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Re: [kanbandev] requesting help on myths of Kanban

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  • Adam Sroka
    Interesting. The variation of this that I keep seeing is that low WIP limits mean that we aren t busy and if we aren t busy then we aren t doing our jobs.
    Message 1 of 75 , Jan 17, 2011
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      Interesting. The variation of this that I keep seeing is that low WIP limits mean that we aren't busy and if we aren't busy then we aren't doing our jobs. That's usually a pretty easy one to get past, but it seems common. 

      The one that I keep getting is that Kanban == no timebox. 

      Some people see this as desirable (usually because they thing that two-weeks is too short.) Others think this means that we will lose discipline. 

      Either way they are wrong. Our cadence may not happen to be two-weeks, but we would like to have one and know what it is. We don't impose a timebox artificially, but we do measure how long things take and try to minimize them on average. 



      On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 6:34 PM, Alan Dayley <alandd@...> wrote:
       

      The myth I have run into most is around WIP limits.


      "Kanban decreases the ability to respond to our customers quickly if we are already at our limits."

      Alan


      On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM, alshalloway <alshall@...> wrote:


      I am writing an article for the cutter consortium called "Demystifying Kanban by Looking at Kanban Myths." The idea is to explain Kanban in a structure that counters common myths of it.  I already have a page called Myths of Kanban where I debunk many of these myths.  I have a list of some others that I will eventually add to that here.  I am hoping you all will tell me yet others so I can write up something about the more common ones. If interested, please go to the later link and read what I have, voting for them or adding some others.  Or, just discuss it here and I'll update the list.

      My intention here is to clarify Kanban.  I have long said that it is the responsibility of a methods thought leaders to help clarify mis-understandings of a method.  That a method, and its misunderstandings go together. While it is true you don't get true understanding without doing, I am of the opinion we can share lessons learned.

      Thanks,

      Alan Shalloway
      CEO, Net Objectives





    • williamrobertlux
      Chris: Plus 1. The esoterica is sometimes instructive but also sometimes little more than diverting. Bill
      Message 75 of 75 , Jan 24, 2011
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        Chris:
        Plus 1. The esoterica is sometimes instructive but also sometimes little more than diverting.
        Bill

        --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <chris.matts@...> wrote:
        >
        > Robert
        >
        > I think you have a point. I do not think that taking Kanban apart is the problem. I suspect it is the theoretical discussion ( e.g. Lean V Scrum V XP etc ) that require a great deal of energy to follow and more often than not yield little or no insight.
        >
        > This is meant to be a practitioners community. Perhaps the moderators should encourage the theoretical discussions about Lean et al. to move to a Lean yahoo discussion group.
        >
        > Chris
        >
        > --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com, Robert Swanbum <rswany79@> wrote:
        > >
        > > This is not in response to your post or any specific post for that matter but
        > > does anyone think 'over-analysis' of Kanban could lead to it's death?  It's like
        > > taking a great running car apart, down to the last bolt, and then trying to put
        > > it back together.  It never seems to run as good as before you took it apart.  I
        > > mean does Kanban have to have an all encompassing purpose or can it just be?
        > > Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ________________________________
        > > From: Jim Benson <jim@>
        > > To: kanbandev@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Fri, January 21, 2011 11:35:51 AM
        > > Subject: Re: [kanbandev] Re: The impotance of Community WAS requesting help on
        > > myths of Kanban
        > >
        > >  
        > >
        > >
        > > On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM, Chris <chris.matts@> wrote:
        > >
        > >  
        > > >Jim
        > > >
        > > >I agree.
        > > >
        > > >At present I see a pattern in both Agile and Kanban that people are dialling out
        > > >because there is little new material. I know a number of people who have stopped
        > > >"listening" to this list because all they perceive is the same ideas being
        > > >rehashed. I have been lucky to meet some of the new generation of Kanbanistas.
        > > >As a result I stick around even though the signal to noise ratio has dropped a
        > > >lot over the years.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >I think this community could be the next source of new good ideas... Provided it
        > > >does not follow the Agile community down the path of marketing and stagnate. I
        > > >see and fear that stagnation by marketing. Old school leaders professing their
        > > >greatness rather than promoting the newbies.
        > > >
        > > >Just spotted a typo. I meant to call this post "The importance of Community"...
        > > >Typo or Freudian?
        > >
        > > I agree. There's a problem we have right now where there is such a fertile
        > > ground for memes that people expect a new one every day. There is also a
        > > fundamental lack of appreciation for the depth (psychological, social, economic)
        > > of visualization, collaboration and clarity. Hopefully, conversations like this
        > > will continue to keep interest up. 
        > >
        > > For example, if people don't understand the concept of memes - their
        > > understanding of how kanban works will probably be merely mechanical. And,
        > > mechanically, kanban is boringly simple. But understanding the social flow of
        > > ideas and information through the visual control and how that can create rapidly
        > > evolving projects in practice. Is very exciting.
        > >
        > > Kapital K Kanban as a methodology stands every chance in the world of becoming
        > > sluggish and codified. It is totally in danger of being the next SixSigma. 
        > >
        > > But
        > >
        > > Pushing Kapital K Kaizen through the vehicle of visualization - rewarding
        > > continuous improvement through the appreciation of work - that's where I hope
        > > we're heading.
        > >
        > > Jim
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >Chris
        > > >
        > > >--- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com, Jim Benson <jim@> wrote:
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >> Chris,
        > > >>
        > > >> I totally agree that the Agile community was early adopters of the tool. And
        > > >> that many Agile practices are key to healthy kanban use (stand-ups, unit
        > > >> tests, etc.).
        > > >>
        > > >> Also, you can argue a medium-is-the-message here, saying that the Agile
        > > >> community was the primary conduit of the kanban meme and therefore the
        > > >> current view of kanban is largely driven by Agile sensibilities.
        > > >>
        > > >> But, given that kanban is a technique expanded from another industry, I'd
        > > >> say that the current state of awareness in knowledge organizations is
        > > >> centered around forward thinking coders who happen to be Agile.
        > > >>
        > > >> Given all that, the lean software community (which I hope doesn't focus too
        > > >> much on Kanban) seems to be the growing evolution of the Agile community. In
        > > >> being an evolution, it will greatly resemble its previous evolutionary state
        > > >> and have some important elements of phase transition. Which is probably the
        > > >> most important thing here. Can we note a phase transition?
        > > >>
        > > >> I would say that moving from isolation into organizational integration is
        > > >> significant.
        > > >>
        > > >> Jim
        > > >>
        > > >> --
        > > >> *Jim Benson*
        > > >> Collaborative Management
        > > >
        > > >> <http://moduscooperandi.com/>
        > > >> Modus Cooperandi <http://moduscooperandi.com/>: Performance Through
        > > >> Collaboration
        > > >> Personal Kanban <http://personalkanban.com/>: Personal organization your
        > > >> brain will actually like
        > > >> Out Soon: the book Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life
        > > >>
        > > >> My Evolving Web Blog <http://ourfounder.typepad.com/> | Follow me on
        > > >> Twitter <http://twitter.com/ourfounder>
        > > >> Skype: ourfounder
        > > >> Phone US +1.206.383.6088
        > > >> Add Me on Linked In <http://linkedin.com/in/jimbenson>
        > > >>
        > > >>
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >> On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 8:08 AM, Chris <chris.matts@> wrote:
        > > >>
        > > >> >
        > > >> >
        > > >> > Jim
        > > >> >
        > > >> > I do not think my description was clear enough. Kanban was an idea, a
        > > >> > "Meme". The Agile Community was a fitness landscape where that Meme
        > > >> > flourished.
        > > >> >
        > > >> > Without the Agile Community, it would potentially have taken much longer
        > > >> > for Kanban to be adopted. Without the Agile Community first adopting it,
        > > >> > other groups may not have encountered it.
        > > >> >
        > > >> > David mentions that it was the most popular session at the SEI conferences.
        > > >> > But does popularity or attractiveness of an idea translate into actual
        > > >> > adoption? The key thing about the Agile Community fitness landscape was
        > > that
        > > >> > they found the idea attractive AND they implemented it without needing to
        > > >> > see a whole load of experience reports to justify the risk.
        > > >> >
        > > >> > Funny but I must have been very lucky to work in companies where we have
        > > >> > allways seen IT integrated with the business.... with representative from
        > > >> > both the business and IT involved in projects. That has been for the whole
        > > >> > of my career. Kanban has not really done anything to change that.
        > > >> >
        > > >> > I would agree that Kanban is a great tool. I'm simply saying that even
        > > >> > though it is a great idea, it would probably be a much smaller community
        > > had
        > > >> > it not been for the great start it got from the Agile community.
        > > >> >
        > > >> > Chris
        > > >> >
        > > >> >
        > > >> > --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com <kanbandev%40yahoogroups.com>, Jim Benson
        > > >
        > > >> > <jim@> wrote:
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > What was the Fitness Landscape for Agile?
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > Evolutionary design is evolutionary design.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > The fitness landscape for agile started well before XP. Agile was not the
        > > >> > > first iterative design methodology or family of methodologies. Agile was
        > > >> > a
        > > >> > > means of expressing many components of healthy software design - some
        > > >> > new,
        > > >> > > but most repackaged.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > What I have noticed as an Agile practitioner of 15 years and a Lean /
        > > >> > Kanban
        > > >> > > practitioner of 5 years is that the moment we introduced Lean or kanban
        > > >> > into
        > > >> > > an org, software developers ceased to be marginalized or self-exiled.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > Software suddenly integrated with the rest of the business. So, in the
        > > >> > new
        > > >> > > kanban community, we see HR, Legal, Sales, Graphic Design, and the rest
        > > >> > not
        > > >> > > only paying attention to software devs, but now looking to them for
        > > >> > process
        > > >> > > guidance.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > So, absolutely agree that the fitness landscape for the kanban meme
        > > >> > includes
        > > >> > > Agile, but it also includes a huge a whole lot more people.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > I would also say that at Lean Coffees throughout America and Sweden and
        > > >> > at
        > > >> > > LSSC last year in Atlanta, I have seen a very defined community making
        > > >> > very
        > > >> > > large, sure evolutionary steps.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > And that's been wonderful.
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > Jim
        > > >> > > --
        > > >> > > *Jim Benson*
        > > >> > > Collaborative Management
        > > >> > > <http://moduscooperandi.com/>
        > > >> > > Modus Cooperandi <http://moduscooperandi.com/>: Performance Through
        > > >> > > Collaboration
        > > >> > > Personal Kanban <http://personalkanban.com/>: Personal organization your
        > > >> >
        > > >> > > brain will actually like
        > > >> > > Out Soon: the book Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > My Evolving Web Blog <http://ourfounder.typepad.com/> | Follow me on
        > > >> > > Twitter <http://twitter.com/ourfounder>
        > > >> >
        > > >> > > Skype: ourfounder
        > > >> > > Phone US +1.206.383.6088
        > > >> > > Add Me on Linked In <http://linkedin.com/in/jimbenson>
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 6:53 AM, David Anderson <netherby_uk@>wrote:
        > > >> >
        > > >> > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > Actually, 2 years running Kanban presentations were voted in the Top 10
        > > >> > at
        > > >> > > > the SEPG conference and #1 on one of those years. Kanban actually
        > > >> > solves a
        > > >> > > > problem for SEI types too.
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > The Agile community was simply more "agile" in its adoption.
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > In fairness both Arlo and Joshua were solving a different problem with
        > > >> > a
        > > >> > > > similar looking solution. Similar mechanism but different problem. I'm
        > > >> > not
        > > >> > > > sure what problem you were trying to solve but if it was deferred
        > > >> > decision
        > > >> > > > making then that wasn't the problem I was trying to solve.
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > One thing is true, I believe, we were all using a systems thinking
        > > >> > > > approach.
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > Regards,
        > > >> > > > David
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > > --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com <kanbandev%40yahoogroups.com><kanbandev%
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >> > 40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > >> >
        > > >> > > > "chrismatts1968" <chrismatts1968@> wrote:
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > I would say that there would be no Kanban Community without the Agile
        > > >> > > > Community.
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > If you look at Julian Everret's work on Meme Lifecycles, the Kanban
        > > >> > Idea
        > > >> > > > is a meme and the Agile Community was the "Fitness Landscape" where it
        > > >> > grew.
        > > >> > > > A number of people had a problem and came up with a solution ( Arlo,
        > > >> > David,
        > > >> > > > myself ). When Kanban was presented to the Agile Community, they
        > > >> > embraced it
        > > >> > > > because it solved problems for them. This generated the stories and
        > > >> > examples
        > > >> > > > that drove the growth of the group that eventually became the Kanban
        > > >> > > > Community.
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > Now imagine a situation where Kanban did not have the Agile Community
        > > >> > to
        > > >> > > > adopt the idea. How many SEI types do you hear are using Kanban? Are
        > > >> > they
        > > >> > > > using it because they like the idea or are they using it because the
        > > >> > Agile
        > > >> > > > community has shown that it works?
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > "I've got a great idea" is not as compelling as "Let me show you this
        > > >> > > > stuff that these other people are using".
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > Without the Agile Community, David may have eventually found a group
        > > >> > to
        > > >> > > > embrace Kanban, but it is likely someone in the Agile Community would
        > > >> > have
        > > >> > > > beaten him to it.
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > That said, there would not be a Kanban community unless it was
        > > >> > solving
        > > >> > > > real world problems. And it does.
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > My concern is that it is not really evolving. A number of people are
        > > >> > > > leaving the community because they perceive nothing new is happening.
        > > >> > Do we
        > > >> > > > need a community to sustain an idea that is not evolving? Has the
        > > >> > community
        > > >> > > > become a form of marketing for the existing ideas?
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > Do we have a zombie community?
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > > > --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com
        > > >><kanbandev%40yahoogroups.com><kanbandev%
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >> > 40yahoogroups.com>, "David
        > > >> >
        > > >> > > > Anderson" <netherby_uk@> wrote:
        > > >> > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > There would be no community if Kanban was not solving a real
        > > >> > problem
        > > >> > > > for people and if there were no stories. Without the early stories and
        > > >> > > > presentations and blog posts and magazine articles there would be no
        > > >> > > > community. Without the community there would have been no demand for
        > > >> > more
        > > >> > > > guidance and no demand for books. One begets the other. You cannot have
        > > >> > one
        > > >> > > > without the other. I don't see the value proposition as divisible.
        > > >> > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > David
        > > >> > > > > > http://www.kanbaninaction.com/
        > > >> > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > --- In kanbandev@yahoogroups.com
        > > >><kanbandev%40yahoogroups.com><kanbandev%
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >> > 40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > >> >
        > > >> > > > Rodrigo Yoshima <rodrigoy@> wrote:
        > > >> > > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > > Alan really got a point. It's hard to box what Kanban is.
        > > >> > Sometimes I
        > > >> > > > ask
        > > >> > > > > > > myself why we need all these labels. I like the Kanban community
        > > >> > and
        > > >> > > > your
        > > >> > > > > > > flow of ideas.
        > > >> > > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > > Deming said that the key property of Toyota success was
        > > >> > > > "self-reliance". If
        > > >> > > > > > > we copy Toyota, we look less like Toyota. Scrum worked somewhere
        > > >> > > > sometime,
        > > >> > > > > > > and we copy it. The same with Kanban, or XP, or RUP.
        > > >> > > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > > Today I see Kanban as "Visualization of work (and waste) to raise
        > > >> > > > social
        > > >> > > > > > > capital or synergy". I use Kanban embedded on Scrum a lot. But
        > > >> > the
        > > >> > > > great
        > > >> > > > > > > value of Kanban is the community, not the books or the success
        > > >> > > > stories.
        > > >> > > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > > > Rodrigo Yoshima
        > > >> > > > > > > www.ASPERCOM.com.br
        > > >> > > > > > > (11) 2309-1868 | (11) 9747-0250
        > > >> > > > > > >
        > > >> > > > > >
        > > >> > > > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > > >
        > > >> > >
        > > >> >
        > > >> >
        > > >> >
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
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