Kanban board

Business Agility Office

In the context of Agile teams where the “Kanban method” of continuous improvement (or some of its concepts) has been followed, the following adaptations are often seen:

  • such teams deemphasize the use of iterations, effort estimates and velocity as a primary measure of progress;
  • they rely on measures of lead time or cycle time instead of velocity;
  • and in the most visible alteration, they replace the task board with a “kanban board”:
  • unlike a task board, the kanban board is not “reset” at the beginning of each iteration
  • its columns represent the different processing states of a “unit of value”, which is generally (but not necessarily) equated with a user story
  • in addition, each column may have associated with it a “WIP limit” (for “work in process” or “work in progress”): if a given state, for instance “in manual testing”, has a WIP limit of, say, 2, then the team “may not” start testing a third user story if two are already being worked on
  • whenever such a situation arises, the priority is to clear current work-in-process, and team members will “swarm” to help those working on the activity that’s blocking flow
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