What You Should Know About Kanban (Part 2)

Don is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years experience specializing in aligning management-driven technologies and initiatives together with business and project strategies resulting in thoroughly planned and comprehensive business solutions. His expertise as a project manager, developer, tester, analyst, trainer, consultant, and business owner has spanned across diverse industries such as finance, retail, health care and information technology

In Part 1 of this article, we traced the genealogy of Kanban way back to its roots in the Toyota Production System and Lean created by Taiichi Ohno about a half century ago. From that we could see where many of the principles of Lean influenced agile in the software development field, as well as its recent incarnation of visual toolsets via Kanban boards.

It’s time now to start looking at the evolution of Kanban from its manufacturing roots in the automobile industry to its current widespread use in software development. This is a very interesting evolution to discuss because, in the bigger scheme of things, it also mirrors the evolution from an industrial manufacturing-driven economy to the one driven by knowledge-based technology that we currently live in. This will ultimately allow us to see where practices and tools like Lean and Kanban go to the “beyond”.

The Kanban Kick-start for Agile Software Development
Kanban as it is understood in agile software development is the tool for managing a Lean approach. It has taken on many interpretations over the years, but translated literally as we discussed in Part 1 of this article, it signifies a “visual card” or sign. Deployed for Toyota as what is infamously known as the Toyota Production System, it is the term that is utilized for the visual and physical signaling system that is the sum…

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"Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it."

- Albert Einstein

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