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Lean Business Agility E008: Practical Kanban, Chapter 1

In this episode I’m talking about my new book “Practical Kanban. From Team Focus to Creating Value” which is a translation of the German book “Kanban in der Praxis”. I decided to self-publish the book on Leanpub and I will release it chapter by chapter. The translation work is basically done and it’s only illustrations missing.

The book is based on my practical experience and it tries to give you answers to the following questions:

  • Are we using Kanban properly?
  • How can we improve our Kanban?
  • How can we scale our Kanban?
  • How can our work become more predictable?
  • What should we work on next?

Chapter 1 is already released and the highlights are the written instructions for the ship building experiment and the explanation of the reworked Flight Levels – it’s only 3 anymore 😉

Read the Practical Kanban Book, subscribe to the YouTube channel of Lean Business Agility or to the Podcast through iTunes or get the RSS feed.


Now available on Leanpub: Chapter 1 of „Practical Kanban“

Practical Kanban BookWhen I was in Bangkok in Februray for giving some trainings, it became clear to me: My new book „Practical Kanban – From Team Focus to Creating Value“ should be published in English as soon as possible. I travel around the English speaking part of the world quite a lot and people there aren’t too keen on reading my ideas in German. Furthermore, readers of the English edition shouldn’t have to pay two or three times more than the German ones – I had to make this experience with my first book „Kanban Change Leadership“.

So Katrin and I decided to produce the English edition of „Practical Kanban“ entirely on our own. And it was easy to do so with Leanpub as a platform: As soon as one chapter is translated and reviewed, we can publish it as a pdf or ebook. Besides that, new ideas and developments can be included much earlier. And finally: We can charge a – from our point of view – fair price. So publishing with Leanpub can be calld „agile“. For my part, I simply think it’s cool!

Most important in Chapter 1

  • I seized the opportunity to include some learning I made in my trainings. The question of regulated or not regulated on certain Flight Levels proved to be irrevelant. So I radically simplified the Flight-Levels-model and now there are only 3 Flight Levels.
  • Participants of my trainings always ask me for a written instruction for the ship building experiment. You can find the whole instruction in chapter 1 as well as an explanation of the mechanisms that are at work in this experiment.
  • Chapter 1 also comprises a review of the Kanban principles and the goals of working with Kanban.

A book at the price of a chapter!

We aim at delivering the whole English edition as an ebook within the next few weeks. In the meantime we’d like to make you the following offering:

  • Buy Chapter 1 now for 4 dollars and get the other chapters for free! As soon as the book is complete it will cost 24 dollars – so you save quite a lot.

Enjoy reading!

„Practical Kanban“ on  Leanpub


The ART of Lean Business Agility

From DB systel’s Skydeck one has a stunning view all over Frankfurt. Even more stunning for me was what was going on on the Skydeck itself on March 20th. After an “Improving Kanban”-Training during the day I had the pleasure to give a talk on Lean Business Agility at the Agile Round Table (ART) of DB systel. A few weeks earlier: Only a few hours after the talk had been announced, tickets were sold out. First the quota of tickets was increased to 100, then 150 – due to security reasons it wasn’t possible to offer more. So finally a conference call to Berlin was installed to offer some more interested people the possibility to attend the talk.

The Agile Round Table of DB systel is an open forum for agile practitioners and interested folks. Also, people from all over the company gather here for exchanging insights about projects and listening to talks like mine for learning something new that keeps them thinking about next steps. So the ART is also a tool for developing a new company culture. Just like at my talk at AXA in Bangkok a few weeks ago, I was fascinated by the fact that the top management attended the talk as well and were looking for inspiration. In many conversations I realize that managers become aware of their role in an agile context. Concepts like my flight levels model help them to understand how they can match their responsibility for strategic decisions with the momentum of agile grassroot movements within the company. It shows them how to establish feedback loops between different layers of the organization. So finally these are cultural initiatives – as the ART of DB systel shows. On the feedback whiteboards someone wrote: “Some more, please.” Well – with pleasure!

There was also a lot going on on Twitter:

Thanks to Angelika Zelosko for the gorgeous pics!!


LeanAgileUS 2017: A localglobal community event

Klaus Leopold LeanAgileUS 2017

To be honest: I don’t have much of a problem if I „have to“ fly to Florida every year at the end of february/beginning of march. At this time of the year, temperatures in Florida are simply more agreeable than in Vienna and I prefer endless beaches to the snow on our terrace. But that is not the only reason: This year, LeanAgileUS took place in Fort Lauderdale for the first time and it seems that it will take off to become a really cool conference on a regular basis. LeanAgileUS is organized by Steve Reid, who is living Kanban with about 4000 people at Ultimate Software, and my good friend Dan Vacanti, master of agile metrics. Initially those two simply wanted to organize an event for the local Agile Community of Florida but to me it looks like it will take on another dimension.

About 250 people already attended the first edition of LeanAgileUS from February 27th to 28th and in my opinion this had a lot to do with Dan’s and Steve’s concept. First of all, LeanAgileUS is open to people of all „persuasions“, may it be Scrum, Kanban, Lean – you name it. We talked about everything and learned from it. On top of that, Dan and Steve tried to show Agile in all its facets and so they invited practically experienced Top-Speakers from the US and the rest of the world to come to Florida. Dominica DeGrandis, Karl Scotland, Larry Maccherone, Wolfgang Wiedenroth, Troy Magennis … have a look at the list right here. 

florida beach leanagileus17So I felt all the more honored to be invited as well. I had the opportunity to talk about „Lean Business Agility“ and to hold two workshops. The most important insight for most of the attendees at my talk (about 80) was the fact that agile organizations aren’t a compilation of agile teams and that they should rather try to improve interactions between teams. It seems that organizations on both sides of the Atlantic are still very much focused on installing methods at team level. Fortunately, I heard the penny drop quite a few times.

Well, I guess that LeanAgileUS will become a fixed point in my conference calendar. The search for a new date has already begun.