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Kanban [Kindle Edition]

David J. Anderson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $52.95
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Book Description

Kanban is becoming a popular way to visualize and limit work-in-progress in software development and information technology work. Teams around the world are adding kanban around their existing processes to catalyze cultural change and deliver better business agility.

This book answers the questions:
What is Kanban?
Why would I want to use Kanban?
How do I go about implementing Kanban?
How do I recognize improvement opportunities and what should I do about them?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David J. Anderson leads a management consulting firm focused on improving performance of technology companies. He has been in software development nearly 30 years and has managed teams on agile software development projects at Sprint, Motorola, Microsoft, and Corbis. David is credited with the first implementation of a kanban process for software development, in 2005. David was a founder of the Agile movement through his involvement in the creation of Feature Driven Development. He was also a founder of the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN), a founding signatory of the Declaration of Interdependence, and a founding member of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium. He moderates several online communities for lean/agile development. He is the author of Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results. Most recently, David has been focused on creating a synergy of the CMMI model for organizational maturity with Agile and Lean methods through projects with Microsoft and the SEI. He is a co-author of the SEI’s Technical Note “CMMI and Agile: Why not Embrace Both!” He is based in Sequim, Washington, USA.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I don't do technology development, most of the work that I do is on the business side of the organization, understanding requirements through business process and business architecture (as described in the pages of the book Rethink).

Starting as early as the foreword, there are great takeaways in every section of this book which is a very quick read. I will admit that I skimmed some of the software development segments because that's not what I do, but here's a breakout by some of the early chapters:

FOREWORD - the notion of the importance of batch size is vital when looking at organizational constraints. It's something Goldratt never addressed in the initial Theory of Constraints, but it's a great point. There's a lot more about that as the book moves along, but it's a great first point.

CHAPTER ONE - Context is vital when identifying organizational constraints. If someone goes into a meeting and points out that something is constraining the organization, even if they may be right, the other people in the room may have a different context and dismiss the newly identified constraint. Chapter one also goes into good depth about seeing that no two projects or teams are the same, and that there are specific, quantifiable risks in how you compare them.

CHAPTER TWO - Here is one of two chapters where Anderson does a great job of stepping outside of the work environment to explain that the notion of kanban, which literally means signal cards to indicate when it's OK to proceed with work, applies to lots of situations in the outside world, and his example of the cards they hand out to entrants to a park in Japan, and then collect when they leave, as a very simple and low cost way of managing the attendance capacity of the park.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version quality October 11, 2011
By adam p
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am new to this field of knowledge and yet, the style and the contents of this book was digestible. As a daily practitioner of different levels of support, defect resolving - a self managing all-in-one team - I've got hints from this book to implement my Kanban system. There were substantial amount of links to pieces of literature in the book, including personal Kanban.

I've read the paperback version of the book first than decided to buy the Kindle version. The picture quality was not daunting in the paper version either, but in the Kindle book the pictures are useless. The picture format is jpeg and it has color information too, which adds up to space required and has no added value on the grayscale display. The text is unreadable on the pictures as jpeg is the worst lossy format for this purpose.

The books contents is superb. The practical advice in the book helps in implementing your own Kanban. The theoretical background is strong and empowers the reader to dive in the cited literature on the field of SPC (statistical process control) and on other highlighted topics in the body of knowledge of management.
The only problem I've found is the poor quality of pictures in the Kindle version. Hope it will get fixed!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Authoritative guide to Kanban April 24, 2010
David provides a comprehensive guide to implementing Kanban in a software development/maintenance environment.
Covering the mechanics, dynamics, principles and rationale behind why Kanban is a so promising framework for managing the work of a variety of teams and groups and being an evolutionary-based change management driver.

Kanban is the practical approach to implement Lean Software Development, and this book is the practical guide for how to start using Kanban, and how to adapt the system for advanced needs.

The book is clear and flowing, even though it covers some quite technical material. I would recommend it to Development managers, Project/Program managers, Agile Coaches/Consultants. It addresses concerns/needs of Novice as well as those already familiar with Kanban and looking for advanced answers.

Even if you don't intend to implement a kanban system, there are a lot of techniques and ideas that are easily applicable to any product development/maintenance environment, agile or not.

Bottom line, highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to SW Kanban December 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to David Anderson's book. While I wasn't enthusiastic about his previous book: Agile Management, I liked his new work and the balanced view on change he is promoting. It all made me curious.

I've not been disappointed. Kanban is a readable and balanced book which introduces the Kanban method of bringing improvement and change to organizations. It is well written (better than his previous book, IMHO) and well-argued with many cases from David's own experience and from other people in the growing Kanban community. It is and will probably stay the definitive reference for the SW Kanban method.

The book consists of four parts. The first part is a short introduction to the subject. The second part is called "benefits of Kanban," but it better describes its history (from David's perspective). The third part is more of less a description of the Kanban method itself (called "implementing Kanban") and the last part contains several background improvement theories which the reader ought to know about when implementing Kanban.

Part two is called "benefits of Kanban" and is more or less a history of how Kanban has evolved. Chapter three is what the author calls "the recipe of success" and its David's opinion on what you need to do in order to build good and predictable software. I didn't like this chapter too much as it had a "just do this and everything will be ok" tone which I also found in his previous book. Chapter 4 introduces the work David has been done at Microsoft and how he improved a team without changing the process but by managing the WIP, an interesting story. Chapter 5 described David's work at Corbis where he continued his earlier Microsoft experiences and extended (or actually created) SW Kanban.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Regardless of your field or industry, this book should change the way...
While many of the concepts in this book date back to the early 20th century, this book brings a new approach to knowledge work and should be foundational reading for any product... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Evan Leybourn - Author of Directing the Agile Organisation
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Piece
This book open up a new way on looking into the process value stream flow. By following the 5 steps, an organizational wide self-organized and on going improvement culture can be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Danny
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear and complete description of Kanban
This book is a very clear and complete guide to kanban and related methodologies. The part three, implementing Kanban, is very helpful if you are trying to introduce kanban in your... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Rodriguez De Leon
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh
A bit too techy and not explanatory enough. I was hoping for a step by step tutorial on the best practices of the system and how to best use Kanban, but it was more just anecdotal.
Published 2 months ago by Jason Alders
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much Kanban with a capital K
I have used kanban (with a small K) for years as part of an agile software development approach and hoped to learn more about kanban but got a book plugging Kanban with a capital... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Agile Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating ideas
This has stimulated many ideas on how to use Kanban as a method for managing demand versus capacity in several areas of our IT shop, even though we are largely a COTS operation.
Published 5 months ago by Jeffrey Stovall
3.0 out of 5 stars 4-color printing please
While I am really engaged with the content the figures were obviously supposed to be printed 4C instead of gray scale and it is driving me nuts. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JMack
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
Sadly, a boring book (even for a management book). The first third or so of the book is a sales piece for Kanban, I assume to boost consulting sales. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Otis
3.0 out of 5 stars Dry, overly academic
This book is often quoted as a definitive source on Kanban. However, I've walked away empty-handed and bored: the writing is as exciting as watching paint dry; the book lacks... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast excellent service
This was fast, excellent service. Received the item a lot quicker than I expected and it was in perfect shape.
Published 6 months ago by Warren Iwamoto
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More About the Author

David J. Anderson is a thought leader in managing effective technology development. He leads an international management training and consulting firm, David J. Anderson & Associates Inc. (, that helps businesses improve their performance through better management policies and decision making.

He has 30 years experience in the high technology industry leading software teams using innovative agile methods at large companies such as Sprint, Motorola, and Microsoft.

David is also CEO of Lean-Kanban University, a business dedicated to assuring quality of training in Lean and Kanban throughout the world.

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