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Top 5 Kanban Books to Add to Your Reading List

Published By Planview Blog

Whether you just built your first Kanban board or you’re a Kanban expert, it’s always smart to deepen or refresh your Kanban knowledge by reading the work of leading influencers.

For beginners, learning about Kanban principles and practices from the experiences of others can offer context, guidance, and inspiration to maintain a consistent, informed practice.

For seasoned practitioners, reading Kanban materials can be an excellent way to revive your enthusiasm for continuous improvement, and analyze your team’s practices from a new perspective.

These five Kanban books are favorites among Planview AgilePlace teams. We often recommend them to anyone trying to expand their practice of Lean and Kanban. What Kanban books have influenced your practice? Let us know in the comments section below.

Real World Kanban: Do Less, Accomplish More with Lean Thinking by Mattias Skarin

Great for: Teams practicing basic Kanban, looking for real-world examples of continuous improvement and flow.

This book uses four case studies, accompanied by illustrations of Kanban boards, to demonstrate how Kanban helps organizations deliver faster. Case studies presented cover cross-functional scenarios in software environments and explore not only how to improve existing processes throughout the value chain using Kanban, but also how to get an off-track project moving in the right direction again. Learn More

Stop Starting, Start Finishing by Arne Roock

Great for: Teams new to Kanban; teams practicing Kanban struggling to limit WIP.

This comic booklet provides a quick introduction to Kanban and Lean for software development. Principles examined in the book include using Kanban for limiting work-in-progress (WIP) to eliminate waste and get tasks done better and faster. Learn More

Kanban from the Inside by Mike Burrows

Great for: Leaders looking to deepen their understanding of Kanban.

Published in 2014, this book provides a model for leaders who want to introduce a shift toward agility and continuous flow. The author describes four principles and six core practices that can be adopted while implementing Kanban. Learn More

Kanban Change Leadership: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement by Klaus Leopold and Siegfried Kaltenecker

Great for: Advanced teams and their leaders looking to solidify a culture of agility and continuous improvement.

Kanban establishes a culture of continuous improvement. Although the authors briefly discuss Kanban principles, the focus of the book is centered on the aspects of change and leadership that lead to a culture of continuous improvement. Learn More

Personal Kanban: Mapping Work – Navigating Life by Jim Benson

Great for: Any Kanban enthusiast interested in applying Kanban principles to his or her personal life.

This Kanban book explores using the system beyond your office space and dives into two Kanban principles that are applicable for managing work and discovering balance in your personal life: visualizing work and limiting work in progress (WIP). Learn More

Bonus: If you’re looking for an introduction to Kanban for your team, download the Kanban Roadmap: How to Get Started in 5 Steps ebook.

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