'Agile' is a philosophy (that lives in the collective minds of the people in the organization and is valued by them) that uses organizational models based on people, collaboration, and shared values & beliefs. It is more of a system of culture and values; working together & growing competitively with values and guided principles.
Organziations should focus on improving their 'Agility', which is the key for their success and not just the Agile methods that they use!
'Agility' is the ability to both create and respond to change, with balance flexibility and stability.
'Agility' can be achieved by various flavors of Agile like Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming(XP), DSDM, and so on.
Yes, the success of Agile in any organization depends primarily on successful collaboration & coordination across teams and various other organizatons and systems. As the size of the organziation gets larger, the need for higher levels of collaboration and the related challenges demand extended model of scaling agile. Choosing an extended model is up to that organziation. Actually, when it comes to respecting Agile philosophy - Values and Principles it makes no difference for a small or large company, but scaling Agile needs a lot of additional factors and considerations that contribute to the success of Agiity.
There is nothing like this is the best flavor of Agile! What an organization wants is Agility.
How to get that Agility is up to that Organization. The culture of the organziation plays a vital role in their success towards agility, and the Agile model they choose should be suitable for their organizational model.
While many of us consider Kanban as a flavor of Agile (also as thought in Scrum class rooms by Certified Scrum Trainers (CST), primarily because the Manifesto for Agile Software Development primarily talks about ' We are uncovering better ways of developing software...'. Kanban is beyond that. Kanban can be used as a method to improve all the services (devemopment services, maintenance services, oprations services, and so on) of an enterprise, not just software development alone.
So, great philosophers and advocates of Kanban call it as 'an alternate path to Agility across the enterprise!' as you can use Kanban for enterprise-wide Agility; a single Lean derivative that can be applied from concept to cash.
How to get that Agility and what medium to use is upto that Organization! The culture of the organziation plays a vital role in their success towards agility, and the model to bring the Agility should be wisely choosen for their organizational culture and current model.
So, it is easier for me to say Kanban is an enterpise Agile method - a change management method for improving all facets across enterprise.
Yes! For example Kanban sounds simple with one of its deceptively simple and highly powerful Change Management Principle "Start with what you do now. Respecting existing roles, responsibilities & job titles." For many organizations, this is a very cost-effective way of their journey to Agility due to minimal (or 'no') resistance from people (organizational model). Human resitance (passive or active) from a revolutionary approach to agility can kill valuable productive time due to human psychological fears that effect productity directly or indirectly. Other models, say Scrum recommends splitting members into the ± size teams, and joining them for scaling-up.
Scrum needs a good full-time coach to start with until the teams understand handling many practical situations & expected Agile behaviors that are otherwise mostly left to intrepretion by people.
Agile practices are the technical / engineering practices that are a must to be used with any Agile method - be it Scrum, Kanban or so. Agile engineering practices are the proud invention of XP, a dedicated Software Development methodology. These practices are the key for success of any Agile approach; and are very difficult to practice. I have seen many organization (over 90% honesltly) doing agile without right engineering practices in place. They are do so inherently inviting trouble in the form of technical debt.
Do't be fooled by the fantasies of any 2-day Agile training program you attended and hastily start implementing any Agile approach without considering the software engineering practices. Without these engineering practices, achieveing quality in software developement is impossible and most likely is highly expensive to your busiess and will defeat the very purpose of the Agility attempt that you are making! Technical / Engineering practices are very critical to be implemented from the early stages of your Agile journey. This is because, in any Agile development approach the product snowballs down the snow-mountain very quickly (iteration on iteration) and chances are very high that you will inherently accrue technical debt without right technical practices (like Automation testing, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Delivery & Continuous Deployment) in place right from beginning of your development. The number of teams that are sprinting represent the depth of the snow on the mountrain that dtermines the size of the snowball that is rolling down!.
Based on numerous queries received, the author, Mr. Phalguna Ramaraju infers that a lot of awareness & understanding is required about Kanban in the Industry. To understand the true power of Kanban and exploiting the best agility it can bring for your organization, one needs to put effort learning more about it.
While Kanban has emerged from Toyota Production System and manaufacturing, David Anderson has worked hard in tailoring it for Information Technology Business and other 21st Century businesses. Kanban Method brings in successful evolutionary change in both IT and ITES businesses, in addition to other industries where customer service can be improved and business can be optimized to fit for the prupose.
Surprisingly it is not known to many that Kanban is *not* a Project Management Method. However, you can use Kanban change methods to drastically improve your project management and product delivery approaches.
Unlike the common misconception amongst many that Kanban is just another Software Development Life Cycle Process, in reality Kanban is *not* a Software Development Life Cycle Process! But, using Kanban will help you improve your SDLC process.
Kanban is a management method for catalyzing change and improvements. Precisely, Kanban is a successful 'evolutionary change management method' for improving agility across all facets of your organization. Kanban helps evolving your business to be "fit for purpose".
Kanban is a pragmatic, actionable, evidence-based change management approach that you can learn in a short span of time and apply soon at your work place. The Kanban courses from LeanKanban University (LKU) are the result of practitioners applying lean principles to software engineering.
The Kanban Method is conceived as an alternative path to agility in improving responsiveness and adaptability; and this is achieved without any significant disruption or reorganization in the way you currently work or the structure of your organization.
Kanban system is flow-based, just-in-time concept approach that is based on proven Lean principles that enable evolutionary change in a sustained manner. The Kanban Method consists of a set of principles and practices that are applied to improve the existing way you do your work (any work, be it new development or support or operations, or any other work, or all of them together).
Note: Kanban is *not* a Project Management Method. Kanban is *not* a Software Development Life Cycle Process. But Kanban helps improve these processes as well as part of Kaizen.
Kanban can bring potential benefits if it's depth, values & principles are understood well and applied.
The key is to understand the principles and elments that enable the real performance.
Consistancy in implementing the Kanban method itself requires a thorough understadning of the Systems Thinking Approach to Implementing Kanban (STATIK) .
LeanKanban University (LKU) has introduced a series of training classes that have been developed and evolved from the older, tried and tested curriculum to ease adoption of Kanban and communicate the full scope and scale of what is possible when you fully embrace Kanban as a way to manage your modern professional services business.
Kanban by default is a flow-based method that is non-itertive, but it's beauty is that iterations/cadences can be used for your advantage and maturity.
Any business is all about the flow of value to it's customers, be it internal or external. One of the highest maturity attempts of any business is enabling a smooth flow of value delivery of services to its customers - and that's exactly what Kanban accomplishes! Look at any large scale Agile model, they are all nothing but flow of value across value streams, inherently with Kanban as the back-bone! Letting the efficiency of flow of value is your job for happy customers!
Understanding the power of Kanban Values and Principles in depth and implementing them properly only can fetch you the best results. Consistancy in implementing the Kanban method demands an understadning of the Systems Thinking Approach To Implementing Kanban (STATIK), a proven approach deigned by the creators of Kanban method for modern business.
LeanKanban University (LKU) has introduced a series of training classes developed and evolved from older, tried and tested curriculum to ease adoption of Kanban and communicate the full scope and scale of what is possible when you fully embrace Kanban as a way to manage your modern professional services business.
These Kanban courses are pragmatic, actionable, and are evidence-based change management approaches that you can learn and quickly implement for consistant results; as quick as the next working day after you complete your course!
LeanKanban University (LKU) provides a series of Kanban training classes developed and evolved from older, tried and tested curriculum to ease adoption of Kanban and communicate the full scope and scale of what is possible when you fully embrace Kanban as a way to manage your Information Technlogy business and other modern professional services business.
Couple of popular Kanban courses that help bring in visible improvement in your endever for better change in your enterprise are:
If you are executive management or mid management level(Leadership, Managerial, Supervisory role) person, Kanban Management Professional (KMP) course is preferred. KMP has two levels: Kanban Management Professional Foundation - I (KMP-I) and Kanban Management Professional Foundation - II (KMP-II). Once you successfully complete both these courses, you will be awarded the Kanban Management Professional (KMP) certification by LKU
If you are team level person, Team Kanban Practitioner (TKP) course is suggested. Once you successfully complete this course, you will be awarded the Team Kanban Practitioner (TKP) certification by LKU
Kanban is a change management method that can be applied to improve perfectly your new product development work, maintenance (production-support) work, operations, IT management, or any other services as such.
Yes, in fact a manager has a significant role in applying Kanban method by using his Kanban knowledge, coaching & leadership skills to improvise your organization's agility - efficiency, sustainability, quality & and value to people.
Yes! One of the principels of Kanban says "Start with what you do now - Respecting existing roles, responsibilities & job titles".
You continue to reap the benefits of having specialists with expertise in their respective process-steps to produce the highest possible quality to your customers.
Kanban is an evolutionary change management method and can be implemented in any work culture with no or minimal resistance as it - starts with what you do now; starts using existing roles; focuses on change moving from where you are now to a future improved state of higher agility and better quality.
Some experts advise that most humanbeings prefer evolutionary change of Kanban to be a natural fit for sustained incremental change across the organization.
Any environment as such - Kanban is suitabe for all work cultures and for all organizational needs- New Product Development, Maintenance & Support, Operations, or any Other Service Delivery including Customer Service; you can manage your personal work too!
Kanban method improves the overall maturity in your organization.
Low Maturity situation in an organization:
* When your priorities change often.
* When you have trouble locking scope for the next timebox period (1 to 4 weeks duration.)
* When you have a significant amount of scope changing during this timebox period.
* When you have to cater to dynamicaly changing requirements or priorities.
* Kanban is built to address frequently changing priorities of requirements in your business.
* When your teams struggle to break features into incremental pieces of value which are to be delivered in the given timebox.
* When your teams struggle with estimation or question its value or overhead!
* When you are feeling some friction from your teams due to your current Agile approach.
* Your Scrum Masters are facing resistance to adoption of your existing Agile approach.
* When your organization is looking for better SLA performance or delivery reliability & predictability.
High Maturity situation in an organization:
* Kanban's focus is overall organization (and any part of it like Software Development or so too); not just software development work alone as the Agile Manifesto talks about. So you can use Kanban for seemless enterprize agility
* When your teams have a strong culture of self-organization and continuous improvement, Kanban provides higher visibility into overall flow for further improvement.
* When your organization maturity indicates there is no need to estimate anymore!
* When your organization maturity indicates that estimation is a waste-of-time since your teams' predictability can be assessed from their actual performance.
* When your organization has the ability to release product anytime! Kanban directly supports Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Deployment; the very purpose of Agility!
* When your organization's high maturity recognizes no need for iterations since they are becoming overhead.
* When your organization needs to control the full flow of a particular service process or delivery process.
* When your organization needs to control the end-to-end flow of value delivery across the organizations in your enterpise; not just product development teams alone following the Agile approach!
* When your organization needs a true lightweight approach for higher agility that works in all cultures.
* When your organization needs a true lightweight approach for higher agility, and maturity to meet your CMMI/ISO needs.
* When your organization wants to follow one single appoach that works in all needs - New Product Development, Maintenance & Support, Operations, and any Other Service Delivery including Customer Service.
Scrum is an Agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but it works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum framework is deceptively simple. - extract from Scrum Alliance site
Scrum is a framework with iterative development approach. It is silent on practices, and hence does *not* prescribe any development practices. Learning Scrum framework will help manage the change, but along with it you need the right engineering / technical practices of XP to bring quality in your product development / support work.
Scrum is one flavor of Agile. Agile is used as an umbrella term covering many flavors of Agile, namely, Scrum, XP, DSDM; ASD, Kanban, Lean, and so on.