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Why Bother? Perspectives into the Value of Kanban

A couple of weeks ago, at the AgileTO meetup, catching up with an eclectic group of friends and colleagues, we touched a few times on points of value brought forward by Kanban. 

And then it dawned on me - we were looking at it from various perspectives.

The executive and high level manager is looking for best ways to grow a customer-focused, resilient (arguably antifragile) organization that can handle and even thrive from industry and market variation, disruption and inflection points. And of course, risk management is paramount in this context.

The project managers and program directors are looking to find best ways to align their initiatives as closely as possible to the changing expectations of their leadership and their stakeholders. And related to that, they are looking to create predictability and agility in delivery to adapt to changing requirements, expectations and market conditions.

The team managers are looking to enable their team(s) to self-organize and continuously find new ways to deliver closer to their stakeholders' needs and expectations. And to find best ways to manage downstream dependencies so they can support acceptable service level agreements upstream.

And techies (developers, testers, system and business analysts, etc.) are looking forward to a structure that would allow them to focus on a minimal number of work items so they could deliver work in time and with best quality. And in order for this to happen, they would expect the system would allow them to complete the work item in progress in front of them, before being asked to work on more and more.

At this point I had a second revelation that evening - that's what the Kanban agendas mean in reality, they are not just superfluous vanity structures! Sustainability, service-orientation and survivability are more meaningful depending on which perspective one uses when looking at Kanban.

I'm gonna wrap up with an invitation to all of you to add your thoughts, comments and perspectives here below! Let's continue this conversation, and continue to refine our understanding of the benefits of the method and best ways to teach, promote, or adopt it.



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