This post will focus on the what you need to know before implementing Kanban. It can be broken down into 3 basic principles which are:
Start with what you do now
The Kanban method does not prescribe a certain setup or procedure. You can overlay Kanban properties on top of your existing workflow or process to bring your issues to light so that you can introduce positive change over time. This makes it very easy to begin a Kanban implementation as you do not have to make sweeping changes.
Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
The Kanban method is an approach to change management that is designed to meet minimal resistance. Therefore it encourages continuous small incremental and evolutionary changes to your current system. Sweeping changes are discouraged because they generally encounter increased resistance due to fear or uncertainty. I call it “baby steps to awesomeness!”
Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities & titles
Kanban recognizes that there may be value in the existing process, roles, responsibilities, & titles. You have existing pieces in they way you do what you do that are working properly and worth preserving. Kanban doesn’t prohibit change, but it doesn’t prescribe it either. If you do make changes, Kanban encourages incremental change. Incremental change doesn’t create the level of fear that impedes progress, which allows you to be broader support for your Kanban implementation. It also makes it easier to implement Kanban. Small course corrections are also just inherently easier than altering the complete process.
These principles are essential knowledge for the successful implementation of the Kanban method into an organisation.