Kanban’s Passage to India – with David Anderson!


Between Dec 16th and 21st, we had the pleasure of hosting David in India to meet a few key customers, Digité/ SwiftKanban employees, as well as host a local meetup in Bangalore (or Bengaluru!). We also took the opportunity to do several things – formally launch SwiftKanban for the India market, start the Limited WIP Society – India chapter and host a dinner with some key industry leaders that allowed them to have a closer interaction with David. It was a great experience for both us and David!

Indian IT Industry: On a Quest

Every client meeting we did was a learning experience for both sides. For our customers, it was great to learn David J Andersonfirsthand from ‘the Master’ of the beauty in the basic concepts of Kanban such as Little’s Law, risk management based on Cost of Delay, Flow Efficiency and Optimal Scheduling based on Lead Time Distribution. The idea that limiting Work in Progress and focusing on Flow rather than predefined scope, milestones and deadlines is at once, almost mystical and yet intuitively obvious. Kanban’s potential to help organizations make real, performance-based commitments that can be kept is truly exciting for an industry that is at the center of the global surge in demand for software and IT!

For David and us, it was great to get a direct insight into how some of the best Indian IT companies are planning to or have embarked on scaling Agile at the enterprise. Having already reaped rich dividends from their investments in CMMi/ 6-Sigma based process/ quality frameworks and related Productivity measures, India’s IT industry is on a quest to get to the next levels of employee productivity, organizational efficiency and ultimately delivery significantly higher value to their customers.

They are implementing several approaches to completely transform their services delivery – including investment in automation, innovative cross-organizational staffing, visual management of projects and an integrated and collaborative delivery environment not only for their own distributed teams but also their customers and partners. It was clear to both that the ability to deliver value continuously, improve lead times with empowered cross-functional teams that could be deployed across multiple initiatives, and eliminating waste were going to be crucial to help them in the new transformation.

Kanban in Action

The Bengaluru meetup, the employee meetings and the executive dinner – all provided opportunities for great conversations! The meetup was filled to capacity and we had to turn down last minute requests to attend by several people! You can see a recording of David’s talk here!


Our own teams in Mumbai and Bengaluru got to meet THE person who has impacted their lives – both in terms of the product we have built and the process we have adopted, resulting in significant improvements in our own engineering performance.

Kanban Metrics

We also got to show David some cool stuff that we have been working on that will be unveiled over the next several weeks 😉

Some Down Time!

Finally, we did manage to find some down-time to have David experience some real India experience. That included the ride in India’s famed “Auto” (short for auto-rickshaw), crossing a busy street without the help of pedestrian lights or a cross-walk, a visit to a local brewery and a visit to a rooftop bistro that – like most Indian restaurants – still plays music primarily from the 70s and 80s and serves great Indian and American beer and food!

All in all, we had a great visit – arranged at the last minute, just short of the Christmas break and managed thanks to some real jugglery around David’s calendar and visa – that portends well for the future of Lean/ Kanban in India! Here’s looking forward to some great collaborations in 2013!


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