The Truth About Kanban | Bill Waddell

Bill Waddell, intellectual sparring partner for almost 20 years now, has put out this video revealing “The Truth About Kanban”:

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

This video is just Bill’s talking head against the background of a brick fireplace with a few books on top, notably “Toyota Kata.” It contains no moving pictures of Kanbans in action and all you learn from viewing is in Bill’s words, and I have a few quibbles with these words.

I usually get impatient with this kind of video, because voice is a slow medium, and you would get the same information five times faster reading the transcript. But I have never met Bill in the flesh, and I was curious to hear his voice. It’s a good radio voice, albeit curmudgeonly, reminiscent of a younger Tommy Lee Jones.

Now, about the content, Bill makes three main points:

  1. What you use for a pull signal doesn’t matter.
  2. You can use Kanbans with long lead time items.
  3. The Kanban system is a mechanism to drive improvement.

I agree with Point 3, but find Points 1 and 2 problematic.

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