BY Mahesh Singh | April 3, 2012 | Blog

Kanban says PULL, don’t PUSH – and folks, the discussion is not even about Bullying!

By now you have heard about Kanban and you think that it is applicable to your work – Being simple to implement and being very visual are attributes of Kanban that make it easy to adopt and use.

And we all like the fact that Kanban makes a team self-directing – so the team takes responsibility on itself for timely deliverables, quality and overall communication. But how does Kanban enable teams to make this magical transformation from finger pointing to self-directing, right in front of our eyes?

Kanban Board Pull System

Well, the answer lies in understanding the psychology of PUSH vs PULL.

I have heard this conversation about a very good looking school bag “My dad bought this bag for me – it really sucks!!” and I have also heard this conversation about an ugly looking shoe “Hey, I bought this yesterday, isn´t it cool?” That is the magic of pull – If I do it myself, I own it, if you thrust it on me, you´re damned!

Kanban is a pull-based process, meaning, team members pull work to themselves when they have the bandwidth – work is not pushed or assigned by someone else- and god! that makes a significant difference. It also doesn´t mean that some team members can take it easy by not pulling work, while others keep working hard – remember, Kanban is very visual and you cannot hide!

Kanban fosters team collaboration as members need to have agreements between themselves on what each member will do towards team deliverables and members are willing to help each other out for the benefit of the team.

Daily standup meetings around the Kanban board are very short and are a quick way for the team to get together and discuss the impediments that prevent work getting done and strategies to resolve them. Kaizen events/retrospectives are conducted by the team at periodic frequencies – these meetings focus on recurring issues prevention, reduction of waste and general ways to improve throughput, leveraging the metrics that are automatically generated by the SwiftKanban board.

Teams transform themselves from being laggards to being high-performance teams using Kanban and there are a number of case studies that illustrate this – In Google, we trust!

We have a lot of insights to share with you on the adoption of Kanban. We provide mentoring services that help companies transition to an Agile organization with high-performance teams that are empowered to deliver maximum value to the organization. Please email us at sales@digite.com if you need information.

We offer SwiftKanban – a product that makes it easy for you to adopt Kanban.

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