Brand New Pragmatic Kanban Foundation Course

Brand New Pragmatic Kanban Foundation Course

3 March 2020, KBC Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.
Van Haren Publishing, Global Knowledge, Pragmatic Learning, and Van Haren Learning Solutions hosted the first-ever Pragmatic Kanban Foundation Course conducted by Jasper Sonnevelt and Jeroen Venneman. 


About the Initiative of Pragmatic Kanban

Over the years, Van Haren Publishing has facilitated several Scrum trainings and although still widely popular are slowly declining in numbers. While Scrum works well for specific IT development organisations or business units, it doesn’t always work well for other departments or organisations such as HR, purchasing, or finance.   

At the Agile leadership event in Amsterdam hosted by in April 2019, 

Willem van Bork (Portfolio Manager at Global Knowledge) and Maurits van der Plas got into a conversation where Willem mentioned that their current Kanban course was too complicated. He said that learning Kanban wasn’t as practical as it could for the market. Market pricing was also a limitation. In fact, there was a lack of alternatives on the market which could meet the demands of a more practical hands-on approach to Kanban. 

Following this discussion, Maurits approached Chairman Jeoren Venneman of the Agile Consortium to ask if he had any suggestions. Jeroen said he recognised these market trends, and in turn approached Jasper Sonnevelt – the Kanban expert in the Netherlands. Naturally, Jasper was eager to support the concept of a more pragmatic Kanban course. 

It turned out that Jasper had been observing this shortcoming in the market for some time and saw this as his chance to do something about it. So, Bas and Jasper worked together to develop the concept of pragmatic-learning to focus on the more practical and pragmatic approach to agile and lean learning. The idea was to start with an event that would be facilitated by Global Knowledge where market trainers, Agile coaches, and users would be invited to evaluate the content of this new course. This event took place on the 3rd March 2020 and was hosted by Global Knowledge. 

Based on the outcome of the event and input gathered, Jeoren and Jasper then decided to work together on creating “Pragmatic Learning”. This helped them to work together with Van Haren Publishing to create courseware and to come up with a Pragmatic Kanban Foundation Certification and accreditation scheme. As a result, professional certification can now be obtained upon successful completion of this exam. The courseware was created to make it easier for other organizations to offer the training, while still ensuring delivery of a top-quality practical learning experience.

About the Pragmatic Kanban course and courseware

As mentioned, the Pragmatic Kanban Foundation course is intended for all organizations and focuses on the more pragmatic aspects of Kanban. It also incorporates the more beneficial elements that can be derived from using both Lean and Agile. 

The course briefly touches on the foundations of Agile and Lean and then goes into more detail about how to combine the two into something called KanBan! There are many exercises in the course that can be done with the entire class. Besides being a learning experience, each activity helps the participants see how Kanban can work in real life situations! These include very simple exercises that show you how to focus on and visualize your workload and how you can work more efficiently as a team. The course also goes more into detail on how to measure with Kanban, different ways of making Kanban boards, any effects it can have on an organisation, and what your team could benefit the most from. 

As implied, it’s all very pragmatic and ensures that anyone attending the course can apply the lessons learned from the course immediately afterwards. Participants will be able to improve their own efficiency level, as well as that of their team. They will learn how to be able to reduce their workload and create more value at the same time. 

Since Kanban is such a visual concept, Jeroen and Jasper asked us to invest in tons of visuals. So we turned to Isabella De Felip – a talented fashion designer with excellent design and drawing skills – for help. She was able to translate the course into some impressive visuals that will accompany the material and help make everything more understandable, fun and meaningful. 

What is to come – the Kanban canvas


After their successful collaboration, Jasper, Jeroen, and Isabella decided to create a Kanban Canvas publication. Van Haren Publishing agreed wholeheartedly that the market needs such a publication and would definitely benefit from something like this. 

Jasper, Jeroen, and Isabella will remain on as co-authors of this publication. They aim to make it easier for people at any level of an organisation to benefit from a Kanban approach in a more visual and pragmatic way. 

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