June 23, 2012

Translating a Book With Kanban

Just like everything else, translating a book using Kanban methodology is about the mindset, good communication and good team work.
We’ve just translated Agile Kids to Spanish.
The complications?
Over 200 pages, images, photos, graphs and what have you.
Two teams on opposite sides of the Mediterranean Sea.
Two different native languages.

The result?
In just a few short weeks the whole book was translated and published in Amazon. Amazing.
When we started work on the Spanish version translation,  Evergreen (Ángel Águeda Barrero & Maria Jesus Jimenez )  made the call to manage this process using Kanban. They created a simple Kanban project using Swift Kanban software (which we’ve reviewed before). What could be more obvious than using Kanban to translate a book about Kanban?

As you can see, the flow was pretty simple. The WIP limit was followed and close communication was applied as a policy.
The user stories were all related to books chapter, which is a reasonable size.
The team translating the book sat in one location (Spain) and the customers - that’s me, and my publisher Avi Kaye, from A2O Marketing - were in another.

The bulk of the work was performed by the Spanish team, while we acted mainly as advisers committed to give early feedback when required.
The initial draft was done extremely quickly, and the final version was approved a few days later.

Thanks a lot Angel and Maria, you did an amazing job, and it was great to work with you guys.


  1. Thank you so much, Shirly!!!! It has been a great pleasure to work with you two. You made it so easy! Your book is really amazing, useful and funny. I hope we will have the chance to do something together again. Greetings from Spain!!!!
    María Jesus

  2. Thanks you guys for a quality work!!!