Jun 26, 2011

Kanban actions when encountering a bottleneck.

What kind of actions should be considered to take care of a bottleneck?

- Are the people on the immediate upstream doing things right or rushing them?
- Do we need to add a buffer?
- Is this something temporary so doing nothing is the right thing to do?
- Is the root cause somewhere farther upstream?
- Do we change WIP?
- Do we reallocate human resources?
Note: this list is not exhaustive. 

In the need of scientific proof

I was reviewing the feedback sheets from a course I finished two days ago and one of them called my attention. There was a comment indicating I should've given scientific evidence to explain why lean and Kanban work. I understand how compelling it is to count with scientific proof; however, no having scientific proof of something is not sufficient to say something didn't work.

Most things that work are followed by a scientific explanation and not the other way around. Even when no scientific proof is available, should we stop doing something that works?

Lean and Kanban work because they tackle projects from a systems perspective and because they also pay attention to the human factor. That is, they go beyond just the project to find opportunities for improvement and do root-cause analysis. They see projects and people as complex adaptive systems better than other approaches.

The longer professionals demand solutions that are heavily rooted on scientific proof the longer it will take them to realize the huge potential they are missing and will continue to struggle with projects more than is necessary.

Btw, that same person gave me a low score on "being on time" even though I was there 30 minutes before start time every day of the course and kept the lunch break times as agreed. Oh!... wait, maybe my score would've been higher if I had allowed more time for lunch.