Kanban is very frequently described as “a visual management method for projects”. But is this really true? I believe it misses the core of understanding kanban and creates many misconceptions.
It has become a commonplace that the throughput of a team’s or individual’s work is significantly slowed by context switching. If, instead of trying to multi-task and performing many different tasks within a given lapse of time, we finish a task before we start another, there will be much less context switching. Consequently, we would […]
Field service work has a variety of constraints and special characteristics that may influence how the flow of field service work is managed using kanban. What is different about field service and what should we take into account when using kanban to manage field service work? Many of the issues that I will describe may […]
I have frequently remarked that “traditional” analysis of service events and the plotting of data is highly misleading. This is due to a distribution of data that is neither symmetric nor normal. A useful data plotting tool for asymmetric, non normal data distributions is the violin plot. This article joins my series of articles concerning […]
There is a strong contrast between the traditional management view of spare time and the kanban view. Traditional managers1 view spare time as something to avoid, as a sign of inefficiency or even laziness. One important responsibility of such managers is to keep workers busy. In contrast to this, network queuing theory—and kanban in particular—show […]
An indicator of the increasing popularity of kanban is the number of software tools and online services that claim kanban functionality. For those practitioners who have seen the tremendous benefits of kanban, this should be a gratifying development. But what does it really mean for a tool to support or to enable kanban? And what […]
A key assumption underpinning kanban is that context switching in work performed by people—the inevitable by-product of multitasking—leads to considerable waste. When individuals perform knowledge work, the impact of context switching resolves, in part, into the question of whether the human brain can multitask efficiently. Therefore, it is useful to understand the neurological basis for […]
When I ask people what they think about kanban, why they do not use it or why they show little interest in learning about it, I sometimes receive surprising answers. Clearly, there are many misunderstandings about kanban, many misconceptions about what it is, how it works, who can use it and what its benefits are. […]