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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.


Participating Organizations at the Lean & Six Sigma  World Conference

Government Agencies

  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health & Human Svcs.
  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • Pentagon
  • U.S. Air Force

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Veterans Affairs
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers


  • AIG
  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America Corp
  • BASF Corporation
  • Bayer Corporation
  • BMW
  • The Boeing Company
  • Bose Corporation
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Cardinal Health
  • Caterpillar
  • Chrysler Corporation
  • Chevron
  • Cisco Systems
  • Coca-Cola
  • Comcast
  • Daimler Chrysler
  • Disney
  • Dow Chemical

  • Dr Pepper 
  • Duracell
  • Dupont
  • Eastman Kodak
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Fedex
  • Ford Motor
  • General Electric 
  • General Motors
  • Gillette
  • Goodyear Tire
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Honeywell
  • Humana
  • IBM
  • Kohler
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Macy’s
  • M&M/Mars
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Maytag Appliances
  • Mercedes
  • Merck
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mobil Chemical
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Nestle 
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris International
  • PNC Financial Services Group
  • Pfizer
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Prudential
  • Raytheon
  • Rolls Royce Allison
  • Target
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Schindler Elevator Corporation
  • Schneider Electric
  • Shell
  • Siemens
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Staples
  • Tesla
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Qualcomm
  • Underwriter Laboratories
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • United Technologies
  • Union Pacific
  • UPS
  • USAA
  • Verizon
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo
  • Westinghouse
  • Whirlpool
  • Xerox


Lean & Six Sigma World Conference




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