnel, just the hard things are left to do, and sometimes you don't want to do some of them anymore. From the result of what you've already done. But you can't take the initiative forward anymore, because you've invested so much in it, and you didn't allow it to evolve. I think that's what you're saying, is allow the initiatives and things like that to evolve, because things are going to change as you go forward. David: That's right. If an organization states we want to be a Lean organization, then they have to recognize that what that means is going to evolve and how they're going to do that is going to evolve and really not be too rigid or dogmatic about perusing an initiative like that. Joe: How does Kanban relate to that? David: It's clear to me that you could use Kanban systems as part of a managed change initiative. In fact, when we’re coaching this and when we are teaching it, we are really teach people to think about it from the outside in and to look at the mind and study that and to look at their current capability and study that and look at how those things are mismatched, to study sources of variability which are causing some of the dissatisfaction either internally or with customers. Once you have all that information it's really tempting to design a solution that solves all the problems and part of that solution will involve a Kanban system because Kanban systems are very good at controlling variability and undesirable variability.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems The sort of things people experience -- interruptions in work because some other type of work takes place or impediments, or large batch transfer fails, and so on, a number of different sources of variability which cause undesirable effects. It's very tempting to design all of these out, and say OK, we've designed a new process, the definition of that in the abstract, let’s call that the future state... The destination resort we seek to get to. Now were going to run a managed change initiative to get there, and because it involves a Kanban system, you could call it Kanban. But it's not very Kanban method because I documented it. What we are really saying is we changed almost nothing at the beginning. You visualize and perhaps you introduce the Kanban system and limit the work in progress and you're doing just as little as possible in order to provoke further changes. Those further changes were all evolutionary nature and are not necessarily predictable or controllable in the traditional sense of the word. What were really asking people to see that we aspire to create an organization and a culture that wants to get better, and get continually better, rather than make one big initiative to make a big stake in getting better. The big stake approach, the managed change initiative, often meets with resistance. We meet organizations where they have been through several generations of this, under different names. We met one client where they were trying to adopt scrum twice and the first time it failed and they thought well we didn't get a well enough known consultant, so let's find another one who has written even more books than the previous one and paid this person even more money and let's try again and the second time around it also failed. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems At some point organizations like that need to say to themselves, "You know, every time we try to run a change initiative it fails. Maybe it's not the process that we're trying to change to that's the problem. Maybe it's the way that we're running the changes that's the problem. And we should try a different approach to change." That's what Kanban is all about. It's about a different approach to change. However, there's an implication. The implication is that managers need to make decisions and they need to be accountable for the actions and the behaviors of the decisions. Not every manager likes that idea. It's often easier to create the big managed change initiatives when it fails to simply blame the initiative. Or blame the consultants who were running the initiative for the failure. And wash their hands of responsibility for it. So the Kanban approach requires courage on the part of the managers and the leaders in an organization. They need the courage to realize that the culture that's developed in their company has developed as an effect of their actions and their behaviors. If they want to have a truly evolutionary approach to improvement then their own actions, behaviors, and decisions will need to change. Joe: When I hear different things about Kanban. Mostly that it can't scale. You're saying that it's starting there. You're starting at the top and working down. David: We're not necessarily starting at the top and working down but we're certainly starting with some level of manager who recognizes that they need to take a different approach to change and that they need to show perhaps different leadership from what they've been doing in the past. There are certainly examples where one organization has Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems adopted Kanban and observed success and other neighboring organizations seem to catch the Kanban disease. That it spreads virally and reaches other organizations often because there is a clutch point, a dependency between the groups who tend to the conversations and the interaction where I am doing the work and hooked into the Kanban system in operation whether it is the queue replenishment or dealing with blockages, impediments or dependent work from one Kanban system to another department. They get hooked in and they realize that, our props just provoke them to think differently about how they are doing their own work, and we see other people adopt it. Frankly, the whole 'Kanban doesn't scale' thing is provoked by people who have a vested business interest in discouraging others from trying it, and the general people who haven't tried it and have no experience. So they are not in a position to comment. Joe: The fact that it is such a visual tool and that it just causes collaboration by just having it sit there. Is there some truth to that? David: I think that is absolutely right. Enabling people to share a visualization of what had previously been invisible, and therefore to share an understanding of that work and the dynamics of it, how it flows, that enables collaboration. So of course people will say that you need a physical board and a wall that can only scale so big. But we have encountered organizations of up to 100 people using a single board. That's already a reasonable scale right there. Separately from that I don't encourage the,"Let's create the one great big board to rule them all" approach. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems I really believe that the correct solution is lots of de-coupled but dependent Kanban systems and I refer to that approach as a service oriented organizational structure. Therefore, in an organization that works in a matrix kind of way perhaps you will have departments with titles like 'User Interface Design', 'Architecture', 'Code Security'. There is a potential to create Kanban systems for those departments. Therefore, projects, multiple projects that would use people from those departments in a matrix fashion, they in turn would have their own Kanban systems and visualization boards. Therefore, the dependencies between, for example the 'Project' Kanban system and the User Interface Design department's Kanban system and I think that is the right approach -- decoupled but dependent. The User Interface Design Department's Kanban system would treat other projects as customers, as sources of demand. They would study that demand and they would study their own capability, and they would seek to keep that demand and capability in balance. It's the same design approach always from cross-frame support from each independent service within the organization. This enables us to scale out Kanban really very large, without having to change the method or approach. We're not even arguing that it's a scale-free approach. What we're arguing is that you can implement in a flat fashion, at an appropriate scale. That scale is anything from a handful of people, to perhaps 100 people. You could easily conceive of between 10 and 20 interdependent or independently operating Kanban systems.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Then we can imagine scaling Kanban to organizations of a few thousand people. I'm absolutely convinced that we can meet the scale, and that we can make the scale without any additional guidance than what we currently have. It is worth pointing out that my current group doesn't represent all the guidance we have, in our training classes and consulting work. We have additional material. Most of which will be captured in a future book that I'm currently working on. Joe: One of the things that I've noticed that you've taken a 20,000 foot approach more to Kanban. Why is that? What's the connection? David: I think this is really an important question, Joe. If anything, recently, the material that I've been publishing is much more abstract and philosophical and theoretical, than perhaps I've been associated with in the last four or five years. So why have I found the need to go there? I'm not the only leader in the community that people pay attention to or listen to. There's an entire hinterland of consultants and coaches and training firms, and so on, and many of these people have blogs and other social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on. They communicate messages to the wider public, and those little sound bites often get picked up and used to reinforce an argument for or against the potential adoption of Kanban. One of these common reoccurring themes was the idea that, this captured in the Canadian framework, the idea that there's some simple systems in the universe, there are some complicated ones, and then there are some complex ones and then they are chaotic systems. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems It's been my general observation during the Agile year of the last decade or so, but software development and knowledgeable problems are a complex, of the problem and therefore you need solutions for complex problems. Some of these same people have jumped on the mechanics of a Kanban system and said, that really only applies to a simple space, a space where there's a clear cause and effect and therefore software development is a complex based problem, a simple space solution, won't be any good or particularly useful. I often find that, the people saying these things don't really understand this complexity theory stuff particularly well. Some of them do, but many of them don't. I felt that it was time to address some of those problems so, I put together really, what was a major section of my Kanban dialogues, speech on the topic, and that's the PDF that you alluded to earlier. You'll see me do other similar related things, where I see people using some theory to raise an objection to why Kanban won't work. Particularly, if that objection is in clear opposition to the observed evidence from around the world. Then I'm going to speak out about that, and show some leadership, and provide an appropriate level of explanation. But I think, we're beyond the point now where I need to go around the world telling people that Kanban is a useful thing, and it's been helping in some situations. I don't really need to do that, I don't need to go around and tell people the mechanics of how to do it. That information's available and there are really a growing number of people around the world very capable of providing that level of communication and education. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems So my role as a leader of the community has changed, and for the time being I think you'll see me address more of these theatrical ones, and more abstract and philosophical level, objections. Joe: You put on a great conference several months ago, well this spring, you... David: The LEAN Software and System Conference, in Long Beach, California. Joe: I was amazed at the breadth of information and speakers you brought together there and I thought it was a model conference on how to put one together in today's world, you covered the OODDA Loop, you covered the Cynefin, you covered Kanban, and some other different areas. You did an excellent job in the communications that stemmed from it, you practically built a community out of a conference. I wanted to compliment you on it. David: Well thank you very much Joe: Your next one will be? David: We've been doing these every year now for a few years, and the next one, the fourth one of these is in Boston, May 13th through 16th at the Seaport Hotel in and World Trade Center in Boston and that is the "LEAN Software and System Conference 2012." Can I say that we're continuing this tradition of having really a quite diverse set of ideas and themes at our conference. These things are not an accident. It's a deliberate plan for developing the Lean and Kanban Community. Introduce them to a broader set of ideas and to show that we're open minded embracing of a weighed set of idealism, people synthesizing concepts. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Most say the more established Lean literature, Lean and Toyota literature. Well all that is very good stuff, the knowledge works basis is clearly different from a manufacturing industry or distribution or a number of other fields in order to tackle the problems and challenges we have. We're really trying to encourage a very open-minded and broad-thinking community and part of how we do that is inviting keynote speakers that come from different backgrounds. So we have Chet Richards talk about the John Boyd’s OODA Loop ideas. Actually, next week we have the Lean Kanban Central Europe Conference in Munich. There we have Stephen Bungay, who is an English author who writes about, among all things, the maneuver warfare techniques that were originally developed in the Prussian Army. These things are all related. We tried to cover a broad set of content for 2012. We have Steven Spear, who is well known for studying inside of Toyota and his book Chasing the Rabbit. Then we have Greg Howell who's from the Lean construction world, so his ideas on Lean are more to do with the physical construction projects, particularly the building of hospitals. So, quite a diverse group, and that's a continuing theme. You will see that not just with our American conference, but with our European conferences. Last week, with the Benelux conference, we had Dave Snowden, the Cynefin framework, we had John Seddon, who's work on system thinking has been quite a strong influence, particularly recently on the way I'm communicating Kanban.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems I feel that that Kanban represents a certain synthesis of both Seddon and Snowden's work, and that puts it in a quite a unique and interesting possession. Then, of course, we have Donald Reinertsen, who's well known in our community, but he very openly questioned whether we should be following W Edward Deming’s work as closely as perhaps we have been. I think that's all very healthy. Those are the right kind of people who are asking the right sort of questions and challenging the community to think differently. We will continue on that theme over the years to come. I know that you've been saying that the conference is never somewhere convenient for you, but, I can let you into a secret that the 2013 conference is coming to Chicago. We haven't locked in a venue yet, we don't have anyone under contract, we don't have dates, but we are scouting venues in Chicago for 2013. Joe: One of the things about Kanban that is really interesting to me is how can just a Kanban board incorporate such a diverse audience? It seems like it's grown more than just software a little bit, that it's really taken a life of its own, from just being, just this board with a to do, doing and done as a basis, and really has captured an imagination of a lot of diverse audiences. David: I think what we're seeing is wider applicability to general knowledge work problems. I personally haven't pursued that too heavily. I feel that we want to get to a point where within the software and IT space, that it's self-evident that Kanban is helpful and useful. That we understand it well enough, we have the underlying theory of it, which enables us to scale it out to other fields. In the meantime, people are trying it in other Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems fields, and there are case studies emerging of, for example, law firms in New Zealand, using Kanban to help manage their casework. We know of examples where companies are applying it more broadly outside of IT, usually smaller or medium sized companies. They've implemented Kanban in their sales organization, or their Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, a number of different areas. These examples are still relatively few in numbers. It's difficult to pull them together, it's relatively easy to create a Lean software assistance conference and pull together a whole bunch of guys from the software industry to talk about how they're using Lean with Kanban. It's a much harder thing to pull together a broad and diverse audience from lots of different industries, who are probably a few years away from something like that. It's clear that there is spreading into other areas and people are picking up my book, which is really focused on software development organizations. They're reading it, and then they're trying to map it into their own situation, and implement it. As I mentioned earlier, there's this entire personal Kanban movement, with people with their little boards with the To Do, Doing, and Done with the tasks on it. Often those people are trying it in their home, either with a spouse or on their own, or to help manage and focus their children. When they get experience with it, they introduce it into their office perhaps with one or two colleagues, and they start doing essentially, personal Kanban in the office. From that we start to see interest growing in the organizational level implementations, which is what I've been doing for the last seven or eight years. So we've gone around this whole circle where Jim Benson and Cory Ladas had a bit of slack time back in their office in 2008, and they started to apply Kanban to their own personal work. What grew out of that Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems was personal Kanban, and the guidance on how to use it for your personal work. That community, school teachers trying it with school-kids, parents trying it with their children at home, and so on. Jim Benson's Personal Kanban book: People trying it at home, bringing it into the office, having success with it, wanting to scale it in the office, and then discovering my work. The first touch-point and the first information, the first time they ever heard about Kanban, was in a Personal Kanban context. That's how far we've come, and all of that has really happened in the last two years, this reversal, where people discover Personal Kanban before they discover the wider organization-level stuff that I've been teaching and writing about for the last five years or so. Joe: What's your immediate plan for the next, six months? You're going to stay working in developing different teams and organizations to spread Kanban? David: If you look at six months out of the next year, we'll continue to do the conference. There'll be the American conference in Boston in May. The European conferences that are happening at the moment: Munich next week and then Stockholm two weeks later. Those will all be repeated next year, and we hope to expand that series to include the United Kingdom. So we're hoping to do a Lean Kanban U.K., Central Europe, and Nordic in the fall of next year. There may or may not be some other events elsewhere in the world, we don't have any firm plans, but I could imagine the Conference Series expanding to South America, perhaps in 2013. Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Maybe India or Southeast Asia beyond that. I think you'll see the community continue to develop, both in terms of physical events like conferences. We see continued growth in Limited WIP Society, Lean Coffee Meetups all over the world. There are now four Limited WIP Society groups in Germany alone, like Munich, Cologne, Berlin, and Hamburg. I expect that that will continue. In terms of my own business, I'm working on my next book, "Advanced Kanban: Improving the Predictability of your Technology Business." That really captures a lot of material that we've really known since 2007, some newer ideas perhaps. Once again, it will follow the underlying principle of the current book, which was nothing gets in the book unless we've demonstrated it and proven it for real and shown multiple instances of it. That book project is ongoing for me and I hope to publish that in hopefully the first half of 2012. Continuing to develop the training and coaching business around the world, and enabling the community that we've developed. We're going to be enabling more people around the world to learn about Kanban, figure out its benefits; How to use it, how to do it, and give them a lot more access to local material in their own language and translations of the book, translations of the training material, and so on. Joe: Is there anything you'd like to add to this conversation that maybe I didn't ask, David, that you wanted to tell someone about? David: So a lot of exciting stuff that we'll be announcing on the LEAN Software and Systems Consortium website, LEANSSC.org. We just keep working this in terms of building Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems the community, and helping people discover how Kanban can help them. What we're seeing from that is there's a lot of LEAN activity emerging, and that's got to be a good thing. Joe: How can someone contact you? What's the best way to get ahold of you? David: I'm always hard to pin down. I'm @AgileManager on Twitter. That's perhaps the easiest way to get hold of me. Otherwise you can leave a message on the djandersonassociates.com website. Joe: I'd like to thank you very much again. This podcast will be available on the Business901 website, and also the Business901 iTunes Store, so thanks again, David. David: Thanks again for having me, Joe. I appreciate the opportunity.

Evolutionary Change thru Kanban Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Marketing Systems Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe's ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with." James R. Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providing direction in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Launches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performance planning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a single flexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result better execution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus the plan. An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with a consulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtual assistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities to plug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. As proficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting the process as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processes will become a habit and not an event.

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Kanban Evolution with Anderson  

David J. Anderson, author of the defining book on Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business appeared on my program...

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