In the context of software development, Kanban is an approach based on Lean that tries to limit waste and work in progress to the actual capacity of the software development team. The aim of Kanban is to create a context that balances capacity and demand through a value stream and promote visual project management.
Trello is a free on-line project management tool owned by Atlassian that provides a flexible and visual way to organize anything. This approach is naturally close to the visual boards used in the Scrum or Kanban approaches. As the tool as an open architecture, some extensions have been developed for a better implementation of Agile project management in Trello and provides additional features like Scrum burndown charts or the implementation of WIP limits.
The common wisdom is that Agile need Kanban teams to do the work that the Scrum Teams can’t do yet as well as the stuff that you don’t want your Scrum Teams to be distracted by. There is however much more to Kanban than meets the common agilist’s eye.
If shorter release cycle could be considered as a success for Agile software development teams, they might be considered as an issue if the other parts of the organization are not ready to handle this. In this article, Colleen Johnson shares an experience where the successes achieved implementing the Kanban method at the team level were leveraged to expand them to the enterprise level.
If Scrum is the king of the Agile software development frameworks, Kanban can be defined as a distant cousin. We know that there are some connections through this Lean parents, but we don’t always known what it looks like exactly and when to use it. If you want to have a clear and quick (60 pages) understanding of what Kanban is, then this Kanban Workbook is for you.
Like the notion of technical debt, the concept of management debt relates to the leadership issues that prevent a successful Agile transformation. This article from Agile transformation expert Sriram Rajagopalan discusses the types of waste that can be eliminated using a Kanban approach and the role of management debt in perpetuating wasteful practices.
Scrum and Kaban are two Agile approaches that could be used in software development, depending also on the context of the software development tools. In his blog post “Ditching Scrum for Kanban — The best decision we’ve made as a team”, Grant Ammons shares some thought on why he successfully changed it process from a Scrum to a Kanban perspective.