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Nick is an Agile coach, Lean enthusiast, book addict, mountain bike amateur, blogger, and the author of Kanban for skeptics. Nick has posted 1 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Kanban for Skeptics: The 5 Most Common Arguments

09.06.2012
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In my job as a change agent, I constantly have to reassure people that the path we follow is worth traveling. This need for reassurance often expresses itself in the form of critique and difficult questions. When I coach teams, this is often the case. The same thing happens when introducing Kanban.

Kanban raises much harder questions on a management and leadership level, once people are introduced to the basics and start to explore the subject on their own. The type of questions Kanban raises seem to be hard to answer without lapsing into an hour-long discussion. Perhaps this is because Kanban is much less prescriptive than, say, Scrum.

In order to provide reassurance as a coach, you need to trace the questions all the way back to the principles of Kanban, which are grounded in Lean thinking. 

This book contains the 5 most common arguments against Kanban and my responses to them. I hope to help people in their Kanban journey and build great organizations that create amazing products.

These answers are based on my own perspective and experience. I encourage readers to share their insights and improve the book while more people are introduced to Kanban. My goal was not to explain Kanban scientifically, but to provide insights into why these arguments don't stand, in a language that is understandable by all.

These are the five arguments answered in the book:

1.    We lose our ability to plan
2.    It will take longer
3.    Things will get stuck -- we can’t keep WIP limits
4.    Stakeholders don’t care about feeding the flow
5.    We will lose team cohesion

Since the book was published, I have received lots of feedback from readers. In the next weeks, I will publish a second version of the book. I added a sixth common argument against Kanban: Software development is not manufacturing.

Free Download

You can download the book for free at http://leanpub.com/kanbanforskeptics and automatically get next versions in the future.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Nick Oostvogels.

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