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Make Kanban Policies Explicit

The goal of explicit Kanban policies is to induce certainty and increase team performance and effectiveness.

A Certified Kanban Project manager is not interested in the Kanban team being busy. The intention and ambition of a project manager, including a Kanban project manager, are for the Kanban team to be occupied with the proper activities, done correctly, and on-time to generate the expected business outcomes.

A Kanban board makes processes and policies explicit. By viewing the Kanban board, the Kanban team and their stakeholders can build a proper understanding of how their Kanban workflow works and the status of Work In Progress (WIP) work.

Declaring Kanban policies explicitly clears the Kanban team's mind. Explicit Kanban policies should reflect what is important. They define which tasks the Kanban team can willingly ignore,so that they can focus on essential activities. What trade-offs in cost, speed, and quality, the Kanban team is ready to allow and under what conditions.

Here are some examples of explicit Kanban policies:

  • Make the Kanban team members familiar with the flow of work.
  • Create Definition of Done's (DoD) with their associated quality assurance checks in macro workflow) and micro (workflow steps) levels.
  • How to handle the backlog. Who can add items, who can prioritize, and how
  • How to handle new requirements from stakeholders.
  • How to handle scope creep.
  • How to handle impediments and situationswhen Kanban team members are blocked from doing their work.
  • How to handle defects from work delivered in the past.

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Make Kanban Policies Explicit

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