A Kanban Board is a visual representation of workflow from left to right where each task is a separate “sticky-note” like card. Each Kanban card is used to describe what needs to be done, who is responsible for completing the work and what are the additional properties of work. Kanban was invented as a JIT production planning system by Toyota, also know as “Toyota production system”.
Simplest Kanban solution is a whiteboard with columns to represent states and swim-lanes to represent different workflows or priorities. Special features of Kanban involve WIP limits to ensure controlled throughput in critical process steps. Kanban is favored as a technique for early maturity processes and teams because of it’s easy to understand visual aspect. Kanban system now is very popular among various industries and is the de-facto approach to straight-through workflow approaches.
Key techniques of Kanban
- Kanban Cards
- WIP limits
- Lead and Cycle time
- Kaizen meetings
- Cumulative flow diagram
Scrumban is a compromise between Scrum and Kanban methodologies for increased applicability and versatility tool for product manufacturing and support focused companies. Methodology involves both, stricter aspects of Scrum and visual aspects of Kanban as a trade-off for those who feel that Scrum is too strict and Kanban is too loose.
Majority of scrumban techniques are driven by on-demand approaches and involves relaxed ceremonies, like planning based on current iteration backlog insufficiency trigger. Also, it involves techniques to postpone decision making to latest, like doing a triage just before the milestone to maximize output and reduce half-baked results. Essential long-term planning technique in scrumban is bucket plan approach, where a team can define 3-6-12 months buckets and push work through those. This firmly supports as late as possible decision making, also it forces people to reduce demand for details until time is ready.
Key technique of Scrumban
- Bucket planning
- Triage event
- Planning trigger
- Lead and cycle time
Kanban Board approach
- Make your projects visual
- Measure Cycle and Lead time
- Set WIP limits for throughput
- Employ swimlanes for work separation
- Use nested columns to fit any complex process
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