Lean for Knowledge Work & IT: A Two-Day Class

with Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMarie Barry

November 6.-7. 2013, Hamburg ( directly following LKCE )

9:30 - 16:30

Located at it-agile GmbH, Große Elbstraße 273, 22767 Hamburg

Business seeks optimization, but no team can be optimized while the individual team members remain in a state of chaos. Overwork, unclear direction, lack of collaboration, and process fatigue can weigh down individuals and teams, causing sluggish performance, increased defects, and lower morale.


This two-day intensive (and intense) class applies Lean principles and tools to better manage your personal and project work to circumvent chaos, communications issues, and lower morale. Creator of Personal Kanban Jim Benson, along with Tonianne DeMaria Barry, his co-author for the Shingo Award-winning book “Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life,” will introduce this Lean tool to understand, plan, and act on the options we have available at work. In this class, we will discuss how knowledge workers primarily do their work using their brains and, therefore, any personal or team optimizations need to focus on the actual people doing the work.


A two-day Personal Kanban class can cover the following. In practice, attendees tend to drive the direction of the class, as different groups have different elements of Lean, Personal Kanban, personal work, and team work that they want to discuss.


Day 1 - Theory

Lecture 1: The System of Profound Knowledge

We begin by introducing the participants to Deming's System of Profound Knowledge, discussing systems thinking, knowledge, variation, and psychology.


Lecture 2: Personal Kanban as a Personal Framework

We introduce Personal Kanban as a framework for understanding personal workloads. We will discuss using value stream mapping, work item identification, task sizing, work-in-process limits, dynamic collaboration, measuring variation, the psychology of work, and learning processes such as single and double loop learning.


Lecture 3: The Psychology of Work

We discuss in detail the impacts of overwork, context switching, task switching, multitasking, and repetition on knowledge workers. We also discuss pertinent cognitive biases that impact the effectiveness of knowledge workers including fundamental attribution error, the planning fallacy, experimenter's bias, reactance, and distinction bias. We discuss psychology as it underpins our application of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, underscoring how teams are made up of individuals who react to the systems we create. If we build poorly designed systems, we will get poor team performance.


Day 2 - Implementation


Lecture 4: Visualizing Work

We will discuss in detail the benefits of visual systems for work completion, quality, reporting, collaboration, and peace of mind. We will discuss value stream mapping, the identification of work item types, how to visualize non-conforming work, how to identify common tasks and work, and how to visualize multiple projects. We will discuss this by building a Personal Kanban board together with the participants that relates to work immediately relevant to them.


Lecture 5: Limiting Work-in-Process

We will discuss the impacts of overwork and task switching, and how to visualize those impacts in the visual system. We will discuss the Lean concept of flow and what it means to knowledge workers. We will also discuss valuing completion with quality over simply starting tasks. These concepts will be discussed by actively using the Personal Kanban from the previous lecture.


Lecture 6: Implementing Personal Kanban

We will discuss the boards we’ve already created and the use of the Lean Coffee format. We will discuss what that means for individuals and what the impacts are on co-workers. We will likely revisit elements of collaboration and cognitive bias.


Lecture 7: Scaling Up - Personal Kanban for Teams

We will discuss the differences in tracking work for teams as opposed to individuals, task granularity, stand-up meeting impacts, cross-team collaboration, and managerial oversight.




Price: € 2.011,10 incl. 19% VAT (€ 1.690 excl. VAT)


Please read our Terms of Trade (TOT)


After hitting the "send" button below, you will receive your invoice via email (it might take 1-2 days).

Attendees from inside the European Union are asked to pay via wire transfer (please contact us if you have problems using wire transfer).

Attendees from outside the European Union can choose between wire transfer and Paypal.



You can also choose this tutorial as an extra option when registering for the conference. You don‘t need to register two times!

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