Benjamin Mitchell

Using Kanban to Get Knowledge and Continuously Improve

“Get knowledge” was Deming’s admonition to managers. Kanban boards in Software Development help visualise and generate large amounts of data. This data can be used to study and understand the Software Development process and opportunities for continuous improvement.

This talk will draw on examples from Benjamin’s experience running a web-based derivatives trading system for BNP Paribas which has delivered nearly 50 fortnightly production releases in two years. Tools such as a Kanban board, cumulative flow diagrams and statistical control charts were essential in highlighting problems with the process and for checking that changes implemented actually lead to improvements.

A key part of this talk will be explaining the concepts of Common Cause and Special Cause variation and how they should be handled in general. These ideas can be useful in Software Development if they are applied to appropriate processes.

As Scholtes has said “Without data, opinion prevails. Where opinion prevails, whoever has power is king”. Benjamin will talk about how the data generated from a Kanban system in Software Development has challenged management thinking about the nature of the work.


Benjamin Mitchell Benjamin Mitchell is currently working as a Project Manager with BNP Paribas a web-based trading platform using a Lean and Kanban.
He is passionate about working with software development teams to frequently delivering business value to production. He has spent the last two years studying Deming, Ohno and Seddon in order to better understand how to improve Software Development processes.
He’s currently in a state of “Flow” as a result of finding ways of combining his university degrees in psychology and statistics and his experience of 12 years of software development to his day job.