As should be clear to anyone who has read any of the other instalments of this long series of reviews of the Model S, I am a very happy Model S owner and driver. The car is comfortable and fun to drive, while getting me from a to b with a minimum of fuss. I have not, however, claimed that it is the perfect car.
Ask anyone who has a glancing familiarity with Kanban what they know of it, and one of the (if not the) first things they will mention, is the use of a kanban board. This is true; the kanban board, whether physical or digital, is one of the most visible parts of the Kanban method. It is an eminently visual way to represent WIP. So, how do you implement a kanban board in IT support?
In keeping with my tradition, I am inviting you to take a look at the year which is about to end with me, as it pertains to me, my life, and the blog.
This is one part of the review I was not expecting to write, yet events would have it another way. Back in April, while on our way to kindergarten and work, a pedestrian suddenly stepped into the street (just ahead of an SUV on my left). With one bad option, and the other significantly worse, I opted for the bad one, and veered right, ending with the front end planted into a lamp-post. My quick reaction resulted in no serious damage to anyone, though the front end did suffer more than a little:
The title of this post might seem a bit on the conceited side. After all, who am I to claim to be a DevOps practitioner, much less thinker? I will simply say that I am working to implement DevOps principles in my day to day life, am spending more than a little time reading, thinking, and writing about DevOps, and though I may not be considered a DevOps thinker today, I certainly aspire to join their ranks. The title, then, is a statement of aspiration, more than a statement of achievement.
When I wrote my blog post about important features of a service management tool, I wrote “I am increasingly coming to believe that the change management process is perhaps the most important one for success in ITIL – not to mention DevOps – adoption” – and I stand by that assessment. Not because change management is such a revolutionary idea in and of itself, but because of what true management of change means for a business.
I celebrated my 35th birthday this past week. As I was getting ready for work one morning, I looked into the mirror and realised that – barring some drastic, and highly unrealistic, changes in approaches to retirement – I will likely be part of the work force for (at least) as long as I have presently been alive. Counting my service as a conscript in the Royal Norwegian Navy, I have been part of the workforce for fifteen years, which means that I will have been part of the workforce for a total of (at least) fifty years when I eventually retire.
My first IT job was a one day per week internship with a pharmaceutical company while I attended my last year of high school. It was the first time I was exposed to the constant stream of support and service calls that makes up a large part of the day to day life of a support technician. I remember having a distinct impression that the IT department was constantly over-worked, always having too many things to deal with.
Kanban (capital-K, as in the method) uses a kanban (lowercase-k, as in the board) to visualise and reduce work in progress (WIP for short). This is the most well-known, and visible, part of Kanban. It is achieved by limiting how many pieces of WIP any one work centre can have assigned. At first glance, this may seem to be incompatible with IT support work. This is as erroneous as assuming Kanban is incompatible with knowledge work in general, whereas it has been proven to be an excellent match for software development (for details, I recommend David Anderson’s book “Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business”).