“What should I do?” the Zen apprentice asks his master while standing in front of a tall ladder.
“You can climb the ladder, rung by rung, to the top.”
“How many rungs does the ladder have?” asks the apprentice.
“Eighteen,” the Zen master replies.
“And what should I do when I’m at the top?” the pupil wants to know as he places his foot on the first rung.
“You can stand there,” the master explains in a friendly manner, “you can enjoy the view, you can climb back down, or you can continue to climb without any rungs.”
This book has been written to give you the courage to climb further. It tells of ladders tall and short, of passionate climbers and spectacular climbs. A common feature of all climbs is that they begin with the first rung and then proceed step-by-step. Each one of these steps represents a small alteration through which you can gain new experience and improve.
We believe that this Zen story is a fitting introduction to a book about Kanban—after all Kanban is also about step-by-step change. Clear structures provide a gradual process of improvement that is relatively easy to establish. Many Kanban practices are like simple ladders. It is due to this that Kanban is quickly becoming a sensation, enjoying widespread popularity in the world of software development.
“Kanban rocks” is how one of our customers summed it up. He, like many other Kanban fans, has reason to be thrilled. Kanban: