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4.5 out of 5 stars
Kanban
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2010
This is a great book and a "must-read" for everybody who's either engaged in implementing a Kanban system or thinking of doing so. Whether you've been using Kanban for a while or is new to the method: This book has something to offer!
In this book, David manages to find a very good balance between the theoretical aspects of the method and valuable practical examples.

The first part contains a very good introduction to Kanban and explains why you should consider using it. In the second part David goes on to explain the fundamentals of the method, such as the importance of visibility, limiting work in progress and creating a continuous improvement culture in your organization.

The third part gives a detailed description of how to implement a kanban system; how to go about visualizing the value stream, limiting work in progress and offers great advice on more advanced topics such as "classes of service" and two-tiered Kanban systems. In the fourth and final part more advanced topics such as bottlenecks, issue management and sources of variability are discussed.

This is a well-written book, easy to read and with lots of great tips and advice on how to implement a Kanban system. It is definitely worth the money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2012
I've recently finished a book by David Anderson, Kanban, on my new best gadget, my Kindle.

Its not a bad book but in the earlier chapters David makes statements like; 'it works because its Kanban, because it just does...'. The first few chapters are very skin deep without much supporting evidence as to how or why Kanban made a difference.

Don't let it put you off to much as the book does improve and after the early chapters David begins to demonstrate his mastery of Kanban backed with examples. Its not in the league of books like Scrum / XP from the trenches, but its a good book for those looking to investigate Kanban, but for more seasoned Kanban experts you may be hard pushed to find lots of value in this book.

Side note: If you don't have experience or knowledge of TOC, it might be worthwhile also having a copy to review alongside, for example David will make reference to Drum-Buffer-Rope and unless you've read or worked with TOC the explanation of Drum Buffer Rope isn't clear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2010
Kanban is a third generation development approach that avoids the issues of traditional waterfall and the credibility challenges that have arisen with agile and the need for everyone to be a generalising specialist. It does this by applying the underlying principles of Toyota development and production approaches along with some concepts from related fields. The key principles being of limiting work in progress and pull in place of push. David does a great job of introducing the basics but also addresses the issues of making this work in the real world where there is a need to expedite certain activities. This allows us to focus on business value, provide more timely delivery, support continuous improvement and to do this with your existing workforce. What more could you ask for?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2010
I'm loving this book. It's well written and very readable.

I'm pretty new to Kanban, so it's great that things are explained so well. The section on setting up your board is very cool, it even tells you what materials to buy. And, it also covers digital systems too, and even how to combine both physical and digital Kanban boards (via a sticky buddy!).

Most of the book is explained with real-world context behind it. And also multiple approaches to problems are always suggested, depending on context. More books should do this. I've not read the whole thing, but I've been picking it up for over 2 weeks now and loving it.

Tobin
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2013
I was expecting a quick fix for enduring years of poor or lack of structure in software development.
I was expecting a text on how to set up that Kanban process wall chart that would be better than GTD methodology.
Actually what this book does is really explore how to improve a software development cycle by focusing on continuous quality and delivery. If you are a software developer getting beaten by project plans, micromanagement and ridiculous sales forecasts then perhaps this book could demonstrate:
a) You are not the problem
b) How to contribute to improve the software development process
c) How to make the software development and delivery process transparent
d) How to foster new trust and collaboration in the software team
e) How to influence others to buy into and accept change for a better way of achieving better results.
I was recommend this approach by an author of books.
If you are implementing a lot of one-off solutions, innovating and being really creative then Kanban can help.
If you feel you are the ultimate technical expert, have nothing more to learn, with a top-down, dictatorial project management outlook, please do us all a favor and go do something useful with your life :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I am new to Kanban and this book explains it well. I am about 60% way through the book so my final review will come later. The main criticism so far is the poor quality of the images in the Kindle addition. A lot of the time the images are key to the topic so not being able to clearly see them is a pain.
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on 9 January 2012
The Kanban operational methodology is presented clearly and the book is structured to facilitate deployment. It is one of the few approaches that acknowledge that software development needs to consider both the needs of the development team and also the needs of the business they support. Many recent versions of Agile have tended to take too much of a "development-centric" view that has made implementation create contention with the other parts of a company. To be successful, any approach to software development in a commercial enterprise has to work for the entire company, not just the development team. This book does a great job of showing that can be accomplished in a way that works for everyone. This is probably because Kanban is not really a software development methodology, it's an operational methodology developed in the manufacturing industry.

Kanban tends to improve predictability, reduce administrative overhead and reduce error rates.

The other thing that is very appealing is that Kanban is not an exclusive approach. In other words, unlike most other Agile methodologies which tend to be absolutist in their implementation, Kanban can be implemented without immediate changes to current processes, so if you are a Scrum shop you can still be a Scrum shop, but you will be able to make Scrum work more effectively.
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on 26 July 2013
If you are new to lean and Kanban in software development, then this is the place to start. There is an enormous amount of information in this book so you should not try to get through it all in one sitting. Read it over several days, make notes and Google the terms you don't understand. For example, David Anderson talks about Variation a lot in this book, but doesn't really clarify what this means. This is no way detracts from the quality and usefulness of the book providing you have a web browser to hand. I read the book in detail twice over the source of a week and I got so much more out of it on the seconds reading.

You are not doing lean or agile if you haven't read this book!
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on 21 October 2012
I recommend this book if you are interested in evolutionary improvement of software development. The first implementation of Kanban was with a TSP team. This is interesting to me since I know TSP very well. What I found particularly interesting is that there is a limit to how much improvement you can achieve in the team itself. Sooner or later you need to address the team's environment. Part 1 of the book gives an introduction to Kanban. Part 2 explains the fundamentals such as limiting work in progress and continuous improvements. Part 3 goes in depth with implementation details. Part 4 explores more advanced topics such as issue management and sources of variability.
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on 12 August 2014
A book that I will keep coming back to over and over again - it is the most comprehensive I have read on the subject. It's a little dry in places but all in all, a must have reference manual for those who want to get the most out of Kanban as an approach to transformation or continuous improvement. You will find the answers you need here!
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