Lean Kanban - When Traditional Lean Just Isn’t Lean Enough

Presenter: Misbah Chaudhry, Senior Lean Agile Project Leader, Dun & Bradstreet, Short Hills, NJ, USA

Keywords: Lean Kanban, Traditional Lean Augmentation, Visualize your work

Industry: Financial Services, Service, Software

Level: Basic


Lean isn’t something you do; it’s something you live. You’re not born with the skills to live a lean lifestyle, but you can learn and evolve. You can practice your skills until they become second nature. But isn’t it a lot of work to find those “waste” needles in the “process” haystack? Where do you start? Don’t worry, you’ve got this, you’re already a pro at this, and we’ve got an “app” to help you take it to the next level

Introducing LEAN KANBAN, the most visual process mapping, waste identifying, bottleneck finding, WIP recognizing solution your lean projects can leverage to optimize results and maximize value.

Lean KANBAN applies the same principles to service as Six Sigma does to manufacturing thus enabling variability while limiting deviation from the standard – this technique allows for innovation - It introduces the concept of a cross-functional self-organizing team which allows for flexibility and collaboration.

General Practices in Kanban

1. Visualize (with a KANBAN board)

2. Limit work-in-progress

3. Manage flow

4. Make policies explicit

5. Implement feedback loops

6. Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally (using models and the scientific method.

Manage your throughput and calculate your cycle time for each unique type of work (bug fix, enhancement, upgrade request) based on classes of service (standard, expedited, intangible, fixed date). The best part, the team owns the board, replenishes it and manages it. It creates transparency and accountability. Feedback loops are built into the system in the form of meetings (stand-ups, huddles), metrics, and boards. Team learn and incorporate those learnings into the new work on an ongoing basis.

I am going to use practical examples from my work experience and play a couple of games to ensure that the presentation is practical, interactive and fun for the audience.


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January 31, 2019
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019,
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Conference Chair's Message 

Joel Smith

Continuous Improvement is not just something a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioner leads their organization in practicing, but is also a core competency of their professional makeup. That is why more and more innovative and leading companies are looking for leaders that use the LSS way of thinking in everything they do within their organization.

In this era of data science and machine learning, the ability to connect the dots for end to end solutions across the boundaries of people, process and systems is the key to success. This year’s conference is focused on making sure we are “continuing” our journey as practitioners. Whatever your level of experience, you will learn new concepts, new perspectives and network with the best in the industry.