We can use our kanban as a controller for our work. We can adjust our WIP limits, the people doing the work, the throughput of various work-item-types, the granularity at which we track our work. We have a number of dials we can tweak to control our work.
The kanban itself places constraints on our work. It enforces policies we have set. The WIP limits, the value stream, what is allowed and when, and so forth are controlled using the board.
When we hypothesize something can be done to alleviate a bottleneck or some other item inhibiting flow, we can run controlled experiments using sour board as the laboratory. We can make small changes and measure their impacts directly.
The board, in real-time, is a control center – communicating status, activity, bottlenecks, completion rates, issues, staff availability, and more. It is the switchboard of your team.
It’s important for us to grasp that “control” means many things. This helps us envision more creative and robust controls.