KANBAN Implementation from a Change Management Perspective: A Case Study of Volvo IT (Management Project)

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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and analyze the implementation process of KANBAN, a lean technique, into a section of Volvo IT (i.e. BEAT). The KANBAN implementation into BEAT when ‘resistance for change’ and ‘forces for change’ arise is also analyzed.

This implementation of KANBAN is equivalent to change taking place in the Volvo IT’s operational process. The thesis follows theories and literature on change management and lean principles in order to support the research investigation.

How has KANBAN, with respect to change management, been implemented into an IT organization for its service production? How has KANBAN changed the operational process of the organization?

The research conducted in the thesis is based on qualitative case study. Focused and in-depth interviews, combined with observations, are carried out to obtain the primary data for the case study. The collected primary and secondary data stems from the literature reviewed, which covers the lean principles, KANBAN, and change management. Moreover, the thesis adopts an abductive approach that goes back-and-forth between the theory and the empirical findings in order to develop a model.

Due to various factors already existing in the BEAT, minimal resistance to change implementation was found to be present in Volvo IT. This finding indicates that change initiatives found a way to implementation because the predominance of the ‘forces for change’, as compared to, the ‘resistance to change’ is higher in BEAT. The KANBAN implementation into the IT service production is identified to be aligned with Volvo IT’s change implementation objectives.

The visualization of the ‘intangible service’ workflow on the Kanban board contributes to identify the source of bottlenecks, which has been removed through effective communication in the BEAT team and better linkages between tasks. The KANBAN effectively deals with change implementation by modifying the way team members work.
Source: University of Gävle
Author: Amin, Sohaib

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