Success and Failure with Kanban in Newspaper Business (Oliver Finker)

Abstract

Newspaper business is a field in which requirements change rapidly. A sudden death of a celebrity, a political scandal or the outbreak of a war or revolution prompt the question how to best exploit these events in a way that is quicker and better than the rivals'. As a means to become more capable of reaching those goals, the existing Scrum processes were transformed towards the Kanban method. In this experience report I'll describe the introduction of Kanban in a publishing company based in Munich that is responsible for the online activities for over thirty German regional newspapers. After a quick overview of the different stakeholders, in the first half of the report I'll explain how prioritization and selection of new value items was done, how the visualization of the work flow made structural problems in the publishing company visible and how the data assembled from applying the Kanban method led to changes in not only the development team but also management. The second half details how the change processes hit the glass ceiling and got slowed down and eventually halted by management resistance. The report is directed mainly at an audience with little or no experience who are thinking about introducing Kanban but are not fully aware of the consequences that come with a deep implementation.

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