Flight Levels of Kanban (Klaus Leopold)

What is Kanban?


  1. Start with what you do now.


  1. Make work visible.

Kanban Flight Levels?

KANBAN IS NOT AN AGILE METHOD……..companies improve their agility with Kanban.

KANBAN DOES NOT FOCUS ON TEAMS…can be applied on team-level.

Flight levels is a communication tool:

  • shows the possibilities you have with Kanban

Flight Level 1

Team / Department. Organizational unit, uncoordinated input. Main characteristics:

  • Team or department level.


  • Simple start, “Guerrilla Kanban”.


  • working on the wrong things.

Flight Level 2

Team/Department. Organizational unit with coordinated input.

Main characteristics:

  • Team or deparment level.


  • Demand and capability is being balanced.


  • Local optimization.

Flight level 3: value stream.

Main characteristics:

  • Optimization of (parts of) the value stream.


  • Optimization of the interaction of teams/departments.


  • Often focus on project goals only.

Flight Level 4. Portfolio

Main characteristics:

  • Optimization of portfolio.


  • Making conscious business decisions about projects / customers.

The flight levels modal….

  • Is a communication tool.

Flight levels is NOT a maturity model

  • Kanban practices on flight level 1 could be deeper than on flight level 3