If you are at least somehow related to IT, then you have probably heard or seen Kanban’s main tool: a flipchart, a whatman paper or just a board with many columns and stickers. We will tell you why you need Kanban and how it helps to establish processes in a team in any sphere.
How does Kanban work in IT?
Kanban, like Scrum, is a development management methodology from the Agile philosophy. Its main meaning is centered around a Kanban Board that visualizes all processes.
A typical board used for software development contains the following columns:
Each company and even department can adapt the board to their needs, so the columns may vary. Each task (sticker) is assigned to a specific team member. Once the task is completed, it moves to the next column.
Pros of a Kanban Board
The developer can see what the designers are doing, and the tester knows when to expect a new feature to test. Your team members will be able to understand what is happening throughout the project.
2. Priorities and control
The tasks in the columns are prioritized, which means that neither the manager nor the developer will get confused. Besides, management sees when someone is in trouble and work stalls if the stickers do not move around the board. In this case, you can rearrange the task to another specialist or figure out what is the reason and at what stage it is necessary to strengthen.
3. Clear focus on tasks
Multitasking is good, but Kanban implies the limitation of the tasks performed simultaneously.
This means that one team member can simultaneously perform no more than 2-4 tasks. This allows him/her to do his/her best to get the job done.
4. Boot management
The manager can quickly assess the workload of each specialist, determine who will finish their tasks when and who will be given a new task. It is convenient to work on Kanban with remote employees and freelancers — the board will quickly show what they are doing and how positive the dynamics of their work are.
5. Motivation and retrospective
At Kanban, daily stand-ups and weekly retrospectives are encouraged. At the same time, they take less time than when working in Scrum, since everything is already visualized on the board. In retrospect, the team’s focus is on figuring out what is preventing a particular task from moving to the next column and how to optimize the process.
6. Joy of moving tasks
As soon as you have finished the task, you go to the board, tear off the sticker and glue it to the next column, thereby sending it to the next stage. This ritual brings positive emotions and a sense of completeness.
What can a Kanban Board look like in your company?
The first step to creating a board is to define the work steps for the column names. Think about what stages your product/service goes through or what typical tasks a team performs. For example, calling a client — meeting with a client — concluding a contract — transferring work to a specialist. Option 2. You can simply name the columns Backlog, In Progress, Done.
So, Kanban is a set of solutions for working in the spirit of Agile. It teaches us flexibility, experimentation, teamwork and analytical thinking. You won’t have to drastically change the whole work system, so try to let Kanban into your team and your heart!