LKI18: From Upstream to Portfolio Kanban, a Fresh look. Patrick Steyaert

Portfolio Kanban plays a crucial role in balancing demand with capability at the highest level of the organization. Most Portfolio Kanban systems are shallow, as is the currently available guidance. It does not go much further than visualization and a cadence of conversations. At best there is a crude notion of limiting the amount of initiatives in progress. It is time to take the next step. In this presentation we build on our experiences with implementing Upstream Kanban and using systems dynamics to give insight and guidance on creating enterprise flow with Upstream and Portfolio Kanban. We start from Upstream Kanban where we address the problem of managing a fluctuating demand. We analyse the feedback loops and delays that are the source of oscillation and show how to turn oscillation into a (more) steady end-to-end flow. We discuss capacity constraints, liquidity problems and ways of organizing the marketplace that emerges when needs of diverse customers with possibly conflicting priorities need to be matched with a heterogenous capability. Finally, we discuss the role of triage in a portfolio with incommensurable choices.

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