The starting point for a Kanban implementation is consensus on the desire for change with the help of Kanban as well as consensus on the overriding goals of this change (we will go into further detail on this topic in Parts 2 and 3 of this book). This desire for change will ultimately not only result in an improvement of the working conditions of the employees but will also have a positive effect on the competitive ability of the organization in the medium and long term.
In his reflections on competitive advantages and competitive strategies, the management theorist Michael E. Porter drew on the concept of a value chain. A value chain encompasses all primary and support activities necessary for the production of a product, which will differ in nature for every organization. According to Porter, competitive advantages are to a large extent determined by how well or badly the activities in the individual stages of the value chain are managed. With Kanban, we approach a clearly defined section of the entire value chain in order to achieve improvements (and thus changes). Let us remember that Kanban is concerned with evolutionary change management, which means simply that we are constantly developing ourselves further through self-selected, small steps, each building on the previous steps. Kanban is initially concerned with the visualization of the workflow. It is in this way that the technical kanban system and its tools become the motor of change.