What is Kanban?

Kanban in terms of Agile can be seen as another framework to implement Agile. Kanban in the Industrial sector started as a scheduling system for lean and JIT (Just In Time) manufacturing in 1953. It was first implemented by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota. As a framework for Agile, what Kanban achieves is that by matching the WIP (Work In Progress) to the team’s total capacity, it provides the faster output, flexible planning, and transparency.

Kanban is different from Scrum wherein it relies on continuous flow as opposed to regular fixed-length sprints. In Scrum, a Sprint is planned and teams are encouraged not to make changes during the Sprint, whereas in Kanban change can happen at any time.

What is Kanban Terminology?

Kanban is a method for managing the creation of products with an emphasis on continual delivery while not overburdening the development team. Kanban underpins Toyota’s ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) production system.

Kanban follows four-core process:

  • Visualize work
  • Limit work in process
  • Focus on flow
  • Continuously Improve

What is Cycle time?

The Cycle time is the amount of time, that the team spent actually working on the item (without the time that the task spent waiting on the board). Therefore, the Cycle time should start being measured, when the item task enters the “working” column, not earlier.

What is Lead time?

The Lead time is the time from the moment when the request was made by a client and placed on a board to when all work on this item is completed and the request was delivered to the client. So it’s the total time the client is waiting for an item to be delivered.

What is Visualize Workflow?

Make work visible for better management as well as to identify queues and bottlenecks (or personal procrastination on specific tasks).

What are the main Roles in Kanban?

There are no existing roles. Some teams enlist the help of an agile coach.