5 Steps to Start Learning Kanban

5 Steps to Start Learning Kanban

Perhaps you have heard about Kanban, or you are already familiar with it and yet you have not begun to apply it fully. You want to start learning Kanban, but the Internet is full of different controversial materials, and you don’t know which ones to believe. These tips will help you understand how to start, and where to look for reliable information. Read this article with tips from our expert and start your Kanban journey today! 

Step 1 – Explore it.

Start learning Kanban by exploring. There are different free materials and books available from reliable sources: 

  • kanban.university website has a free Kanban Guide that explains all the basics. 
  • kanbanbooks.com has all the books library. Start with “Essential Kanban condensed” by David Anderson and Andy Carmichael, “Essential Upstream Kanban” by Patrick Steyaert  
  • djaa.com – David J Anderson School of Management has different materials, articles, and case studies to read or even to download. 
  • kanban.plus – is an online learning platform that has all the Kanban Method materials available online. A free subscription allows you to explore some KMM basics. 

Though some materials or articles may be more advanced, it’s always good to know about them. This way you can always come back to them later when you`re ready or when it is more applicable to your situation.  

Step 2 – Just start doing it.

Start doing some Kanban the way you feel, you understand. Apply what you have learned so far. Even for yourself, just to practice. Practicing is a great way to start learning Kanban.

Step 3 – Take a Kanban course.

If you see that Kanban may work for you and you want to structure your knowledge – take the first Kanban class:  Kanban System Design (KSD). Then you can decide what you want to do next.  

There are different paths for you after KSD class: 

  • Kanban System Improvements class (KSI) – if you work more in the delivery part of the system. Using some examples from IT – that`s Developers or Testers. 
  • Kanban for Design and Innovation (KDI) – if you are more on the product side. If you`re analyzing clients’ requirements, talking to clients. If you`re a Product Owner or Product Manager – this class is for you.

If you are a Project Manager – both classes are for you. They will help you to see the whole system end-to-end.  

Choose the learning path depending on your needs. You can always find more information about the classes and trainers on the Kanban University website, or you can learn with David J Anderson School of Management

Step 4 – Choose your own Kanban path.

After taking Kanban System Design (KSD) and Kanban for Design and Innovation (KDI) or Kanban System Improvements (KSI) classes you become a Kanban Management Professional (KMP) and earn a special badge from Kanban University. Being KMP you can choose a different path:  

  • Become a Kanban Trainer – you can become a Kanban Trainer if you like teaching people and you want to train others within your organization or as your own business.   
  • Become a Kanban Coaching Professional – if you want to help organizations with their change initiatives, you can become a KCP (Kanban Coaching Professional). You will need to go through the Kanban Maturity Model and Kanban Coaching classes.  

What`s the difference? Being a trainer, you teach people and leave them with their knowledge. However, coaches are the ones who go through the change with the company, they are constantly involved in the process. Coaches help people go through the change using different methods that they learn during the class. They help to avoid 2 famous failure modes – overreaching or false summit plateau. Being a Coach is like being a doctor – no one calls you when everything is fine, they call you when things go bad. So, if they have called you, most likely some things went bad and you`re there to help them solve it.  

Step 5 – Consider options.

In case you don`t want to be either a trainer or a coach, two new courses were introduced by David J Anderson School of Management

  • Kanban Leadership Professional (KLP), 2 classes – this is the leadership class. It will teach you how to be a leader of the change in the organization. You don`t necessarily need to be a manager or a Team Leader to take this class. You may not have an official role that reflects your leading position. But if you play the role of the leader in any way, this class is for you. It will help you to better lead people, organizations, teams and support the change. Not as the coach, but as the person within the organization.  
  • Kanban Product Professional (KPP), 2 courses – if you liked the KDI class and you feel like you are working in the Product environment: you build products, talk to clients, you are the one to understand the client`s needs, and make sure the things are delivered according to his or her expectations – this class is for you. Here you will learn how to understand your client’s needs, deliver within your SLAs, sequence and schedule the work, and how to help your organization deliver products to your clients. It is important for any Product Manager, Product Owner, Business analyst, Subject Matter Expert, or anyone who is involved in understanding his client.  

These two classes are certified by Kanban University and are now exclusive from David J Anderson School of Management. They are at the same level as KCP and are for those who feel that teaching or coaching is not for them. 

Find more information about the learning path on djaa.com or kanban.university

Learn more about Kanban studies using kanban.plus. Attend training at the David J Anderson School of Management to learn more about advanced Kanban studies and how they can help your business, or find your local trainer at Kanban University to start your Kanban journey.

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