Why limiting WIP makes sense

By | June 7, 2013

(updated with revised video on 7 October 2013)

When I first got into Kanban, I really struggled to get my head around why limiting work in progress (WIP) made sense. The ‘experts’ were telling me that, by reducing the amount of work we were doing, we’d also reduce the time it took to complete work items (aka stories) … but I couldn’t understand why.

Fortunately, soon after, I went on a course run by Ripple Rock which explained it using a fictional drive-thru. It made sense. But, I thought that it would be even better to have videos showing what was happening for each WIP limit … and why.

So I’ve made this video. It wasn’t as easy to make as I expected, and there is certainly room for improvement, but I think it gives a good explanation of what Cycle Time and Throughput Rates are, and visualises what happens when WIP is limited.

Please send me feedback on the video so that I can continue to improve it.

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