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What is Agile Kanban Methodology?

Kanban is an agile approach that focuses on continuous improvement, management flexibility, and improved workflow. Project managers can easily evaluate the progress of the whole project at a glance by using the kanban methodology.

Moreover, the Kanban methodology is one of the easiest frameworks since it enables project managers to organize and monitor their projects effectively. Among the characteristics that set the Kanban framework apart from other agile methods is its compliance with any existing management structure.

In contrast to other popular frameworks, Kanban encourages simplicity but also making significant modifications to the current setup. Conventional companies prefer to use it as they value hierarchy and the responsibilities of functional managers.

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History of Kanban Methodology

Kanban is an Agile framework. Taiichi Ohno, a Japanese engineer, invented it in the late 1940s. The Agile Kanban Model concentrates on visualizing the whole project on boards to improve project visibility and team communication.

In the past, industries utilized kanban in their organizational settings to manage inventories across the supply chain. For instance, businesses used it to maintain just-in-time (JIT) production and lean production.

In software development, the Kanban technique modifies this idea by guaranteeing that the quantity of work needed is proportional to the team’s work capabilities. Moreover, in software development, we have JIT compilation or just-in-time compilation. It is a method used by runtime interpreters for languages such as JavaScript, C#, and Java to bring execution rates near to those of precompiled binary languages such as C++.

How to implement kanban methodology?

The Kanban technique is based on the kanban board. It is a tool that visualizes the whole project to assist users in tracking the progress of their work. Through this pictorial representation of Kanban boards, a new member or an external entity may comprehend what is occurring now, what tasks we have finished, and what tasks will be in the future.

What Is A Kanban Board? - The Fundamentals
Kanban Board

The kanban board includes:

  1. Backlog
  2. To Do
  3. Ongoing
  4. Done

The columns are interconnected, and tasks are taken from the backlog to the right column. Kanban utilizes the Work in Progress concept to track the work lifecycle.

In addition, limiting work in progress to sustain best practices is one of the guiding principles of the Agile Kanban methodology. The team must accomplish the present tasks in the sequence specified.

Principles of Kanban

The Kanban method’s fundamental concepts are as follows:

Begin with the current workflow

Begin with the current workflow: The Kanban framework puts a focus on continuous improvements. As a result, the team must begin with the existing workflow and continually enhance it.

Limit current tasks 

The team must recognize its limitations and limit progress accordingly. Adding more than you can manage simply loses time and affects the project badly.

Maintain current roles and responsibilities 

A key reason for Kanban’s success is that it does not force companies to restructure their work cultures. Many companies reject contemporary methods because of a fear of change.

Kanban increases efficiency while remaining within the constraints of the current setup.

Promote leadership at all levels 

Traditional project management methods, such as the waterfall method, demand approval of even the simplest activities by the project manager. Kanban empowers the person working on the task with decision-making authority. This fosters leadership skills which are constantly improving their work and learning from their errors.

Difference b/w Scrum and Kanban

Scrum and Kanban are regarded as the pillars of an Agile approach. According to PMI, more than 57% of companies employ various Agile methods, with Scrum and Kanban accounting for the most significant share.

While both Kanban and Scrum emphasize delivering the product regularly and iterating until we reach perfection, their approaches are very different. Both Kanban and Scrum methodology adhere to the Agile approach ideals and principles, however, the method is very different.

In Scrum methodology, we divide the work into chunks called sprints. In comparison, Kanban concentrates on continual development and ensures that tasks are completed on time.

Similarly, since Kanban is task-based, modifications may be made at any moment, while Scrum methodology requires the fulfillment of a single sprint plan before any adjustments can be implemented. As a result, Kanban is a good fit for projects that need a high degree of adaptability, while Scrum methodology is a better fit for processes involving work in batches.

Additionally, Kanban has no defined responsibilities, and no person is accountable for the team or a task. On the other hand, Scrum methodology pre-defines the duties of the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, and the Team members.

Tools used for Kanban

Several project management solutions include kanban boards. One of these tools is SpiraTeam®. It offers dashboards for key project quality and performance metrics — criteria test coverage, task progress, project pace, as well as top risks and problems – in a consolidated view that is optimised for Kanban projects while still supporting legacy/hybrid waterfall projects.

Kanban Methodology in Conclusion

A Kanban system is more than a wall of sticky notes. The most straightforward approach to grasp Kanban is to adopt its concept and incorporate it into your everyday work. If you study, comprehend, and identify with its fundamental ideas, the practical shift will seem reasonable, if not inevitable.

By visualizing workflow, establishing work-in-progress boundaries, controlling flow, enforcing clear guidelines, and collaborating on process improvement, you can take your process to new heights. Maintain frequent feedback loops, and all of these components together will show Kanban’s true potential. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for managing software development projects. Agile kanban is not for everyone since some teams may find that alternative methods are more successful. As a project manager seeking to simplify your procedures, it is up to you to decide what works best for your team.

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