Embracing Kanban: An Experience Report

Chris Shinkle, SEP INC

Early in 2004, Chris Shinkle's company began adopting agile practices. Unfortunately, agile did not have the desired cultural impact within their organization-and the adoption floundered. Several years later, Chris found himself coaching a fellow project lead several months into a difficult project. The project team had experienced developers, but faced a seemingly impossible deadline. Discontent and frustration were rampant and something needed to change. Chris decided that a Kanban implementation could improve the situation. The team quickly discovered the primary reason for their long lead times-a huge Work In Progress (WIP) count. As the team sought to reduce its WIP using Lean principles, they eliminated considerable waste in their processes, reduced bottlenecks, and made significant process improvements. In a short six months, they moved from chaos to a state of continuous improvement. Chris shares their lessons learned and explains how the team grew during the project. Learn the effect of expedited work items, the real cost of rework, and how to make quality a focus throughout your software process.

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