Real-World Kanban – A Book

real-world-kanban-bookReal-World Kanban: Do Less, Accomplish More with Lean Thinking, 1st Edition, describes what Kanban is with the help of four real-world case studies. The reader will be able to get insights of how this methodology is able to make clear the bigger picture of what is really going on with the team and their work. By making work items and how work is flowing more visible, teams will be able to focus on what is important and collaborate on issues that may be blocking or slowing them. The reader can also learn some tips and techniques that helped the teams working on the case studies.

Book Details

The first edition paperback measures 7.5 in. wide by 0.3 in. thick by 9.2 in. tall. Shipping weight is about 11.2 ounces. It has 140 pages divided in an introduction, 5 major sections, and an appendix. It is also available in Kindle format. The book was published by Pragmatic Bookshelf in July 2015 in English. ISBN-10: 1680500775; ISBN-13: 978-1680500776.


$23.74 for the paperback version and $22.55 for the Kindle version


Target Audience

Real-World Kanban is for functional teams that are facing challenges in terms of their priorities, workload, focus and product/service delivery. Teams can belong to software development, IT operations, product development, or marketing. Project managers, team leads, and other agile teams can gain insights and other benefits.

What Customers Say

B. Scottberg (Amazon) described the book as a quick yet informative read. The reader stated the the case studies can help people learn how past implementations of kanban boards have worked. However, it does not have enough theory and concepts for someone who is not yet familiar with this specific methodology.

Alexei Z. (Amazon), who states that he is a Kanban trainer and coach recommends the book to his clients. He mentioned that 2 important concepts, customer-focused approach and service orientation, are well illustrated in the book.

Daniel D. (Amazon) described it as a little book that is well illustrated and witty. He also mentioned that even the appendix contains valuable content. He sums it up as a practical book from shared experiences, and considers it as among his top 3 list of innovative Kanban books.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Real-World Kanban is divided by one section or chapter that discusses concepts and principles and four sections or chapters that discuss case studies. Thus, the first part shares important lessons to remember while the following section shows how Kanban as a method or process is applied in different scenarios. The real-world scenarios include improving the full value chain in an enterprise, managing dependencies in change management, saving a derailing project, and improving operations of a non-IT team.
Approach/Tone: The author relays his ideas in a retrospective manner. By telling the story of how teams successfully applied Kanban in different scenarios, readers are able to see the lessons from a past experience. At the same time, the author shares tips and tricks that can also be used in similar instances.
Style: The book is easy to read with short paragraphs. It also has adequate images, illustrations, charts and special markers to draw the reader’s attention. All these translate to an effective way of conveying the ideas. Every section and topic is well identified, so readers can quickly find the topic of their interest.

Why Buy the Book

Real-World Kanban is a great reference for teams interested in using this Lean and Agile process to improve their workflow and collaboration. It is a practical guide that can improve end-to-end processes and development. It is unique in the way it presents examples primarily, and then the lessons from them reinforces the principles. It is compact, with even the appendix providing tips for better communications and for continuous improvement.


Mattias Skarin is a Lean, Kanban and Scrum coach based in Stockholm, Sweden. He coaches and mentors management teams, product management teams, Scrum masters and change agents. He is also an experienced software developer and an expert in finding business/development interfaces for Agile companies. Mattias focuses on hands-on coaching and training. He has written several articles on the subject including contributing for the book Kanban and Scrum. Mattias is on LinkedIn.

$23.74 for the paperback version and $22.55 for the Kindle version


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