Dec 20 – Tools are not the goal, they should help reach the real goal

December20

“The purpose of kanban is to eliminate the kanban.”

Implementing tools are not the goal. The tools can be a way for us to reach the real goal. The purpose of a Kanban system is not having the Kanban system working. It is a tool to help us achieve a goal. What is the purpose of a Kanban system? Creating a pull system? No. The purpose of a Kanban system is to achieve continuous flow. But achieving continuous flow is hard. A step towards flow is to create a pull system. Kanban systems is probably one of the simplest ways to create a pull system. But we should not lose the real goal – continuous flow.

If you have implemented a Kanban system and you are struggling to make it work, then it is already working. Your struggle is revealing you obstacles to achieving flow. Time to dig in and solve your problems. Then when you have a stable pull system – reduce the number of Kanban in your system until you once again see problems.

The same applies to tools like Jira. The purpose is not to implement well-functioning Jira system, it is to achieve something else. Daily standup as well. The purpose is not to be good at standups, it is to coordinate and communicate to achieve something else.

Dig deeper and find the real goal, the real purpose of why you are using a particular tool or you stand the risk of just having a nice and shining tool that need maintenance and you are not closer to your real goal.


This is my Lean/Agile Advent Calendar. I will publish a short post on a Lean/Agile topic every day up until Christmas. I will based each days topic on what is behind the door in the LEGO® City Advent Calendar.  So be sure to check back every day!

DISCLAIMER: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this post and blog in any way.

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