Thinking about Kanban leads to thinking about how different departments or teams work together. Written or not, there is always some sort of contract between the parties involved. A Service Level Agreement is such a contract and usually denotes the time between the initial request (e.g., for a software fix) until the first response by the team. This contract is established implicitly when people meet the first time or have the first telephone call. “Do you have a minute?” “Sure!” is a common contract. It means “Drop everything you are doing right now and focus on my problem.” For the person requesting the service, this means that the supporting person is available on very short notice and ongoing work can be interrupted. In Kanban, with time-boxing, the answer is “Sure, but let me first finish what I am doing right now, and check if there is other, even more important work.” If the current tasks are generally small, the request will still be worked on within a short time, but any overhead related to stopping and restarting current tasks is prevented.

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