When to use Kanban
In this guide, we will look at when you should use Kanban within your team and how you can get your team ready and adopt Kanban.
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Your Team has less time for planning meetings
One of the first principles of kanban is to make small incremental changes to existing processes. Teams that want to start a new approach to project management without turning existing processes upside down will naturally find a good fit with the kanban methodology.
Your team has a repeatable workflow that can be visualized on a board
It also helps if your team has a broad set of steps that repeat themselves for different tasks. This makes it easy to visualize your entire workflow on a kanban board. Teams which have a wide variety of tasks which require flexible workflows may not find it easy to maintain and practice kanban.
Kanban is a better fit for teams that strive for consistent delivery of features and updates rather than working with mvps and releases of iterations.
To summarize, you can use Kanban if:
- You want to implement a system without overhauling your existing workflows entirely.
- You have a largely repeatable process for work to pass through.
- You want to limit planning and meetings to focus on delivery.
- You want a continuous delivery of features and improvements rather than delivery in fixed releases/cycles.
Getting your team ready for Kanban
Once you have decided to adopt kanban for your team, the next step would be to get everyone on the same page to ensure maximum chance of success.
The various stakeholders could include people in senior management, software development teams, designers, QA and other individual contributors.
The first step to adopting Kanban in any organization is getting management approval. This can be done by submitting a proposal highlighting the Kanban methodology and how it helps improve the team’s current processes. It is important to set the correct expectations and present a concrete implementation plan. One of the advantages of Kanban is that it does not require an overhaul of existing processes. Teams can start by mapping their existing flows to a kanban board and start tracking progress. The only initial commitment needed is the commitment to observe and make incremental changes to improve processes and outcomes.
Educating Development Teams
After getting management buy in, it is essential to get your teams organised to use kanban boards effectively. Educating the development team about the kanban methodology and how tasks are going to be tracked from start to end should be top priority. Kanban, being an incremental change is usually easy to implement.