Kanban. Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business.
Kanban is the latest book by David Anderson, the author of Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results.
While searching for sustainable software development and successful change management, David expanded the ideas of Theory of Constraints and Lean Manufacturing. The new methods got their first real-world implementation at Corbis and Microsoft and the results are presented in this book.
Kanban systems have been gaining popularity in software development and information technology. They represent a pull-system approach, which produces what the next process needs when it needs it. Thus, the new work is pulled into the system when there is a capacity to handle it.
Kanban systems often visualize the development workflow and all work in progress (WIP) on a card wall, where each card represents a single work item. If your objectives are to improve lead time predictability and increase throughput, you can achieve them by limiting WIP, identifying and alleviating bottlenecks, and reducing variability.
The book is very informative, filled with practical ideas and rich examples on how to:
- Handle different types of work
- Set initial WIP limits and input queue size
- Introduce queues to absorb variation and maintain flow
- Buffer bottlenecks to ensure smooth flow in the system and avoid idle time in the bottlenecks
- Cope with multiple concurrent and unordered activities
- Cope with impediments
- Support hierarchical requirements
- Manage shared resources
I greatly enjoyed reading David's book and hope you will like it as much as I have. My only recommendation for the next edition of this book is to have card-wall pictures printed in color.