What is Kanban?
The term KANBAN comes from the Japanese and means "card", "board" or "document" and thus refers to the origin of the KANBAN method: The use in production. Pioneer in this area was Toyota; the production control based on Kanban is an essential component of the famous "Toyota Production System". In the software development Kanban gained however only later meaning, finds today however in many places application. A pioneer for the use of Kanban in IT and as a change management method is David Anderson, the founder of the Lean Kanban University.
With Kanban it is possible to organize work in a system (team, organization, value chain), to visualize disturbances and to optimize the flow. Starting from a tactical application of Kanban, the visualization of work steps, workload and queues can be used to continuously improve the organization of work. This transparency is the basis for a conscious and lasting improvement of the organization and makes KANBAN finally also a change management method.
KANBAN is often equated with the best-known tool from the KANBAN method: the KANBAN Board. However, this is too short-sighted, the core of Kanban is a holistic view of the system a set of principles ("Change Principles", "Service Delivery Principles") and practices - at least in the definition of the Lean Kanban University (see KANBAN Guide of the Lean Kanban University https://prod-kanbanuniversity-backend-store.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/guide/The+Official+Kanban+Guide_A4.pdf).
Using the Kanban method means a holistic way of thinking about the service you or your company provide, with a focus on improving it from your customers' point of view. With Kanban you visualize the otherwise invisible knowledge work and its path through your system.
By following Kanban principles, you and your organization can develop capabilities to better and more quickly respond to changes in customer needs and expectations, as well as changes in the marketplace.
Kanban is often used within teams to reduce overload and give the team the ability to manage the work being done. While the use of Kanban within a team usually brings quick benefits, more opportunities are offered by applying the Kanban method on a larger scale, e.g. for an entire service area, which usually includes the work of several teams or different parts of the company. With a focus on services, Kanban is an effective tool for organizational development.
Kanban is therefore neither a method nor a framework. Kanban is a management method that can be applied to existing processes or existing ways of working. Therefore the question whether Kanban is used instead of another Method or instead of a certain Framework does not arise. It is always about combining KANBAN with a used framework or the current way of working.
An example is the use of KANBAN systems in frameworks like SAFe, where KANBAN is used on every level of abstraction. Having a deeper understanding of KANBAN is of great benefit in this constellation, as it allows the corresponding KANBAN systems to be developed further in an optimal way, reducing blockages and waiting times.
KEGON offers four different trainings on the topic of KANBAN, which raises the question of which of the trainings is the most suitable for your own situation
Professional Scrum with Kanban (PSK)
With the Scrum.org training Professional Scrum with Kanban it seems obvious. If you are already successfully using Scrum as a lightweight framework in your company to manage the work in a complex environment, but still have the feeling to work in a waterfall model, then the PSK training is the right training for you.
Maybe your sprint burndown chart looks like this, or something similar. Actually quite good, but it says nothing about the value flow, possibly all Sprint Backlog items were worked on in parallel and all items in the Sprint were completed shortly before the review.
The PSK training reiterates what it means to use Professional Scrum as a framework and how additional practices from Kanban can be introduced into Scrum teams without changing Scrum. Through theory, case studies and hands-on exercises, you will understand the importance of transparency and flow in the context of the Scrum framework and learn how the practices and metrics can help you transform the "mini-waterfall process" into a continuous flow of value.
The Kanban methodology can be applied at three levels: by teams to develop sustainable practices, by managers to improve the delivery of products and services, and by entire organizations to achieve adaptability and responsiveness that enables them to better operate in ever-changing markets.
Team Kanban Practitioner (TKP)
Just like Scrum.org's Professional Scrum with Kanban (PSK) course, Kanban University's Team Kanban Practitioner (TKP) course has its focus at the team level. The TKP is one-day interactive course where you will learn what the Kanban method is. You will learn the principles and practices of the method, the basics of visualizing different types of work, and how to collect and apply key flow-based metrics.
Because Kanban is independent of the current way of working and the work being done, the course is recommended for anyone who feels their team is overloaded and taking too long to complete work.
The courses "Kanban System Design" (KSD) and "Kanban System Improvement" (KSI) focus on the second and third level of the Kanban method, i.e. the improvement of services.
Kanban System Design (KSD)
In the Kanban System Design (KSD) course you will learn how to design a Kanban system and how to initiate evolutionary changes with Kanban. You will learn the basic concepts of flow, pull and collaborative improvement and how to become faster and more responsive through better risk management and decentralized decision making.
Examples and practical insights will help them introduce or improve Kanban in your organization.
Like the TKP course, this course is suitable for anyone, no matter what framework, or method is currently in use. In contrast to the TKP course, the KDS course does not only look at the level of a team, but develops an End2End view, so that possibilities are worked out to manage the flow over a complete value stream, from the requirement to the value generation.
Kanban Systems Improvement (KSI)
The Kanban Systems Improvement (KSI) course focuses on the complex requirements of a multi-team organization and explores how to maintain momentum beyond the initial improvements achieved through a successful Kanban implementation.
The course will delve into the change management aspect of Kanban in order to be armed with the tools necessary to implement and run a Kanban system on a daily basis.
The feedback mechanisms necessary to ensure continuous improvement will be developed in order to build sustainable customer satisfaction, bottlenecks in the system will be analyzed and strategies will be developed to deal with these bottlenecks or to resolve them.
Organizations rarely consist of a single value stream, the KSI course looks at the dependencies between services and how the dependencies can be managed across different Kanban systems. An understanding of variability in the system is developed and what metrics help to identify and smooth out variability with the goal of maintaining an even, continuous value stream.
The KSI course builds on the KSD course, this course is most fun when you have experience with Kanban, when you have built and implemented your first Kanban systems. The course thrives on the exchange between the participants and the joint development of solutions for challenges brought along.