Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kanban by David J Anderson

I've been in and around IT/software development for 10 years, and familiar with the Waterfall, Agile, Scrum and Kanban (or so I thought) methods. This was a very in-depth book on Kanban, opening me eyes to a much wider world than just being a task board. First 3/4 or so is focused on Kanban specifically, with good implementation ideas, and then the rest brings in quality practices and other areas of software development and how they connect or work within a Kanban environment.

My one gripe (besides the book's price) would be that this book is primarily for managers with the authority to implement serious change, which is ironic given the focus on the employee-empowering benefits of the discipline. Would have been nice to have some thoughts on how to introduce it without the WIP limits and negotiations with other teams; a way for line employees to push for change and prove the concept of task visibility, flow, throughput and bottlenecks w/o having to make externally visible changes right off the bat.

The way it's presented in this book, seems to be targeted at groups that are really struggling with their existing processes or already have a continuous improvement culture. I think the folks kind of muddling through with an existing process might find the "switching costs" to be pretty high.

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