Chris Shinkle

Kanban Day May 7th Presentation:

Embracing Kanban: A case study examining how Kanban has been integrated into Software Engineering Professionals (SEP)


In 2007, Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) began embracing Lean principles and Kanban. Kanban provided a way to introduce Lean principles and Agile practices to project teams. We found that it allowed teams to manage projects more effectively than using traditional management tactics. During this session, we will take a practical look at how SEP introduced Kanban across the organization. Detailed examination of several specific projects will demonstrate the pitfalls, challenges, and results of applying Kanban. Finally, we will evaluate the cultural changes resulting from Kanban.

During the session, we will

  • Characterize the things that worked well, along with those that haven’t
  • Demonstrate how the introduction and teaching process evolved over time
  • Illustrate the impact to SEP’s company culture
  • Examine the challenges still to be overcome using Kanban across our organization

SEP is a privately held software engineering company located in Indianapolis, IN. It was founded by engineers in 1988 and has grown to include 70+ employees. SEP collaborates with many Fortune 500 companies to develop new software systems and products for business, data and safety critical applications. They offer full lifecycle software solutions to clients in the medical, aerospace, healthcare and national defense markets.

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Chris Shinkle

Chris Shinkle is a Development Manager at Software Engineering Professionals. SEP is a project based developer of software systems and products for business, data and safety critical applications.

Chris has worked with SEP for over 12 years in roles ranging from software engineer to recruiter to development manager. He has experience customizing and fitting process models to many different domains including aerospace, defense, medical, consumer electronics, and automotive. He has used Agile and Lean methods to lead large complex projects, most notably, a military aircraft engine monitoring and maintenance system and an FDA regulated remote patient monitoring system. He introduced FDD to SEP in 2004, and then continued to evolve the internal processes and approaches over the following years. In 2007, SEP began to adopt Kanban processes under Chris’ guidance, as he trained and mentored engineers across the company. Currently, more than 10 different projects are using pull-based approaches.

Chris is a graduate of Purdue University and resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two sons.