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Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business Paperback – April 7, 2010

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Hole Press (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984521402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984521401
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Ric Merrifield on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By adam p on October 11, 2011
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Yuval Yeret on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on 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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