For those out there using Kanban for Lean Project Management, let me sing the praises of Zen. Zen is a tool that applies the ideas of the Toyota Production System (commonly known as “lean” principles) to project management. Whether you already practice lean in your organization, you want to set up a lean process, or you just want an easy and effective way to manage your process, Zen will work for you.
Since I started using Zen back in July, my productivity increases has been astounding. I used to think multi-tasking was the best way to deliver value. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, I now limit my Work In Progress to only 3 and only focus on 1 at a time.
Though I wrote about this product back in August, I wanted to give a formal product endorsement. Getting started is free of charge. Once you begin using it on your projects, the cost is reasonable and scalable. The Zen creators focused on what really matters, and designed an open-ended and easy to customize product. They don’t overwhelm you with metrics and force you to try to figure out what matters. Instead, they track just a few high-value indicators such as cycle time and lead time.
If you’ve already implemented lean ideas in your organization, Zen can easily be used to replace a manual kanban board and spreadsheets, and has all the features you would expect to find in a lean project management tool. If you think I’m a fanboy, you’d be right! I love this product. Check out www.agilezen.com