Junilu Lacar wrote: If kanban is about improving process, does it have a narrow focus or does it help you take a more "systems thinking" view? One problem with immature teams is that they often don't know where to start making improvements. They can identify a multitude of things that they need to improve but have a hard time deciding where best to start so that they can see results quicker and get the most out of their efforts. Is this something that the book touches on? That is, does kanban help develop systems thinking, looking at things more holistically (e.g. at the team or group level) vs local optimizations (e.g. individual performance)?
thanks for your questions. The thing with kanban is that it doesn't really care or is limited to the personal or team level. It will reveal your "improvement opportunities" to the level where you apply it. If you apply it on the team level you will start find ways to flow work faster through the team pretty soon. What often happens though, is that after awhile you'll reach the limits for you team, and will have to start interact with and improve outside your team, with other functions or people
For example, let's say that you have a separate department doing deployments. If you start flowing work through your team fast, you will still end up waiting for the deployment department. The focus on lead time (the complete time from idea to production) will be slowed down by waiting for the deployment department. This is now your next problem (oh sorry improvement opportunity) to solve to gain even faster flow.
Kanban sadly don't have any patented one-size-fits-all solution (nor should you trust any method that claim to have so). Kanban simply showed you the problem, by focusing on shorting lead-times. What you do about the problem is what decides if you will improve or not.
For awhile i called kanban for "problem finders" because that's all they really is. They show you problems. Problems that, if you fix them, will help you improve.