The Kanban approach to work on the right thing at the right time

We always have too much to do. Our backlogs are endless. For decades, the solution was to freeze all the requests, schedule the whole thing and then hurry to deliver on the promised date. Kanban brought another way of thinking about this problem. You don't need to deliver everything. You need to deliver the right thing at the right time. In this talk, I will explain why this distinction is so important, how Kanban can help us to make better decisions, and what to do to always have the right people working on the right task, for the right feature, in the right unit of business value.

It is a common mistake to see Kanban just as a tool to establish a linear process where work items flow through stages towards completion. Even when the limits are there, the focus only on the mechanics can be misleading.

Instead, think of Kanban as a systemic approach that enables better decision making within a team or organization regarding what to do next. If we, in our collective contexts, always make the right decisions about what to do next in all of our micro-routines, the final effect is the delivery of the right thing at the right time. The result is effectiveness.

A Kanban system reveals our current options for involvement. Those options are potential pull transactions with different value and risk profiles. The way that work items flow will be the result of pull transactions based on conscious choices.

So, the question becomes: Are you prepared to make such conscious choices?

The good news is that Kanban can help! The whole set of practices are already there to help you become highly effective.

The purpose of this talk is to help the audience to understand how all concepts and practices used in Kanban implementations are interconnected in such a way that, when applied consciously, can lead us to a huge leap in effectiveness for our delivery systems.

TAGS  systems; decisions; planning

Alisson Vale

Alisson Vale, KCP, is a software developer, consultant, trainer and entrepreneur. With more than 20 years of experience in management and leadership, he has been a practitioner and promoter of modern management methods for 15 years, specially Kanban, Lean and Agile. He has made an extensive contribution in forums and conferences in Brazil and around the world. In 2008 he implemented the first Kanban study case in Latin America. In 2010, he won the first Brickell Key Award for standing achievement and leadership. In 2014, he founded “Software Zen”, an innovative enterprise which brings online education about management and software development for thousands of people in Brazil.   @alissonvale