Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Intro to Kanban in Under 5 Minutes (What is Kanban, Learn Kanban)

You've probably seen our video, Scrum in Under 10 Minutes,
which is the world's most popular video about the Scrum methodology.
Many viewers have written us requesting that we talk about another software development system,
Kanban is a fantastic way to get things done, and it also works great in conjunction with Scrum,
if that's the way you want to do it.
A Kanban is a lean scheduling system, developed in Japan
by the Toyota Motor Corporation. A Kanban system utilizes visual cues that
tell you what to produce, how much to produce,
and when to produce it. A typical sushi menu like this
is a great example of a Kanban. Customers indicate which items they would
like to have right then and how many of each.
It's simple and efficient... like these... Maybe this is why your favorite sushi restaurant
always seems to get your order right! When adapted to software development,
Kanban systems usually start with a board and visual cards that represent items in your product backlog.
On the board, you place the cards into columns
that represent their current step in the workflow, ranging from "New" to "Complete".
The steps in-between are entirely up to you, so keep it simple and efficient.
The visual nature of the board makes it easy to find out: what's already been done,
what's in progress, and what's going to be started next.
So long as your team keeps finishing work,
those cards keep moving to the right, like this...
and most importantly, you keep delivering features to your customers.
To help ensure items are being completed at a steady pace,
Kanban imposes limits on the number of items that can live in any one workflow step at any given time.
These are called Work in Progress, or WIP Limits.
They should be set so that the work flows as smoothly and consistently as possible.
If your team runs into a problem, these limits will bring it to light very quickly
by creating a visible bottleneck.
This allows the entire team to "swarm" on the problem,
and that's just another way of saying "collaborate".
Limiting the amount of work that's in progress means that you've got to finish some of the
things on your plate before you can start on additional items.
WIP limits help you: keep work flowing,
save time by eliminating too much task switching, and complete tasks.
Kanban is fantastic in it's own right and on many projects may be all that you need,
but I've found that when paired with a good Scrum framework and a great Scrum tool,
Kanban really shines.
Scrum provides the structure for organizing feedback,
short-term planning, stack ranking, an inspect-and-adapt mindset,
and other organizational improvements;
While Kanban provides a steady flow of tasks that reach 100% completion by helping your
team manage day-to-day development with a minimum of overhead and blocking issues.
So there you have it, Kanban for Software Development.
You can get started on Kanban and Scrum with a Free 30-day Trial of OnTime Scrum.
It is a feature-packed, blazingly fast way to manage your software projects.
With OnTime Scrum, you can visualize your product backlog as cards and rank their importance.
You can also organize items by developer.
Imagine the peace of mind you'll get from this view of your project...
knowing who's working on what and when it will be done.
Not only that, but with customizable dashboards,
you can see burndown charts, graphs, and projected shipping dates.
This kind of project visibility inspires confidence. Get started for Free at
And if you have any questions, you can always reach us at
[Music ends]
When it comes to bottlenecks, I've got my own secret weapon f or making sure that things get done on-time.
Thanks Kanbot!