Every time I work with a team new to agile transformations, I hear the same question – do we use Scrum or Kanban. Quite often the selection is made out of the fear of the unknown rather than what will work for that team. Let’s look at a few reasons why teams don’t adopt Kanban even if that is a better fit for them, and what they should know before making a decision.
MYTH: Kanban is difficult for new teams.
FACT: Kanban is a light weight framework that keeps the barrier for entry low for new teams to adopt. These are the 4 principles that underpin Kanban for knowledge work.
- Start With What You Do Now
- Agree to Pursue Incremental, Evolutionary Change
- Respect the Current Process, Roles & Responsibilities
- Encourage Acts of Leadership at All Levels
These principles allow new teams to get started and adopt practices that will help them to continuously improve rather than make big structural changes that could prove to be a high barrier to scale.
MYTH: Kanban is not for Product teams.
FACT: Kanban might look a more natural fit for Support teams where most of the work is unplanned. But the practices that underpin both Product and Support teams are very similar. Kanban practices (shown below) is applicable to any team where work flows through the system.
- Visualize the Workflow
- Limit Work in Progress
- Manage Flow
- Make Process Policies Explicit
- Feedback Loops
- Improve Collaboratively
MYTH: Kanban is free for all without any planning.
FACT: Dwight D. Eisenhower said “Plans are nothing; planning is everything”. There are many feedback loops in Kanban that allow Product teams to plan by themselves and in a scaled environment. These feedback loops give full transparency of the work that is flowing through the system.
Focused Objective has a lot of free tools you can use to forecast and analyze the metrics that will help you to continuously improve and be a high performing team.
If you are looking to find out more about Kanban and what it means for Software Delivery, please watch the webinar below. It is a collaboration between Agile Meridian and ProTech. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.