FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We currently use an Agile framework, such as Scrum. Do we need to stop?
No. The Kanban Method is not a framework, and so it does not compete with Scrum or any other Agile framework or process. One of its principles is “Start With What You Do Now”, whether that is Scrum, Waterfall, or something else entirely. It respects your current process and simply gives you additional tools to evolve your existing process to improve over time.
We don’t need continuous delivery – we release every 2 weeks / 2 months / 2 years. Is Kanban right for us?
The Kanban Method does not prescribe that you deliver continuously – you can batch your deliveries at whatever cadence is appropriate for your business. The Kanban Method will, however, help reveal what delivery cadence is appropriate for your business and allow you to make adjustments to support it.
Do I need to go through a big Agile or Digital transformation to use Kanban?
The principle “Start With What You Do Now” is intended to avoid installing large forced changes. The Kanban Method respects how you work today, and helps organizations evolve at a pace compatible with their goals and risk tolerance. In many instances it can begin with one manager introducing the method in one service and expanding from there.
Do we need a “Kanban Board” in order to apply the Kanban Method?
The Kanban Method is used primarily in Knowledge Work where the work is intangible or “invisible”. The Kanban Method introduces the concept of a model to make this work visible and, in doing so, creates a platform to manage it. A “traditional board” is not always required and, in some cases, is inappropriate. For instance: a help desk service with thousands of requests a day may be better off implementing their model through their service management application of choice.
Do I have to apply all the practices to do Kanban correctly?
There is no minimum set of practices to be doing Kanban; rather the Kanban Method considers this to be a maturity continuum. You are doing Kanban as soon as you’ve built a model with the intent to apply the method! Over time, your Kanban implementation should evolve to further maturity, solving for more of your business challenges.
Is there certified training on the Kanban Method?
Kanban University develops high-quality certified Kanban classes taught by Accredited Kanban Trainers (AKT) across the globe. Training is available for Team Members, Coaches, Managers, and Executives.
Is the Kanban Method most effective within teams?
The Kanban Method can help teams with their practices, allowing for more sustainability and reliability. The method however, provides much broader benefits when applied to entire services, products, divisions or even entire organizations.
I’ve heard Kanban being referred to as a Framework or a Process; is this correct?
Frameworks are descriptions of a new process for you to follow. Frameworks might be appealing in that they can take the guess work out of designing a new process. However, they may also lead to significant organization disruption, risks, and costs without necessarily solving your business problems. The Kanban Method does not dictate to you a specific process for you to follow and so is not a framework. Rather it is a Management Method which gives you the tools needed to evolve your existing process to solve business problems specific to your capabilities and market needs.
Does Kanban work at scaling Agility across an entire organization?
The Kanban Method very elegantly scales across an entire organization by introducing Kanban in one service or product line at a time. Because the Kanban Method is not a framework, it doesn’t run into the challenges with having a canned process to deal with unknowable challenges at scale.