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One Pager - KANBAN -- Anderson

I should not have to justify Kanban.  If you're reading this then someone has already decided that this is the way of the future. There are plenty of images of Kanban boards on google and other search engines. It's pretty simple to implement basic and advanced boards. The complexity comes from lack of discipline to keep doing it. It's so easy to get lazy.

Five Kanban properties:

  1. Visualize Workflow

  2. Limit Work-in-progress

  3. measure and manage flow

  4. make process policies explicit

  5. use models' to recognize improvement opportunities

Kanban shares some elements with Lean, Scrum, Agile, and even waterfall. Artifacts include epics and stories. Work cycles or sprints have time limits. Teams might have multiple stand ups based on cross functional team makeup as well as roll ups.

The Basic Kanban board (extremely oversimplified):

  1. input queue

  2. analysis

  3. development

  4. test

  5. stage prod

The Basic Kanban board with buffers (extremely oversimplified):

  1. Input queue

  2. analysis (in prog, done)

  3. dev ready (in prog, done)

  4. development (in prog, done)

  5. build ready

  6. test

  7. release ready

  8. stage

  9. prod

The Kanban board movement:

  • input enters from the left and output exits to the right

  • officially workers are only supposed to pull WIP they will push into queues

  • workers pull from the queues never exceeding their WIP limits

  • When a story is removed it's because it was completed, implemented and verified in production or KILLED

The Advanced Kanban Board(s):

  • There might be an epic board which drills down to individual team or cell boards

  • Each sub-board might be parsed or forked; by vertical function or horizontal worker role.

  • Or a master board might have extra columns for individual contributors or even horizontal sub-columns based on role and/or vertical.


  • meant to happen near the boards

  • meant to happen in public/common locations as to attract external attention

  • meant to be short and to allow commingling of cross functional conversations

  • meant to fail fast and identify blockers fast

  • create slack (whatever that means)

  • cadence promotes consistency and reproduction

  • do not really promote remote users

  • standups in team rooms do not promote global interaction

  • know the difference between a block and a speed bump. decide on a format that works for the team.

  • What you did yesterday is not really that important.


  • generate reports

  • measure business value (internal and external)

  • track to revenue or savings

  • detect failures perform root cause when necessary - do not use intuition


  • set WIP limits

  • set queue and buffer sizes

  • limit scope to epic

  • slack used to catch up, recharge or experiment



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