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A 2021 Guide to Kanban Cadences to help Align Your Business Communication

A short guide on Kanban cadences and how you can use them to align your business communication strategies can help boost your productivity. Read on...
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    If you have been studying the project management paradigm for a long time then you would know that Kanban is one of the most flexible of the agile frameworks out there. This flexibility comes when you as a manager ask the team to act based on the demand out there.

     

    Compared to other methodologies out there like scrum, this methodology might seem unpredictable or unorganized due to its flexibility, but in reality, the Kanban project management methodology operates in certain choreographed rhythms.

     

    To many of the fans of project management out there in the market, these rhythms are known as Kanban cadences. Haven’t heard of this term in your professional experience before? Well, you came to the right place, because that’s what we are going to talk about in this article.

     

    What are Kanban Cadences?

     

    what-are-kanban-cadences

     

    To learn about Kanban cadences, you need to know about cadences first. So, when we define cadences, we say that it is used to describe a rhythmic sequence of sounds, or a repeated or a recurring pattern of activity.

     

    The latter is the closest to what we can say for certain that Kanban cadences relate to.

     

    Contrary to what we hear about other agile project management methodologies like scrum, the Kanban world is quite different as it doesn’t describe any timeboxed meetings for the project development team members.

     

    It seems more freeing than its counterparts because everyone is free to pick and select the type of meetings that they are going to have and when they are going to have them. There is no scheduled timetable.

     

    While most of the people around the project management paradigm may think that this is quite an unusual way of holding meetings, and these meetings can decrease sharing and collaboration among team members rather than increasing them, the Kanban enthusiasts think that these types of meetings are quite liberating.

     

    To each their own, right?

     

    The problem is that they are both correct on some level and we have to find a middle point to combine the two.

     

    That’s where David J. Anderson came and introduced his system of Kanban cadences in which you need to have a set of different meetings with the team members so that there is a constant flow of information throughout the company without any gaps.

     

    There are 7 of these Kanban cadences to discuss, so we’d better get on it.

     

    7 Different Kanban Cadences Meeting Types

     

    Here is a list of 7 Kanban cadences that we are going to talk about in this article.

    • Daily Stand-up Meeting
    • Bi-Weekly Service Delivery Review
    • Monthly Risk Review
    • Quarterly Strategy Review
    • Weekly Replenishment
    • Delivery Planning Meeting
    • Bi-Monthly Operations Review

     

    Let’s take a look at all of these different meeting types in detail and find out how they can be beneficial for you and your team members.

     

    1. Daily Stand-up Meeting

     

    One of the simplest and the most famous Kanban cadence that we all go through in our professional lives is Daily standups.

     

    This type of meeting is probably the first thing that comes to our minds when we think about Agile and how we can use them to our benefit in literally every scenario.

     

    The objective of this Kanban cadence is to make sure that all of the team members that are working on the project are gathered in a single location remotely or physically.

     

    It just takes 15 minutes but trust us, it’s incredibly beneficial as all of the different team members tell the whole squad what they did and if someone has any problems related to their work tasks, they can be helped pretty quickly by anyone and everyone present in the meeting.

     

    One thing that you need to make sure of is that the meeting should be held at the same remote channel or physical location so that the team can get used to it and there is a sense of consistency all around.

     

    2. Bi-Weekly Service Delivery Review

     

    This Kanban cadence is all about the client associated with your project. One of the biggest advantages of Kanban is that you can change the course of your actions as per the changing requirements of the market.

     

    But even when you can change the course of your actions so easily, you need to get approval from someone with authority, and who better can it be than the client.

     

    The meeting is a 30-minute session in which you are in direct contact with the client and you make sure that they get all of the different facts related to why you are changing your course of action.

     

    The development team members present the market facts, what they worked on since the last meeting and what has changed since the last meeting, and if they are successful in changing the mind of the client, they can proceed with changing their tactics.

     

     

    3. Monthly Risk Review

     

    This Kanban cadence takes a lot more time than the regular standups because the whole team gathers around the room and talks about all of the different scope creeps and development risks that the project is facing or will face in the future, and try to find solutions for them.

     

    This meeting should be done every month as the types and number of risks change every other month, and the meeting is the only real platform for all of the different people associated with the project to meet up and talk about them in front of everyone.

     

    4. Quarterly Strategy Review

     

    This is the longest Kanban cadence on the list where all of the different top officials of the company, the top management, and all of the team members that are in direct contact with the company are gathered, and talk about the future course of the company.

     

    This is important for any company that is working in the organizational paradigm, as it refreshes the core of any business to work more efficiently in the next quarter and also sets the tone for what the company has to achieve by setting different goals and providing guidance to fulfill them.

     

    5. Weekly Replenishment

     

    This is a weekly organized Kanban cadence that is used to make sure that the backlog of the company is full of fresh new ideas that are in accordance with the new market trends.

     

    These replenishment meetings are 30 minutes long but their occurrence depends on the type of teams and how often they are required to have these replenishment meetings.

     

    6. Delivery Planning Meeting

     

    The companies around the organizational paradigm need to have a delivery planning meeting in order to make sure that with each iteration or delivery cycle, there is something new and improved to be presented to the client.

     

    The meeting is a 2-hour long session and should be organized once per delivery at the end of the cycle.

     

    7. Bi-Monthly Operations Review

     

    Twice a month, the companies in the organizational paradigm should organize this Kanban cadence in order to make sure that different representatives from various departments of the company review the process and the possibilities that the company has for improvement.

     

    This includes all of the bottlenecks and the issues that are related to the company.

     

    Conclusion

     

    This was a short guide on Kanban cadences and how you can use them to align your business communication strategies. If you think that we missed something important in the article, then contact us and we will review it asap.


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