People new to Lean-Agile don’t initially get the pull idea when you first tell them about it. Conceptually they follow you, but it tends not to be reflected in their performance right away.

It is not that we are manufacturing lines, but it seems that most people want to do "their" work and pass it along at first. It takes time to get that we mean it about optimizing performance for the entire team, not just for the individuals; and even though we hire specialists, we want them to generalize where possible to help the team move cards along using one-piece flow, doing one thing at a time.

We have found it takes a week or two of noticing cards in the wrong columns, or noticing that they are overproducing at their preferred station and pushing their cards to a queue for someone else.

After a few weeks of coaching teams, they all adjust pretty well to the idea of pulling cards. It helps that we walk the board from right to left, emphasizing the one-piece flow.

Once the team gets it, we can move on to other areas to coach.

Having said all of that, there are a couple of exceptions where having a function to move a bunch of cards all at once is a nice feature on a virtual Kanban board app. When we queue cards as "ready for customer demo", after the demo, the entire bunch moves to the next column. This function for moving many cards at once is handy to reduce transaction cost waste.

Image

Line By Line

Here a Little, There a Little, Layer by Layer.

Back to Overview