Agile has become a buzzword in the software development world. It has been widely adopted by numerous businesses and teams worldwide, but the adoption of Agile alone is not enough for sustainable software development success. Many companies have found that adopting Agile processes does not automatically result in faster or more efficient software development cycles. To get the most out of an Agile approach to software development, you also need to adopt an effective Agile methodology alongside it. This article covers everything you need to know about Kanban, one of the best practices of Lean Software Development, which is used along with other principles of Lean thinking to implement more streamlined software processes. Read on to learn more!
What is Kanban? #
Kanban, which is Japanese for “visual card”, is a visualization-based method for managing work within a software development process. Kanban is a type of pull system, which means that work is only created when there is customer demand for it. The aim of Kanban is to simplify and optimize software processes. It is a very flexible approach that can be used in a wide variety of contexts and industries, including software development, supply chain management, IT operations, and project management. To achieve these goals, Kanban focuses on a few key practices: visualizing work, limiting the amount of work in progress, managing quality, limiting the number of change requests, and focusing on continuous improvement.
Why You Should Use Agile Kanban #
Kanban is one of the “big three” practices in Lean Software Development, a methodology that is closely related to Agile. Kanban is often used alongside Scrum and Extreme Programming, and it is especially suitable when there are fluctuations in workload and uncertainty in the time required to complete work. If your software development team is using Scrum, Kanban can be a great addition to expand the toolkit of techniques available to you. And if you’re not using Scrum, Kanban can be a useful stand-alone framework.
How to Start Using Agile Kanban? #
First things first, you need to choose what board type to use. You have several options, including electronic boards and whiteboards. Once you’ve decided on the board type, you can move on to setting up the board. In the work section of the board, you’ll write down the tasks that your team needs to complete. Then, in the workflow section, you’ll determine the order in which these tasks need to be completed. Finally, in order to ensure a smooth operation of the board, you’ll need to create a set of rules that your team needs to follow when referencing the board. This can include things like who can add tasks to the board, what information needs to be included in the task description, and how to resolve any issues that arise.
6 best practices of kanban #
Visualize your work: Kanban boards provide an excellent way to visualize the work that needs to be done, the state it is in, and the relationship between tasks. Getting to know your work is an important part of Kanban—it’s a great way to start getting more out of your team by visualizing what’s going on and allowing everyone to get up to speed.
Limit the amount of work in progress: This tenet of Kanban is closely related to the visualization of work. It is essential to limit the amount of work in progress in order to avoid bottlenecks and ensure timely completion of tasks. Managing WIP is one of the most important Kanban practices.
Focus on quality: High-quality work is essential for any organization. KanBan focuses on both the quality of work being done and the quality of the team doing that work.
Manage change requests: The Kanban method places great emphasis on limiting change requests.
The idea is simple: when your software development team is focused on the present, it is much simpler to stay on track.
Get to the root of problems: Kanban teams are structured to identify and resolve problems quickly. Regular retrospectives allow teams to get to the root cause of any problems.
Focus on continuous improvement: With Kanban, you can clearly see what’s working and what isn’t. This allows you to make improvements where necessary and focus your energies on what really works.
3 tips for implementing agile kanban in your team #
- Focus on creating value – Although the Kanban method is incredibly flexible, it is important that Kanban teams focus on creating value.
- Acknowledge bottlenecks – Wherever there are delays or blocks in the process, bottlenecks need to be acknowledged in order to break them down and solve them.
- Keep your Kanban board simple – Don’t overcomplicate your Kanban board or you’ll end up with unnecessary bureaucracy and process. Keep it simple and you’ll get more out of it.
Kanban is a great addition to an existing Scrum team, or a great way for non-Scrum teams to implement Lean thinking. With Kanban, you can visualize your work, limit the amount of work in progress, and focus on quality work. There are many ways to implement Kanban, and there are different boards and systems you can use to do so. By using Kanban, you can prioritize work and focus on creating value.