Zombie Kanban, or: Don’t forget the soul!
Please get me right. This is not a rage against Kanban. It is for fun and I think there is some truth in it.
Kanban installs a continuous improvement process. It does not predefine the direction of the improvement, since it does not define a value system. Therefore Kanban itself is not agile and it is not anti-agile. It just doesn’t care.
To define a proper value system is up to the companies using Kanban. Do they value Scrum-like teamwork over silos or vice versa? Do they value face-to-face communication over written documents or vice versa? And so on …
I suspect the definition of an underlying value system is often not done. And then you get Zombie Kanban, something without a soul. Zombies have an impetus to eat others brains but what is their real (long term) goal? Zombie Kanban has the impetus to shorten cycle times but without having a purpose. (Of course it’s better to shorten cycle times than eating other peoples brains. But that is simply not enough 🙂 )
Just installing an improvement process is not sufficient. You have to define a value system or purpose. (See also tip #2 of this blog post from LSS Academy).
Otherwise you can order some of these for your company: