Kanban Roles

Wojciech Walczak
January 5, 2024
Kanban Roles

The Kanban Method does not require any new roles. In the spirit of the first change management principle (see The Practices and Principles of Kanban, the roles, responsibilities and job titles existing before the introduction of the Kanban method shall be respected. 

However, two roles have emerged in the Kanban Method, which seems contradictory to the above statement, but only at first glance. These two roles do not require any new job titles or additional people to be hired. They are taken by people who already have important roles in recognising what their role involves when Kanban is applied.

The two Kanban roles are:

Service Request Manager (SRM)

Service Request Manager (SRM),i.e. a person responsible for selecting the work into the Kanban system and facilitating the Discovery (Upstream) Kanban to drive understanding of the needs and identify the work items of the highest possible value. 

Service Delivery Manager (SDM)

Service Delivery Manager (SDM), who is responsible for the flow of delivery, including facilitation of the process and feedback loop relevant to the part of the workflow beyond the Commitment Point. The SDM might also be called a Flow Manager or Flow Master.

Typically, the Kanban role of SRM is taken by a Product Manager, Product Owner or another person already having a similar job in the organisation. At the same time, the Kanban role of SDM often falls onto people with the Delivery Manager, Scrum Master or similar organisational positions.

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