Kanban Thinking – Becoming a Learning Organisation


The pace of change is accelerating as technology advances, the economy becomes more global and markets become increasingly disruptive. The average lifespan of organisations is getting dramatically shorter as it becomes easier for more players to join the competitive landscape. To survive, businesses need to create a culture of continuous curiosity, looking for new answers to new problems and challenges to be able to constantly adapt. In other words, they need to become learning organisations.

Kanban Thinking is model for becoming a learning organisation. It starts with understanding the current challenge as a systemic problem and imagining the potential impacts of solving or ignoring that problem. Then possible interventions are explored by studying context, sharing understanding, stabilising work, sensing capability and searching alternatives. The end result is an approach which focuses on developing people so they are able to continuously respond to new challenges, rather than concentrating on implementing existing solutions to previous ones.

If your organisation has unique challenges such as specialist skills, mixed technologies, unpredictable demand, variety of work, or regulatory constraints, then Kanban Thinking can help you. Learn how to use the model, with its heuristics and questions, to create your own kanban systems, tailored to meet your specific needs, and able to adapt as your situation changes.


This is a 2 day, interactive class, during which participants will learn the concepts being introduced by practicing them while working through filling in a Kanban Canvas ­ a large single page sheet which describes the Kanban Thinking model. Games, exercises and discussion will be interleaved to explore key topics in more detail.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the 2 days, participants will be able to:

  • Recognise the purpose of a kanban system in terms of the problem it is trying to solve
  • Express the fitness of a kanban system to the desired purpose in terms of flow, value and potential.
  • Apply techniques to study the current context, including empathising with stakeholders, profiling demand and mapping value streams.
  • Design visualisations which share a common understanding of important information
  • Define Work-In-¬≠Process limits and explicit policies which will stabilise the work
  • Choose measures and meeting cadences which generate a sense of current capability
  • Identify experiments which will help to search the potential alternative improvements


There are a couple of classes coming up in South Africa with DVT Academy.

  • 14-15 June 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa. Book here.
  • 18-19 June 2018, Cape Town, South Africa. Book here.

If you would like me to run course locally, or privately with your organisation, please contact me.

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