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Work Management for Teams

How to Sell Kanban to Your Boss

Published By Brendan Wovchko

You’ve done your research; you know how visualizing your work with Kanban could help your team work smarter, communicate better, and produce higher quality work.

But your boss isn’t sold. Unless you can explain why limiting work in process and implementing a pull system is going to boost revenue, they’re not interested.

They aren’t convinced that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Alignment is Closer Than It May Appear

The thing is — your goals are actually more aligned than they might realize. Ultimately, you’re pursuing Kanban so that you can reduce waste, deliver faster, and align your efforts more closely with the organization’s financial goals.

You want to use Kanban as a tool to better manage the way you work, so that you can work smarter — and deliver more value with the same amount of effort. This will make your manager’s job easier too — with greater visibility into your process, and better communication, they’ll be able to give more accurate, more comprehensive reports to their higher-ups.

From a business standpoint, Kanban is a win-win.

So how do you convince them of the business value of Kanban? How do you help them see that by making minor, evolutionary process changes, you’ll be able to increase revenue?

Why Managers Need Kanban

At HUGE I/O, I teach teams how to unhide work, eliminate chaos, and be more predictable with Kanban. Over and over, I’ve seen teams gain incredible insight into their workflow — enabling them to deliver faster, collaborate better, and get more done. It’s not hard to convince teams that Kanban will help them be more effective at their jobs.

But managers often require more convincing. In this webinar, I’ll teach you how to make the case for Kanban through the lens of your boss.

To do this, you first need to align around a shared understanding of the problem. Managers often feel as though their teams are a black box: They don’t have the visibility to see, understand, and help solve the problems teams face. When problems arise, or results aren’t delivered, they don’t have a clear understanding of why, or how it could’ve been prevented. This puts them in a tough position with their bosses.

This is why managers need Kanban: Kanban brings visibility to common problems like hidden work, lack of focus, and lack of clarity, allowing teams and their managers to develop stronger working relationships that deliver better results. This makes managers better able to do their jobs — with fewer meetings, better communication, and closer alignment with business outcomes.

These are ideas your boss will be able to get behind — you just have to connect the dots for them.

What You’ll Learn

In this webinar, I’ll share my experiences with helping teams communicate the value of Kanban in a way that makes sense to management. I’ll show you how to make a persuasive pitch for Kanban that your leadership can’t refuse.

Watch this webinar recording to learn how to:

  • Present the advantages of Kanban as a low-risk, high-reward approach that increases delivery speed.
  • Explain the problems that Kanban solves from the perspective of your boss.
  • Illustrate the financial benefits of limiting work in process.
  • Leverage team consensus and overcome resistance to change.
  • Learn the four habits to master to create bigger profits.

Pitch Tools

Use this video to get the task of convincing your boss from “Doing” to “Done!

HugeIO – How to Sell Kanban to Your Boss from Planview AgilePlace on Vimeo.

View my slide deck here.

Recommended Resources

To learn more about the benefits of Kanban and how to get started, we recommend these excellent resources:

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Written by Brendan Wovchko

Brendan is a technology entrepreneur and community organizer based in Nashville. He focuses on helping businesses resolve operational challenges by implementing Agile and Lean methodologies through his boutique consultancy, HUGE I/O. Connect with Brendan on LinkedIn.