Kanban - An overview

“The Kanban Method introduces a complex adaptive system that is intended to catalyze a Lean outcome within an organization.” ( Learning Agile (p315) )

Kanban is a method for process improvement used by agile teams.

Kanban is about helping a team improve the way that they build software. A team that uses Kanban has a clear picture of what actions they use to build software, how they interact with the rest of the company, where they run into waste caused by inefficiency and unevenness, and how to improve over time by removing the root cause of that waste. When a team improves the way that they build software, it’s traditionally called process improvement. ( Learning Agile (p316) )

The goal of process improvement is to find recurring problems, figure out what those problems have in common, and come up with tools to fix them. ( Learning Agile (p319) )

Typically, Kanban is used to improve predictability of flow, and this will affect planning and scheduling on the project. Extensive use of Kanban and its metrics is likely to have a significant knock-on effect on the method of project management. ( Learning Agile (p324) )

In Kanban, the improvement is left in the hands of the team, and this is one reason that agile teams have found success with Kanban. The team members themselves find the problems with their workflow, suggest their own improvements, measure the results, and hold themselves accountable to their own standards. ( Learning Agile (p326) )

Extract from a Kanban workshop

Kanban - An overview.pdf

Kanban Boards

They have work items. A work item is a single, self-contained unit of work that can be tracked through the entire system. ( Learning Agile (p323) )

The work item has a larger lifecycle that extends beyond the team that’s building it. The kanban board will have columns for the steps that a work item goes through before and after the Scrum team gets their hands on it. ( Learning Agile (p324) )

Learning Agile (p328)

Learning Agile (p332)

Learning Agile (p338)


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