Practical Kanban

von Georg Schönberger (Thomas-Krenn.AG)

Kanban is more than a project management tool, it is an evolutionary improvement process which supports teams at organizing themselves. Elementary steps of establishing a Kanban culture lead from team retrospective over mission statements to system design workshops. It is essential to walk through these steps as a team and develop the Kanban system together. Companies are different and so are its requirements on management techniques. There isn't an “one and only” Kanban answer for overloaded team members and never ending task queues. What Kanban provides are methods and practices on a road to a solid and agile system targeting itself on company benefit.
“Stop starting – start finishing” is a fundamental building block in the Kanban life of Thomas Krenn's Reasearch and Development (R&D) department. With a visual Kanban-Board in an IT-driven company, current working topics, corresponding work in progress limits and finished tasks are visualized. The intentional decision against a sole electronic software tool reveals its advantages in the daily interaction between workers and management system. A typical Kanban work flow at R&D starts at Monday with the replenishment meeting – new task cards are added to the board. Every day morning a daily stand-up meeting keeps each other informed about the tasks for the upcoming working hours. With another backlog-board pointing out ongoing and future projects nothing is forgotten in the heat of the battle. But at the end of the day no system is perfect – continuous improvement suggestions on a Change-Ban-Wall are ready for the next Kanban check-up.

Über den Autor Georg Schönberger:

Georg Schönberger is a Technology Specialist at Thomas Krenn. He is a regular contributor of new articles for the Thomas Krenn Wiki and provides support in terms of information security questions. As his previous engagement was programming-driven he is still operating in this area, e.g. writing performance tools or hardware-monitoring plugins. Further fields of interest reach from Linux scripting languages over performance tuning to information security management.