Make Sure the Team Gets Training

Make Sure the Team Gets Training

For the team to be successful, they must get training in kanban techniques. The training should be formalized and should cover the following areas:

  • The elements of kanban

  • The process for creating a kanban

  • Examples of successful kanbans

Also, consider creating simulations or scenarios to reinforce the concepts. A comprehensive and in-depth training program will last about a day.

Unless you have in-house expertise, consider this an area where a consultant will be needed. Consultants can bring a wealth of experience and should have a prepared "off-the-shelf" training presentation. Also, to develop an in-house capability, consider hiring the consultant to conduct a train-the-trainer session and purchasing the presentation charts as part of the contract.

The goal of the training is to provide the team with the knowledge (and confidence) to implement a kanban scheduling project. Also, consider integrating the kanban design into the training process. The implementation steps can be incrementally applied to your situation so that at the end of the training the team has a preliminary design. This design can then be finalized for implementation.

Provide the Team with Management Support

The last step of the group process comes from the top. As with any journey into uncharted territories , the team (and the whole organization) needs to know that kanban will be implemented. Every organization has its share of people who do not want to change and will do anything they can to prevent change from happening (either consciously or unconsciously).

Top management must set the stage for change. They must put those people who have placed roadblocks to implementation on the hook for developing a solution to their roadblocks . Management cannot let these people throw the proverbial hand grenade and run away. Also, management must let the team know that there will not be any public executionsonly public celebrations.

If top management cannot support these behaviors, then they need to reconsider their readiness to implement kanban. Additionally, management should consider this failure as a wake-up call to assess their readiness to lead change.

Some of the activities that top management can perform to help in implementation are:

  • Provide the resources promised /required promptly

  • Issue a memo announcing the formulation of the team

  • Request progress updates from both the team and process owner

  • Discuss the team's progress at business or staff meetings

  • Attend team meetings and team training

  • Publicly congratulate the team upon completion of the project

In general, management should act in a manner that tells the organization that kanban is the new direction and that everyone had better point their wagons that way!

Using the Workbook

The CD-ROM Workbook contains the companion forms for this chapter (see Figure 2-5). Use these forms, listed below, to document the set-up of the team:

  1. Team member list ( name , phone numbers , position)

  2. Group charter (timeline, expectations, level of authority, special conditions, and budget)

  3. Team roles (name and role: scribe, meeting logistics, special roles)

  4. Team rules (list by priority)

start figure
  • Team member list

    • (name, phone numbers, position)

  • Group charter

    • (timeline, expectations, level of authority, special conditions, and budget)

  • Team roles

    • (name and role ”scribe, meeting logistics, special roles)

  • Team rules

    • (list by priority)

end figure

Figure 2-5: Forms from the Companion Workbook for Documenting the Formation of the Team.

The completed forms should be viewed as a team charter. Depending upon your organizational culture, you may even want to formalize this section by having each team member sign the forms to acknowledge their acceptance and support.