You are here:
< Back

Kanban

  • Means ‘billboard’ or ‘signboard’ in Japanese
  • Inspired by the Toyota Production System (TPS) – a precursor to lean manufacturing inspired by the just-in-time inventory replenishment adopted by supermarkets
  • Its use in software development evolved from a 2004 project at Microsoft

Key Features

  • Highly visual – use of a Kanban board
    • ¬†This is the single source of truth
    • Can be a physical or virtual board
    • No fixed steps
  • Limit Work In Progress (WIP)
    • Reduces waste from context switching and multitasking
    • Promotes collaboration
    • ¬†Exposes operational problems quickly (and tries to improve them)
  • Focus on Flow
    • A side effect of limiting Work In Progress is that tickets get pushed through the process more rapidly
    • This encourages the team to get in-flow tickets finished before starting new work
  • Evolution not revolution
    • Small changes, pushed through quickly
    • Fast cycle times
  • Continuous Improvement
    • Constantly evalutate what works and what doesn’t to improve the process

Differences With Scrum

  • Scrum has regular fixed length sprints (typically 2 or 3 weeks). Each Sprint starts with a sprint planning meeting, where stories from the backlog are chosen for the sprint, and a retrospective at the end of the sprint. Kanban flow is continuous.
  • Scrum typically releases at the end of the sprint. Kanban can be released at any point.
  • Scrum has defined roles – Product Owner, Scrum Master, etc. Kanban has no predefined roles.
  • Scrum uses the Velocity metric (how many story points can be delivered in a Sprint). Kanban used Cycle Time (how quickly it takes a task to be delivered, from when work begins to when it is delivered)

Useful Links

(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)
Kanban