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Scrum has a number of well-defined artifacts, including:

  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Burn-Down Chart
  • Increment

What artifacts are essential to Kanban?

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    Googling "Artifacts in Kanban" I get Artifacts in SCRUM or "Kanban Board & Burndown Chart", but it is all? – Patres Jun 22 '17 at 11:17
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    Burn-Down Chart isn't Scrum artifact! You can use BDS with Scrum, but it is not a part of Scrum. Look at "Scrum Artifacts" part of Scrum Guide. – Sergey Kudryavtsev Jun 22 '17 at 11:40
  • I've attempted to make this a more generally-useful question. I think there's a useful question in here, which my edits have hopefully brought out, but it may take a bit more editing to polish it to our community's high standards. – Todd A. Jacobs Jun 23 '17 at 0:54
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    @MarkC.Wallace In fairness, Mark, Googling doesn't turn up much information about Kanban artifacts. That's partly because it doesn't really mandate them in the way many people conceive of project artifacts, and you almost have to know the system already to understand how minimal the requirements really are. I agree that the original question wasn't well-researched, but I think it's a common-enough question without a better canonical answer that what's been given here. – Todd A. Jacobs Jun 23 '17 at 1:35
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My answer is: there are no predefined artifacts in Kanban.

Scrum has predefined roles, events, and artifacts but Kanban doesn't. Kanban just describes 4 principles and 5 practices:

  1. Start with existing process;
  2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change;
  3. Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities and titles;
  4. Encourage acts of leadership at all levels;

  1. Visualize the workflow;
  2. Limit Work-in-Progress;
  3. Monitor, measure and optimize workflow;
  4. Make Process Policies Explicit;
  5. Improve Collaboratively.

(You can read more here, for example).

but nothing about roles, events, or artifacts.

P.S. As I had written in a comment, a Burn-Down Chart is not a Scrum artifact. You can use a Burn-Down Chart within Scrum, but it is not a part of Scrum.

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    I think your answer is pretty good, Sergey, so +1. However, depending on how you define Kanban, the board/cards are physical artifacts, while visualization/measurements are (at least) data artifacts. So I don't think it's fair to say Kanban has none, although I agree it leaves a great deal of artifact specification to each unique implementation. – Todd A. Jacobs Jun 23 '17 at 1:26
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Scrum Artifacts: Burn-Down Charts Aren't Mandated

Before answering your question, it's worth noting that burn-down charts are not required artifacts within Scrum. While the use of such charts is quite common, the framework itself does not require them. They are therefore ancillary artifacts generated by particular implementations, rather than artifacts generated directly by the Scrum framework.

Kanban Artifacts

By definition, a Kanban system has only two defined artifacts:

  1. The kanban itself, which is the board everyone thinks of when they think of Kanban-the-methodology.
  2. The kanban cards that move around the board.

However, implementing the Kanban Method generally results in a host of ancillary artifacts including backlogs, maps, policies, graphs, and reports. While none of these artifacts are explicitly required by the framework, it's hard to imagine an effective Kanban implementation that doesn't at least generate some metrics and graphs to inspect cycle time, lead time, and other key performance indicators to monitor the health of the project or process.


NB: David J. Anderson's method requires that you visualize your workflow, but doesn't actually mandate the implementation of a Kanban system with boards and cards. The mechanism (and therefore the artifacts) for visualization are left up to the implementation.


To summarize, anything generated during the implementation of the Kanban system or method is an artifact. The typical system requires only the board and cards, while the method only requires a means to visually represent the work. Everything else is a practice or side-effect.

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Instead of repeating what other contributed so far (and I agree with the notion of anything generated during the implementation/application of Kanban is an artifact by CodeGenome), I would like to highlight the concept of Theory of Constraints, which transcends the common usage of Kanban from visualizing flow to exploitation of bottleneck, leading to increase of throughput (or "the rate of producing output or increment").

When configured correctly, bottleneck becomes the artifact of the system under used (note: artifact could also mean "the non-true feature of the object under observation as a result of external actions"). In order to reveal the bottleneck, one has to review the existing system (e.g. cycle time, WIP, etc. Gemba walk plays a very big part here), provide focus on the bottleneck, exhaust it and continuously improve it until it no longer limits the throughput of the system.

The throughput of the system and quality of process, are equally important as the output of your work and its quality. I will recommend you to read Chapter 7 of Kanban in Action by Marcus Hammarberg and Joakim Sundén.

  • I see what you're getting at, but I don't think the bottlenecks themselves are artifacts. However, the graph, diagram, report, or labeling of the bottlenecks could certainly be artifacts. An artifact is an output or byproduct of a process, not just a conceptual component such as the constraints of a system. – Todd A. Jacobs Jun 24 '17 at 15:19
  • @CodeGnome yea, I stated I took the "non-true feature of observed object" definition. How it would be represented beyond its conceptual form, as label or andon, that's implementation detail. – yclian Jun 25 '17 at 9:01
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    Arguing against myself: if we view from operations management perspective, the artifacts in Scrum are the inventories (backlog) and goods (increments) produced. A bottleneck is the constraint of a system, an inefficiency (just like bugs), not the output. – yclian Jun 25 '17 at 9:29

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