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Adopting Kanban

March 13, 20221 min read

Adopting Kanban

When working with a team to adopt Kanban, one of the questions that usually comes up is, “What should we put on the board?” There are lots of answers to this, all over the internet. If you look hard enough, you’ll find one that suits your ideas of what’s valuable. Here’s my take:

Put everything one the board.

There are 4 reasons for this:

1. With any new habit, adopting the habit is as much about embedding the behaviour as anything else. So, overdo it, to start.
2. Your circumstances are unique. No wholesale adoption of what works in other places is going to work for you. You have to learn what suits your environment. So do everything and slowly stop doing things as you learn that they aren’t the right fit for you
3. You already have biases about what will work and what won’t. But you’re trying something new, which means you’re in new territory, so your beliefs are as likely to harm you as to help you.
4. The goal of Kanban is to visualise the work, so you can make better decisions. You cannot make better decisions if you cannot see the work.

Put too much on the board, to start. You and your team will rapidly figure out what actually needs to be there. Within a few weeks you’ll have a system that works in your team.

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