Kanban from the Inside – A Book Review
Kanban from the Inside: Understand the Kanban Method, connect it to what you already know, introduce it with impact, is a comprehensive book about the Kanban Method explained through 9 values. It introduces the concept, provides context and relation to other models, and specifies steps in implementing the method in practical ways. The book goes beyond the Kanban board as it provides insight and perspective. Moreover, it also provides a step-by-step guide for a successful implementation that addresses the needs of the whole organization.
This first paperback edition measures 6 in. wide, 0.9 in. thick, and 9 in. tall. It weighs approximately 1 pound. The book is divided in 3 parts, 23 chapters and 270 pages. A Kindle edition is also available. The book was published by Blue Hole Press in September 2014 in the English language. ISBN-10: 0985305193; ISBN-13: 978-0985305192
Kanban from the Inside is for organization leaders, business managers, project managers, and individuals, not familiar with Kanban, but who are looking for a new method or approach to organize enterprises, manage projects and people, and pursue productivity. This book is also for those who have an idea or working experience of Kanban and seeks a deeper understanding of the method to apply it on a different scale or a different situation. Readers with a background on software development may find the book easier to read. This is true also with those familiar with the concepts of Lean and Agile, although this is not a prerequisite.
What Customers Say
David A. (Amazon) stated that he recommends it as the text book for the LeanKanban Foundation level training. He described it as the most extensive and up-to-date Kanban book as of its published date.
Matt P. (Amazon) described the book as an invaluable reference. He stated that it is now their new go-to manual for in-depth understanding of Kanban, helping him and the rest of the team to have new ways of thinking and be part of a continually improving team.
Jon T. (Amazon) compared and contrasted the book with Andersen’ Kanban blue book. While the blue book is built around case studies, he observed that Kanban from the Inside provides a simple and accessible guide for implementing the basics of the system. Thus, he described it as really useful especially for beginners.
Content, Approach, Style
Content: Kanban from the Inside is divided in 3 parts. The first part presents what Kanban is through the values of transparency, balance, collaboration, customer focus, flow, leadership, understanding, agreement and respect. Other concepts such as the 3 agendas and the Kanban Lens are also discussed. Part 2 discusses how other models such as Lean and Agile can be explored and integrated with Kanban. The last part describes a step-by-step, repeatable process called STATIK for implementing the method in organizations.
Approach/Tone: The author communicates his ideas in several ways. Anecdotes of real-world experience together with insightful discussion of concepts reinforce one another. The ideas are presented either in sequence, where one concept builds on a previous one, or in parallel, where characteristics, such as the 9 values, provide a greater picture of the whole.
Style: The writer uses several formats that make the text readable, such as short paragraphs and lists. Headings clearly announce new topics, and images provide visual aid for better presentation of ideas. A comprehensive glossary provides the definition of many terms used in the book.
Why Buy the Book
The Kanban Method is a proven system or approach that is finding a wide area of practical use, especially in so called creative and knowledge work businesses. Kanban from the Inside provides comprehensive coverage of both concepts and a practical implementation guide that allows readers to start from where they are and with what they have, and then build from there.
Mike Burrows is an Associate and former UK Director at David J. Andersen and Associates providing management consulting, Kanban training, and curriculum development, among others. He is also the Director of his company Positive Incline, Ltd, serving as independent consultant, coach and trainer. He is the founder of Agendashift, an expert practitioner in accelerated delivery for the HiveMind Network, providing mid-to-senior level consultancy, coaching and training in the different aspects of Lean-Agile transformation. In his career, Mike has served in different positions, from software engineer to IT Director across industries such as aerospace, banking, energy and government. He can be reached via his LinkedIn page.