Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business
By David J. Anderson
Dan’s Note: When I originally posted this, I gave this book three stars. My main beef was it was too advanced for my understanding at the time. I guess I’ve grown. I have reread this book and must say, for me, its a game changer. Its not for the feint of heart, though. Kanban has a lot of depth. I’m still grasping many of its principles. One thing I certainly dig–Anderson is a Deming fan. I think Deming would have liked Anderson too.
Let me first say this–this is NOT a bad book. Its actually very good. The reason I gave it a 3.5 star rating is because its a little too advanced for my current skill/experience level. I spent quite a bit of time researching what was being discussed in the book rather than actually reading it. For instance–how to read a Cumulative Flow Diagram and how to map value streams. Combined with a very short lending time from my library system, I ended up having to skip some things in the book I didn’t have time to research and so there was a lot of things I didn’t get out of reading it.
That being said, there is a lot of good things in here. This is a very nuts and bolts type of book. Anderson explains in depth how Kanban works and how to implement it. I was intrigued by his claim that simply creating a visual representation of value stream and limiting WIP caused organizations to change. This was one of the strengths of Kanban–if your organization is resistant to change, this may be a good strategy. Kanban, by its strong visual representation, accentuates waste and roadblocks and people just jump in to fix it.
Anderson also brings home some principles in this book that are close to my heart–what a kaizen culture looks like and why its so powerful and also the importance of sustainability.
The main complaint I have about this book is the visuals. Some of the photos are not clear and some of the drawings did not make a lot of sense to me. Again, some of this may be just an issue with my skill/experience level.
This book really stretched my horizions and I’d like to go back and study it more. Its only $9.99 on the Kindle. Once I finish reading it, I’ll have to revisit my score.