Why Limit Your WIP: A PK Info Series

Jim BensonPrimers20 Comments

Throughout the last year, I have been surprised by the Swiss army knife that is limiting your work-in-progress.  When I tell people: You can’t do more work than you can handle. Everyone gets that. C Level execs, economists, bankers, nurses, middle managers, soccer moms – everyone gets the truth in that statement. But what it’s taken me some time to … Read More

Jim BensonWhy Limit Your WIP: A PK Info Series

Customer Alert System: Element #13 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, PrimersLeave a Comment

In 2006, my first kanban based project involved setting up a Personal Kanban for a team of 12 developers. Since we were just starting out with kanban, we had no idea what to expect. I did know a few key things though. 1. I wanted the customer to have real-time information about what was going on 2. I wanted no … Read More

Jim BensonCustomer Alert System: Element #13 of the Kanban

Gemba Symbolizer: Element #12 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, PrimersLeave a Comment

In Lean the “Gemba” is where everything happens. It’s the crime scene, the shop floor, ground zero. In manufacturing, the Gemba is a physical location, filled with gear, that you can walk along and evaluate for operational productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. This is called a “Gemba Walk.” The Gemba is also synonymous with the people who work there. So, if … Read More

Jim BensonGemba Symbolizer: Element #12 of the Kanban

Work Flow Laboratory: Element #11 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, Primers1 Comment

The Personal Kanban shows us what is happening, how it is happening, by whom it is happening, and even why it is happening. Here we see a bottleneck between coding and QA. The cause of this is currently unknown. But we have some hypotheses. There aren’t enough people in QA to handle the load Something currently in testing is proving … Read More

Jim BensonWork Flow Laboratory: Element #11 of the Kanban

Collaborative Aid: Element #10 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, Primers1 Comment

“Hey Tonianne, I see you’ve pulled the ‘Strike sheet for Kaizen Camp’ ticket. I took some notes from our meeting the other day, they are in the ‘Kaizen Clean Up’ mind map. Just take a look at that, it should be almost everything you need.” “Thank you Jim, it is such a pleasure to work with a helpful, conscientious, and … Read More

Jim BensonCollaborative Aid: Element #10 of the Kanban

Conversation Starter / Conversation Avoider: Element #9 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, Primers1 Comment

“What’s wrong with this picture?” “What are you going to do to get that completed?” “Would you like help?” “Are you blocked?” “Why did this happen this way?” “I totally didn’t expect that, did you?” The kanban is a conversation starter. There are patterns that show up in normal working that create conversations that lead to action. When we work … Read More

Jim BensonConversation Starter / Conversation Avoider: Element #9 of the Kanban

Metacognitive Tool: Element #8 of the Kanban

Jim BensonExpert, Primers1 Comment

METACOGNITIVE TOOL is one nice chunk of jargon. Metacognition is “learning about learning.” When we have a tool for it, that tool teaches us about how we learn. When we have some understanding about that, we can start to look for new ways to use the tool to learn more effectively. This is where something called “double-loop learning” comes in. … Read More

Jim BensonMetacognitive Tool: Element #8 of the Kanban

Grounding Object-Element #7 of the Kanban

Jim BensonPrimers2 Comments

We discussed the Planning Fallacy in Number Five, but that’s just the tip of the cognitive bias iceberg. The fact is that we are subject to well over a hundred named cognitive biases  like: Fundamental Attribution Error Distinction Bias Sunk Cost Fallacy / Loss Aversion Group Think Belief Bias Anchoring Availability Heuristic So, you can follow the links to get … Read More

Jim BensonGrounding Object-Element #7 of the Kanban

The Options Engine-Element #6 of the Kanban

Jim BensonPrimers3 Comments

There is a tension in business between market forces and our freedom of choice. Customers (be they people who buy our products at work or be they people like our families) are people who have needs and we must fulfill them in one way or another in order to be successful. But, we are also our customer, with our own … Read More

Jim BensonThe Options Engine-Element #6 of the Kanban

The Estimate Refinery–Element #5 of the Kanban

Jim BensonPrimers2 Comments

In our book Why Plans Fail, we discuss something called the Planning Fallacy and, as is pretty apparent by its name, how it mucks with our ability to plan. It turns out that we’re quite unskilled at planning. As a former urban planning and large project manager, this was both a relief and demoralizing … and even frightening. Much of … Read More

Jim BensonThe Estimate Refinery–Element #5 of the Kanban