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Posted on August 17, 2013 by David Anderson

The First-Rate Intelligence of Kanban Consultants & Trainers

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of my favorite authors, who said, "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

By Fitzgerald's definition, most Accredited Kanban Trainers and Kanban Coaching Professionals, exhibit first rate intelligence. Here is why we encourage this behavior...

Posted on August 16, 2013 by David Anderson

The #NoEstimates Beef! And Agile's Trojan Horse

Today I was inspired by a post to the Kanbandev Yahoo! group by Dan Brown from the UK. For those of you who don't know Dan, he's a very lovely man, a fabulous Kanban trainer and coach, and experienced practitioner of Agile software development methods. And particularly endearing to me, he started his career as an assembly language programmer, just like me, producing near defect free code, in hostile silicon environments, unlike the pansies with their protected memory spaces, 3rd generation languages, compilers, debuggers, and modern fancy IDEs with automated testing environments, static and dynamic code analysis and so many other belts, braces and protective screening devices designed to prevent bugs escaping into the wild. So we've established Dan is a good guy! :-)

Dan's Beef with the #NoEstimates Movement

Recently, Dan posted his thoughts on the growing #NoEstimates movement that is advocating dropping Agile estimation methods such as Planning Poker(tm) and Fibonacci Series sizing. Dan worries that despite the self-evident benefits of probabilistic forecasting, those moving to this so called "No Estimates" approach might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's an argument I've heard before. Here is what Dan had to say...

Posted on August 09, 2013 by David Anderson

Why "doing things right" should lead "doing the right thing"

So another Agile Conference in North America is over. Once again, perhaps for the 7th year running, we've heard a number of leaders in the Agile community promoting the idea that you should focus on doing the right thing - discovering what customers really want and need - rather than focusing on building and deploying working software. The argument goes that there is no point in "doing the wrong thing faster." This sounds bite always makes the speaker sound very smart and it catches attention. It's also used to sell a variety of requirements solicitation and discovery techniques as well as various flavors of product management (or methods for product ownership to use arcane tribal Agile language.)

I deeply disagree with this and I have done since 2005 when I first heard it suggested by one of my fellow co-founders of the Agile Project Leadership Network. I truly believe that building capability to "do things right" must take the lead. Here is why...

Posted on August 02, 2013 by David Anderson

Kanban - an alternative path to agility

"Is Kanban an Agile Method?" is a perennial question that comes up in our training classes. It ought to be an irrelevant question. Who cares whether Kanban is Agile or not? It shouldn't matter. What should matter is whether Kanban helps business improve their capabilties and customer satisfaction? Whether Kanban improves the economic and sociological outcomes for those adopting it? The answer to these questions is irrefutably, "yes, it does" and there is lots of reported, empirical evidence, much of it documented in the archives of the Lean Kanban conferences over the past 4 years. So why should it matter whether is Kanban is Agile or not? Meanwhile, an assessment of the question doesn't result in a simple binary answer or "yes" or "no". The picture isn't black or white but answers come in various shades of grey. We prefer to position Kanban as "an alternative path to agility." Read on to learn why...

Posted on July 31, 2013 by David Anderson

Kanban and Lean - a challenging association

There a few vocal detractors and those who resent the success of Kanban who have over the years accused me of many incredibly smart marketing moves. Apparently, I cleverly pursued a Blue Ocean Strategy to skillfully separate out Kanban from both Agile and Lean. I'd love to be that clever. I should make a fortune as a marketing genius and give up my current profession! ;-) Usually these accusations are couched in cynicism and laced with conspiracy theories. People are always trying to post-rationalize what is mostly just the emergent outcome of an evolutionary process in a complex marketplace. I rarely waste any energy responding to these accusations. However, most recently, I've been accused of trying to distance Kanban from Lean. This seems a strange accusation to make against the owner of the Lean Kanban Global Conference series and the Lean Kanban University certified training business. So it worth some explantion...

Posted on July 31, 2013 by David Anderson

Kanban - the anti-SAFe for almost a decade already

Increasingly this year I'm being asked to comment about the Scaled Agile Framework (of SAFe) being offered in the market by Dean Leffingwell (and others). One of the main Agile project management software vendors is pushing it very heavily with their clients as a solution to the increasingly recognized problem of scaling Agile adoption in large corporations. It is gaining some market traction. In two specific examples, both large corporations, one in the healthcare sector, one in the DACH region of central Europe and the other in North America, Kanban advocates have had some concerns about their firm's large scale move to adopt SAFe and asked me to share my thoughts with them. I thought I'd share them with everyone else too...

Posted on December 07, 2012 by admin

Shelf-Life: Another Risk Dimension

Those who followed the Lean Kanban European conference circuit in October will have seen my presentations on risk management with Kanban including this one launching the idea of measuring system liquidity, presented in Vienna. Don Reinertsen urged me to promote another risk dimension that he often mentions as part of my multi-dimension risk profiling technique for demand analysis and kanban system design - shelf life! Shelf life is…

Posted on November 27, 2012 by admin

Thoughts on the Value of Liquidity as a Metric

For those who attended Lean Kanban Central Europe in Vienna, or Lean Kanban Netherlands in Utrecht last month, or those who’ve been following me recently, you will already have seen my key note speech where I introduced the concept of measuring “real liquidity” for kanban systems as a mechanism for evaluating the trustworthiness of a system or comparing 2 or more kanban systems (or services being delivered using a kanban system). Some of you may have seen Zsolt Fabok’s blog post explaining liquidity and evaluating it against his former organization in Budapest. This blog post seeks to explain how I envisage such a metric or indicator being used.

Posted on October 10, 2012 by admin

What People are Saying About My 3-Day Advanced Masterclass

Alumni of my coaching and leadership masterclass for advanced Kanban practitioners have taken the time to tell us why they valued the experience and what it means for them and their clients…

Posted on October 04, 2012 by admin

Calculating PPP Adjustments for Lean-Kanban University Pricing

I thought I’d share some of the internal workings of Lean-Kanban University. More and more, I find that my day job is becoming the CEO of Lean-Kanban University and less and less it is about delivering Kanban training to clients and attendees of open classes. LKU is growing into a global training business and some aspects of its operations and business model are quite novel. For example, were you aware that LKU adjusts its pricing for purchasing power parity in many countries of the world? This means that member companies operating in countries with lower cost economies can price their training accordingly and pay fees to LKU in accordance with what they can afford. Today, I was asked to calculate a PPP adjustment for Romania. This is how it was done…