Kanban vs. ConnectWise Methods

ConnectWise Manage isn't just software. ConnectWise has their own methodology training for MSPs, and you probably follow some or all of their methods. And that may be why you're here- because you've found some of the methods lead to long wait times for customers, neglected work, and many hours logged on tickets still in progress.

Kanban shares certain values with ConnectWise but differs in some key areas. This table summarizes the main values of Kanban, the benefits, and how they agree with or differ from ConnectWise methods:

Kanban Value and Benefits ConnectWise Value
Visualize work - Increases communication, collaboration, and understanding among team members. Visual display of information makes it much easier to understand state of work. Visualize days - ConnectWise also recognizes the importance of visualization, but they emphasize visualization of hours and days. This indicates nothing about how fast work is delivered, what work is neglected, or where workflow bottlenecks exist.
Limit work in progress - Ensure that a ticket can be finished soon after it is started. Reduce hours on uncompleted tickets. Reduce time required for task switching. Limit unplanned work - Employing a front-line dispatcher to schedule team members assures one thing: that work is done according to a plan. It doesn't mean that the plan was the best plan or that it actually leads to delivering value more quickly.
Focus on flow - Decrease the time a ticket spends waiting to be handled, a result of limiting work in progress. Understand and address bottlenecks in workflow. Focus on the schedule - Unfinished work may be interrupted and re-scheduled at a later date. This is considered normal instead of considering it a problem that slows the delivery of value.
Continuous improvement - Reduce delay between experiencing a problem and implementing a solution. Improve quality. Improve team experience. Embrace change - one of the three core business beliefs. Not as focused as Kanban's focus on continuous improvement.

The 5 ConnectWise Best Practice Behaviors

Connectwise defines 5 best practices. When you adopt Kanban, here's what you'll keep doing and what you'll stop:

  • Everything Is a Ticket: Keep doing this. Work that isn't in a ticket can't be visualized on a Kanban board.
  • All Roads Lead to Rome (all requests from customers end up in a ticket): Keep doing this, for the same reason as above and for a good customer experience.
  • Paint Your Calendar Green: Stop! Kanban doesn't emphasize keeping members scheduled and busy. Kanban emphasizes getting work through the system as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • My Life is My Calendar: Stop! Now your life is moving tickets from left to right (completed) on the Kanban board.
  • All Time, All the Time, On Time: Keep doing this, because a ticket is not complete until its time is recorded. If you have to return to a ticket just to enter time, you aren't limiting work in progress very well.

Next up: Week 1

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