Last week I held an accredited Kanban training in Brno, CZ. There was quite a lot of Scrum knowledge in the room as Scrum trainers and practitioners were participating which of course led to some discussions regarding Kanban vs. Scrum. I am really not a fan of these discussions, nevertheless it turned out to be quite fruitful.
We could agree that Scrum tells you what a team has to do in order to become “hyper productive”: cross functionality, Scrum Master, Product Owner, sprints, review, sprint planning, etc. are some of the prescriptions in order to improve within the Scrum mindset.
Let alone that Kanban is not a team-based approach, it can also be used on a team-level in order to improve. Kanban is about encouraging people to find their own way. So the Kanban way is not to prescribe what companies should do but rather help them find out for themselves what they have to change in order to improve.
So what’s the point now? I often feel very pushed when talking to Agile people. They sometimes appear to me like missionaries proclaiming the good news that they have the patent remedy to heal the world. I think the Kanban mindset is completely different. For me, a good Kanban coach or trainer does not force people to do Kanban. This would be a contradiction in terms! When it is about to encourage finding the own way, how could you force people to do it your way? It might turn out that some people prefer following prescriptions of a book or method instead of finding their own way. However, in this case following prescriptions is their own way. There are for sure plenty of reasons for it and in the end it might boil down to fears, personal believes and assumptions.
My assumption is there is not only one truth on how to run your business. I made a quick book search: Amazon finds 6,355 books on “software project management” (http://amzn.to/UKTMOj), 65,238 on “software development” (http://amzn.to/UKU3kt), and 813,167 books on “management” (http://amzn.to/UKWRhq). If there’s only one truth, we should probably tell Amazon. They would be lucky to free some stock.