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SwiftESP – Enterprise Services Planning with SwiftKanban

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) with Kanban is a powerful method to align and synchronize various enterprise functions to ensure a smooth flow of products and services across the Enterprise and to your Customers.

Nimble has partnered with David Anderson and LeanKanban, Inc. to build for Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) using SwiftKanban. SwiftKanban is a powerful, yet intuitive Kanban software that helps teams manage their Lean/ Agile initiatives. The SwiftESP module enables ESP features for teams using Kanban for Portfolio Management, Risk Assessment, Demand and Capability analysis and Forecasting Delivery based on Risk and Cost of Delay.

SwiftESP works with the Enterprise version of SwiftKanban. It is an add-on module providing insights such as:

  • What is my current demand? How can I analyze it? What is my current capability? What can I commit?
  • What could be the cost of delaying a feature or a specific set of work items?
  • When should I start working on a work item so that I can say with 95% confidence it will be delivered by a certain date?
  • How volatile is my demand? How fluid is my delivery?
  • What is the risk profile of various initiatives in my portfolio? Which ones should I select next for execution?

Risk Assessment and Management (SwiftESP Module)

SwiftKanban provides the capability to define a Risk Assessment Framework where you can define your Risk Dimensions and the values associated with each Dimension. The risk framework is defined at the Kanban Board level.

Once you define the framework, you can assess or define the risk profile for the relevant cards on the board. Cards may represent projects or new initiatives in a corporate portfolio, or epics in a release planning board or features in a product roadmap board. Risk assessment might be done at a regular cadence and the risk profile of cards can be directly modified to match the latest assessment.

Based on the risk profile of the various cards, you can then filter out cards based on the capacity available, current business conditions and customer demand. You can use a Risk Profile filter to select cards that match the risk criteria and directly add them to the Kanban board for execution.


Using powerful visualization, interactive graphics and Monte Carlo simulation modeling, the SwiftESP Analytics provide the following predictive analysis capability:

Demand and Capability Analysis

Using a user-selected dataset from the past, SwiftESP provides a detailed analysis of the incoming Demand and the outgoing delivery Capability of a business function or service, or an IT project or department, modeled and managed on a Kanban board.

Using the temporal filter you can do a detailed analysis (how high and smooth) of the demand of incoming work, be it service requests or project requests; and for the same period you can gather information on what the system capability was based on actual delivered products or services.

Lead Time and Flow Efficiency Analysis

You can also analyze the lead time performance and flow-efficiency to study your system’s performance on those key delivery parameters. This analysis, based on the dataset you provide, helps you make SLA commitments and helps you analyze specific outliers in your dataset to ensure that you make commitments that you can deliver on.

Delivery and Scope Forecast

Both these forecasts use predictive modeling using the Monte Carlo simulation technique to provide forecasts at different confidence factors (or probability values). The Delivery forecast gives you a 30-day forecast of how much additional work could be completed in that time. The Scope forecast lets you define the next deliverable and provides you a probability curve of likely completion times based on the specific size of the deliverable. In addition, the Scope Forecast also gives you a Cost of Delay function that you can easily model. Based on that, and again using a Monte Carlo technique, it gives you the Estimated Cost due to delay in starting work on the proposed functionality.

Cycle Time Forecast

SwiftKanban now gives teams the capability to see the most likely date of completion of any given work item (card). This is computed from the time that the card is pulled from the first “non-Ready” lane. SwiftEase tracks Cycle Time for similar cards in the past and uses that to compute when you are likely going to complete a new card that has just started its execution on the Value Stream. However, because Cycle Time is a probability distribution (and not one absolute number), it lets you decide the percentage level of confidence that you want to associate with for predicting future cards. For example, for a Critical Customer Defect, you might want to see a % Cycle Time forecast that is based on 95% level of confidence. In contrast, for a User Story with Intangible Class of Service (CoS), a Cycle Time that has a 50% level of confidence might be adequate.

Liquidity, Volatility and Aging Analysis

Kanban is all about Flow – and SwiftESP helps you understand how ‘fluid’ your Kanban system is. SwiftESP provides a Liquidity metric, as well as an Aging metric. The first shows you how many valid ‘pulls’ are made on the board, and shows you how volatile that liquidity is. The second shows you the average aging of cards on a board, thus providing another measure of a system’s flow. The greater the aging – and flow debt – of a board, the lower is its fluidity and flow.

Portfolio Management, Blocker Clustering and more!

SwiftKanban’s Enterprise License also provides a number of features that are covered by LKI’s Enterprise Services curriculum. These include Portfolio Management (as also Card Hierarchy), Blocker Clustering, Upstream Kanban, and more. You can learn more about these features under our Enterprise Module license.

Who can use the ESP Module with SwiftKanban?

  • The ESP Module is invaluable to Senior Business or Delivery Line Managers who are involved in organizational and team level Demand and Capacity analysis, analyzing the overall risk to the organization and the cost of delay on critical services.
  • It is critical for Portfolio Managers who are making Keep-or-Kill (yes or no) decisions on new or existing projects and corporate initiatives.
  • It is a great tool for program, project and team performance analysis for Senior Executives, PMO and Corporate Planning organizations.
  • SwiftESP is available as an add-on module to the SwiftKanban Enterprise license. To learn more about SwiftESP, please contact us for a custom demo or visit our pricing page.

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Enterprise Services Planning With Kanban

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