The delay in completion and the loss of accuracy and precision are common issues with unfinished tasks. This problem is exacerbated in Agile frameworks, where teams are juggling multiple tasks simultaneously, leading to errors and delays. Kanban in Agile project management addresses these inefficiencies by focusing on reducing task completion time and continual improvement in every iteration.
What is Kanban?
Kanban focuses on producing products based on real-time consumer demand, resulting in a better match of supply and demand. Originally developed as a project management methodology in the manufacturing industry, Kanban is based on the philosophy of continuous improvement. It improves workflow by identifying bottlenecks on a visual Kanban board and resolving them immediately. The same principles are applied in Agile software development, where the development team pulls work from the backlog based on capacity and eliminates bottlenecks as soon as they are identified.
Why Use Kanban in Agile?
Kanban project management helps streamline workflow in Agile frameworks, providing flexibility to adapt to sudden changes in the environment. The following points illustrate the usability functions of Kanban in Agile project management:
1. Repetitive requests: Kanban is useful for managing repetitive requests simultaneously, such as support tickets or orders in a store.
2. Independent work items: Every work item in Kanban is independent, allowing tasks to move through stages smoothly and getting completed step by step.
3. Flexibility: Kanban provides sufficient flexibility to adapt to changes without the need for drastic workflow alterations.
4. Continuous workflow: Kanban provides a continuous workflow that helps identify limitations and bottlenecks in the process.
Using Kanban in Agile Teams
Kanban project management helps Agile teams keep their progression on track and optimize workflow by providing clear visibility of task progression. To incorporate Kanban project management in an Agile workflow, the following 4-step action plan based on core principles can be followed:
1. Identify your Kanban workflow: Identify resources and processes where there is reasonable room for improvement.
2. Persist on incremental change: Take one step at a time and refrain from making quick changes, which can lead to overwhelming challenges.
3. Define team roles and responsibilities in Kanban: Clearly define who does what and the specific tasks and obligations tied to those roles to ensure clarity, alignment, and efficiency.
4. Encourage accountability in all stages: Encourage employees to be accountable for their tasks, which boosts innovation and overall team productivity.
Real Stories: Kanban Process in Agile Teams
Case studies of renowned companies like Jaguar, Pixar, and Zara highlight successful examples of using Kanban workflow to enhance agility and become customer-oriented.
Common Challenges While Implementing Kanban in Agile (with Practical Solutions)
Challenges like lack of clarity, resistance to change, and managing work interruptions can be addressed by providing clear vision, reassurance, and incremental changes, along with allocating buffer time within the Kanban system.
Kanban project management plays a crucial role in Agile frameworks by focusing on team accountability and reducing potential obstacles. Its success depends on adapting its principles to fit each project’s unique characteristics and workflow, ultimately improving collaboration, efficiency, and overall project success.