pmk – poor man’s kanban – 1 of N – Preamble

There is a lot of existing literature when it comes to Lean/Kanban/Pull/Whatever.  Before getting into my discussion of pmk, although I believe I did this in a previous post, it is important to once again highlight some of the common links to that material.

Lean Software Development

This is most obviously associated with the work of Mary and Tom Poppendieck, since I believe they coined the phrase.

Their work can be found in greatest detail at their homepage.

You can find their books on Amazon by clicking here.

The wikipedia article on it can be found here.


The combination of Scrum and Kanban is associated with the work of Corey Ladas.

The best explanation of what Scrumban is can be found here.

His book on Scrumban can be found here.

Kanban Software Development

A more methodological explanation of this can be found at David Anderson’s site here.

His book can be found here.


So, you’ve given all these links and now you are going to explain why they are wrong and you are right, correct?  Since you are an expert and all that.

Hell no.  I’m obviously not an expert at the level of these people.  What I am hoping to accomplish here is an explanation of some of the core basics of kanban and how it can improve software development.  If and when I have differences of opinion with the true experts (and there are a few), I will say so and try to state those differences of opinion as clearly as I can.  Obviously, if you are really interested in the wide breadth of literature, your best bet is to read it for yourself.

What I am going to try to do is to explain a very simplistic (hence “poor man’s”) version of kanban that doesn’t require any adherence to any particular ‘heavy’ methodology.  This could be considered a deficiency in what I am going to try to explain, and I accept that, but I think there are benefits to taking this route as well.

More to come, starting off with a description of a typical software development environment that doesn’t practice anything like Lean/Kanban/Pull/Whatever, and how poor man’s kanban can improve that environment.

posted on Sunday, June 07, 2009 11:07 PM Print
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