Implementing Kanban Through Targeted Training - A case study

Introduction of the Kanban Case study.

A large Dutch Cooperate bank is transforming to a more agile, customer- and value-oriented way of working. The focus is on connecting the organization’s strategy to the operational execution in the (development) teams in a low-threshold way. This Cooperate bank way of working is inspired by, and includes elements of, Spotify Development Culture, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). This way of working is called Simplify @ Scale.

The teams within the bank plan and deliver at a fixed cadence, making it easier to manage dependencies and reduce mutual complexity. Therefore, the way the teams work is primarily based on Scrum. This works well and, especially for the software development teams, is easy to implement. However, there are also teams, which due to the nature of their work, are looking for additions to the Scrum way of working to ensure that they too can efficiently and reliably deliver value for their customer. These teams supplement their methods with Kanban techniques and practices.


The work that teams in, say, HR, Risk and/or Finance departments do more often than software teams has a repetitive or just unpredictable nature, can have a long lead time or a dependency on many parties outside the team. What is noticeable with these teams is that the concept of Sprints does not work well for them. It is often not possible to “fix” work in a two-week period and deliver what was planned at the start of the sprint. These teams ideally benefit from a supplement with Kanban techniques they learn in Pragmatic Kanban trainings. These trainings enable teams to deal with “unplannable” work, keep a grip on long-term work, manage “stop starting, start finishing” while using their own data to deliver value at a very high degree of predictability.


In the ‘Pragmatic Kanban‘ training, participants learn what working according to Kanban entails. Through a simulation, participants experience the power of WIP limits. They then apply this to their own situation by building a first version of their own board step by step. We discuss the importance of continuous improvement and see what metrics we get from the Kanban board for that purpose.

The combination of the theoretical foundation and direct application to their own situation ensures that the method really comes to life.

At this Corporate bank, 5 groups with a total of 61 participants were trained. These were mostly Scrum Masters and Product Owners who could take the set-up of their boards to their own teams, as a starting point for a transition from Scrum to Kanban or the addition of Kanban practices to their existing (Scrum) way of working.

Future Transformation of this corporate bank

Challenging working environment

In this bank, the working method has now reached a stage where it is about truly embedding in the organization. Simplify @ Scale is no longer new. More and more organizational units are working according to Simplify @ Scale and the focus in the future will remain on delivering end-to-end value to the customer and simplifying the production process. The process continues to evolve: having techniques such as those learned in the Pragmatic Kanban training help teams make a big impact on how to deliver value with minimal deviations from the standard.

Successful kanban training pilot – Van haren group – capgemini academy & a dutch corporate bank

The above transformation was made possible by the collaboration between Capgemini Academy and a Dutch Corporate bank. This Bank uses an Agile User Group to identify what the added value of Kanban could be.

The Van Haren Group worked with Capgemini Academy to see what such training should look like, specifically for a large corporate bank. Van Haren liaised with the authors and the Lead Agile at Capgemini Academy to ensure that the emphasis would be in the right place for this particular bank. This training was then piloted with a first class at Rabobank. After some minor improvements, the training was further successfully rolled out at this corporate Dutch bank.