Kanban practices.

  • Visualize: Foster transparency by showing the work and its flow.
  • Limit work-in-progress: Flow is smoother when focusing othere rather than utilization. This means operating at less-than-full capacity so things can be addressed as needed rather than slowing other flows. Limits can be defined at any part of the system. Reduces delay, context switching, waste, and quality issues.
    • This allows pull-based systems to work. Pulling occurs when capacity allows. System thus inherently values completion over starting.
  • Manage flow: Complete work, sustainably and smoothly.
  • Make policies explicit: Few, simple, highly visible policies define the board management process, limits, service classes, definition of done. Requires active commitment.
  • Implement feedback loops: Learn how things are going.
  • Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally.


  1. Susanne Bartel and Andreas Bartel, “The Official Guide to the Kanban Method,” February 2021. (See notes.)