Harm No. 6 of Kanban Column WIP Limits: They are Artificial Bottlenecks

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Column WIP limits…

… introduce artificial bottlenecks where there should not be any.

This is quite perverse.

Referring to the story of Herbie, in Goldratt’s “The Goal”, it is as if we were loading the backpack of the boy in front of Herbie (a non-constraint) with rocks and stones in order to slow him down. And when he finally stumbles to the ground, we swarm around him, help him to stand up, unload his weights, and announce and proclaim that we are good at improving the process!

Wouldn’t it have been better to focus on the real constraint instead (Herbie!), rather than playing this kind of game? It is intellectual dishonest to present wasteful actions as an improvement! And what is the purpose of fighting against self-inflicted “constraints” if they can be avoided in the first place?

Quoted from: Tame the Flow.

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