Why Kanban for skeptics?

I noticed that in my professional and private life, I’m asking the following question more often:


This annoys the hell out of my colleagues, family and friends.  But, I’ve learned the hard way, that taking enough time to trace things back to its roots, is worthwhile the effort.  Why are we doing stuff?  What’s the purpose?  Only by answering these questions, we’re able to tell upfront whether an initiative is worth starting.  If any doubt should surface, we need to rethink the whole idea.  Because we already know that it’s going to be hard to keep up the energy for a half-baked purpose.

I’m currently writing an e-book, called Kanban for skeptics.

It’s only fair if I ask myself: Why?

There are 3 reasons:

  1. I want to make Kanban more accessible to the general public.
    In my role as a coach, I constantly need to reassure people, that the path we follow, is worthwhile traveling.  This need is often expressed in the form of critique and difficult questions.  I noticed that Kanban raises tough questions on a management and leadership level, once people are introduced to the basics and start to explore the subject on their own.  The type of questions Kanban triggers, seem to be much harder to answer without lapsing into an hour-long discussion.  Books and conferences on the subject do not seem to address this need.  People get lost in scientific and management jargon, without any clear answers on primary questions.  By listing the 5 most common arguments against Kanban and my response to them, I hope to give people a response in a simple, yet profound way which is understandable by all.  I would be satisfied if more people got interested in Kanban because of the book and started to explore Kanban more deeply.
  2. I enjoy writing and want to do it more.
    Ever since I started this blog, I realized that writing is something I enjoy a lot.  My dream is to write books for a living.  But I realize that I’m still far off. That’s why I need practice, step by step.  Writing a small e-book (70 pages) brings me one step closer to that goal.  Any other tips to improve my writing skills are more than welcome !
  3. I want to get feedback and learn.
    We all hate to be criticized. I do too!  But I’m no longer afraid of it.  That took me a long time.  It’s quite scary to create something and show it to your peers.  “Will they like it? What if they make fun of me?”  You’re taking a leap into the dark, and exposing yourself in a vulnerable position.  This has a major advantage, though.  By seeking feedback quick and often, you get interesting feedback!  Am I on the right track? How can I adjust and steer myself in the right direction?  It works on many levels: personal, team and organization.  Personally, the moments when I learn most are when I get feedback by
    – asking somebody to review
    – presenting an idea to my colleagues
    – doing a talk at a conference
    – writing a blog post
    and I hope to get tons of feedback by
    – writing an e-book

I’m currently processing the reviews from friends and colleagues, but unless the world has finally gone apocalyptic, I will publish Kanban for skeptics in 2 weeks.  I hope you take a moment to read it and give me some feedback.  It’s free, by the way!

We can even collaborate to create next versions, which is the beauty of the leanpub concept!

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.


  1. Pingback: Five Blogs – 6 April 2012 « 5blogs

  2. Pingback: My new Kanban e-book is released! « SkyCoach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: