Practical Kanban
Practical Kanban
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Practical Kanban

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Completed on 2018-01-07

About the Book

The Kanban board is constructed, the swim lanes are drawn and the blockade stickers are positioned. Now what?

Kanban is not able to reach its full potential in many companies. Often, the meaning behind the individual practices, such as WIP limits, is not correctly understood. All hope is placed in a method instead of actions. Kanban helps uncover the weak points in a work system, and as a result, reveals how to better generate value for the customer. This book can help in tweaking an existing Kanban system, as well as expand your own repertoire of solutions.

Klaus Leopold describes in detail the principles and functionality of Kanban, which are not always intuitive. He discusses typical problems that he has observed in his work with real-world Kanban systems. Klaus illustrates the possibilities that exist when the entire value creation chain of a company is taken into account and how tools such as Cost of Delay and forecasting can become strategic aids. Thus, it should become clear that Kanban is not a team method, but rather a method for improvement that considers the entire value creation chain of a company. 

About the Author

Klaus Leopold
Klaus Leopold

Dr. Klaus Leopold is computer scientist and Kanban pioneer with many years of experience in helping organizations from different industries on their improvement journey with Lean and Kanban. He is author of the bestseller “Rethinking Agile” (, “Practical Kanban” ( and co-author of the book "Kanban Change Leadership”. Klaus was awarded with the Brickell Key Award for “outstanding achievement and leadership” within the Lean Kanban community in San Francisco, 2014. His main interest is establishing lean business agility by improving organizations beyond the team level, especially in large environments from 50 to 5000 people. Klaus speaks regularly at renowned Lean and Kanban conferences worldwide. He publishes his current thoughts on his blog and you can follow him on Twitter at @klausleopold. 

Table of Contents

  • Why did I write this book?
  • 1. Why do we use Kanban?
    • 1.1 Building Ships in a Workflow
      • 1.1.1 We Cannot Complete More Work, Even If We Work Faster
      • 1.1.2 We Have Enough Time for the Work We Never Have Time For
      • 1.1.3 When We Set Limits, We Become More Predictable
      • 1.1.4 When Everything is Important, Then Nothing Is
      • 1.1.5 The Later We Begin, The Better For the Customer
      • 1.1.6 Local Optimization Brings Global Sub Optimization
    • 1.2 Kanban: Long Live Evolution!
    • 1.3 Generating Value: Thinking About Service
    • 1.4 Layers of Design: Kanban Flight Levels
      • 1.4.1 Flight Level 1: The Operational Level
      • 1.4.2 Flight Level 2: Coordination
      • 1.4.3 Flight Level 3: Strategic Portfolio Management
    • 1.5 Summary
  • 2. Using and Improving Kanban Systems
    • 2.1 Visualization, WIP Limits and Work Flow
      • 2.1.1 Working with WIP Limits
      • 2.1.2 Value and Flow
      • 2.1.3 Dealing with several Work Types
      • 2.1.4 Changes to Work Types over Time
      • 2.1.5 Unplanned Work
      • 2.1.6 Definition of Done
      • 2.1.7 Summary
    • 2.2 Dealing with Blockades
      • 2.2.1 Blocker Clustering
      • 2.2.2 Dealing with Backflow and Defects
      • 2.2.3 Prioritizing Solutions
      • 2.2.4 Interview with Matthew Philip
      • 2.2.5 Summary
    • 2.3 Customer Validation
    • 2.4 Knowledge Transfer
      • 2.4.1 Capacity Constrained Resource
      • 2.4.2 Specialist Bottleneck (Non-Instant Availability)
      • 2.4.3 Specialist vs. Generalist
      • 2.4.4 Summary
    • 2.5 Coordination
      • 2.5.1 From Idea to Coordinated Input - Replenishment Meeting
      • 2.5.2 From the Input Queue into the Kanban System - Regular Standup Meeting
      • 2.5.3 Getting Better - Retrospective
      • 2.5.4 Summary
  • 3. Large-Scale Kanban
    • 3.1 A Practical Example: A Sales Platform with more than 200 Project Employees
    • 3.2 Scaling up Kanban
      • 3.2.1 Consolidating Services
      • 3.2.2 Connecting Services
      • 3.2.3 Shared Services
    • 3.3 Large-Scale Kanban at Bosch Automotive Electronics
  • 4. Forecasting
    • 4.1 Forecasting Requirements
    • 4.2 Forecast for a Work Unit
    • 4.3 Forecast for several Work Items without Historical Data
      • 4.3.1 Determining the Minimum and Maximum
      • 4.3.2 Monte Carlo Simulation
      • 4.3.3 Continuous Throughput Forecasting
      • 4.3.4 Interview with Troy Magennis
    • 4.4 Can You Trust the Forecast?
      • 4.4.1 Relationship between Work in Progress, Cycle Time and Throughput
      • 4.4.2 Measuring the Stability of a System
      • 4.4.3 Interpreting Stability Patterns
      • 4.4.4 Interview with Daniel Vacanti
    • 4.5 Summary
  • 5. From Prioritization to Risk Assessment
    • 5.1 Managing Demand with Cost of Delay
    • 5.2 Quantifying Cost of Delay
      • 5.2.1 Step 1: Determine the Value
      • 5.2.2 Step 2: Determine the Cost of Delay
      • 5.2.3 Step 3: Sequencing
      • 5.2.4 Determining Cost of Delay in Practice
    • 5.3 Additional Refill Factors: Risk Assessment
      • 5.3.1 Types of Risk
      • 5.3.2 Quantifying Risk
    • 5.4 An Interview with Markus Andrezak
    • 5.5 Summary
  • 6. Kanban in the STUTE Logistics Company
  • Terms used in this book
  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes

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