Kanban - german edition of David Anderson's classic published

This post is refererring to Arne Roock's Blog Post on the publishing of David Anderson's already classic 'Kanban' wich is now also released in german. The book was translated into German by Arne and Henning Wolf. The publishing was celebrated at the OOP 2011 in Munich with some events and talks on the topic and David made no secret out of the German edition being updated in some chapters and containing an additional chapter by me.
The German cover - quite different
I can only imagine how hard a task this was, as to me the original is already a nice, soft read focusing on the purpose and motivation of Kanban and reflecting this in a very soft and understanding way. I followed the translation from the beginning and have to take my hat off on how well this book was transferred into German. If you get hold of the book, just after a few pages you will realize how good the translation is - especially compared to other books in our industry.

As mentioned before, I contributed one chapter to this book, the last chapter in fact. In this chapter, I describe how we apply Kanban to Portfolio Management at my work at mobile.international GmbH, owner of Europe's largest car classified site. My latest view on what we're doing with this is that we are managing demand load on the system that is provided by our PD department. Actually, we are managing the waiting queue for our department. From a distance, every project needs to wait in two waiting queues. One is more simple but has more impact. This queue is the portfolio management. The second queue is the actual PD workflow, in which every committed project is realized. The whole system is roughly the equivalent of a shop where you also have to manage two queues (if you're in bad luck ;): First you have to stand in line to enter the shop (if demand is high enough - or actually: too high) an then you have to manage the queues in front of the till. You don't want to have customers waiting in any of these two queues for two long. But for this not to happen you have to actively manage the queue length - and give it all you got. (The better metaphore might be an airport, where you mostly have to queue up twice: check-in and security - basically quick ckck-in machines are then a better way of portfolio management with less overhead and security, well ... let's not think of the TSA nowadays ...)

I may expand on that in a future blog post or article. I actually gave myself the task to try to find out which queue has what impact on the whole system.

If you have a closer look on the 2nd queue, the PD department itself, you can see that this queuing system consists of quite a few queues itself - from requirements to delivery. And this makes clear the task of the PD department - apart from just delivering projects the task is trying to deliver the projects in a way that the queues are short and the 'customers' are happy because the queues are short and stuff is delivered with short wait cycles. And, oh boy, here we find livers the dime a dozen ;)

Actually with the publish of the German edition of David's Epic I was humbled twice. First, in the foreword Arne and Henning mention me in a way that is just too kind - but one should never should say no to compliments. And second, I was quite stunned and humbled when I was asked by David, Arne and Henning if I would like to contribute a chapter to this book. The idea came up after I visited the Lean Kanban Belgium 2010 conference (quite well organized by Agile Minds Belgium - I will come back to this great conference as well as the LESS 2010 in Helsinki in my conference summary of 2010 later in this blog), where I held a talk just on this topic, which was attended by David and some other smart guys and where we had a lively discussion on the topic. So, in fact, the topic actually hit a nerve and resonated well with this great audience so that the idea stuck to write the whole thing down. Thanks again for giving me the chance, guys :-)

So there you have it - grab a copy, read the book, read my chapter, give it some reviews on amazon and give me or the other guys involved some feedback via Email or twitter. We would be happy!

Edit: A great in depth description of a Kanban introduction given by Henning and Arne to celebrate the publish of their translation is given here by Markus Gärtner.
blog comments powered by Disqus