41

Good question - well phrased. Best answer is "Never be the senior guy with a secret". Development is difficult to schedule. Last week I told my manager that the new tool enables me to solve very complex tasks in 5 minutes, but sometimes very simple tasks take a day or more. That experience is fairly common to most of the development tasks I've ...


20

A Kanban board helps developers synchronise their work. Sue glanced up at the Kanban board to see if there were any new items waiting for her to code. Mark had noticed that the review stage on the Kanban board had hit the work in progress limit and so decided his next task should be to review something. Karen had just heard that the deadline had changed and ...


18

Responsible vs. Accountable Roles in a Pull-Queue System The question you're asking is really an X/Y problem. You have a couple of other problems that you haven't actually called out in your question: Kanban is a pull-queue system, not a push system. So, unless the API team knows to pull from your "feedback" column, or unless they have their own backlog ...


12

As a developer, a kanban board shows me two things of interest: What work am I and my team members currently working on What work is ready to be picked up when I complete my current task Besides that, it is nice to have a place to leave the work card to announce it has been completed. In a situation where there are no hand-overs (or significant waiting ...


11

I think this has a canonical answer, at least from a traditional PM point of view if not with Agile or Kanban or whatever else. If a piece of work was unable to be finished for whatever reason, by the mechanic, developer, trades person, whomever, then the issue falls back to the PM or PM control part of the project to be tracked and resolved. The ...


10

In a word: feedback. Whether you’re coaching a soccer team, flying a drone, planning a city, or writing a dissertation, the sooner you can get feedback, make adjustments, and get more feedback, the more successful you’ll be. In Kanban, you get feedback by completing stories and observing how they affect the system. A smaller story can be done faster, ...


8

The physical Kanban board offers the face-to-face meeting approach. It necessitates all team members to come together. Moreover the feeling for "What I'm now responsible for" increases. We introduced a physical Kanban board at our customer once before we shifted to a digital one. The method is initially better taught in a physically way Get a Whiteboard and ...


6

This is a great question. Many teams start with something like what you have or ToDo | Doing | Done. This may be ok, but doesn't tell you much about how your work is flowing. If you want more visibility into your process, you may want more columns, but which ones? Unfortunately, there is no "right" answer. As a PM team, the first thing you'll need to ...


6

It's all down to what you need. Ask your team: why there's this code limit in place? Potential Answer #1: Because we must not work on development if we have pending code reviews. Potential Action #1: Your team must either work together to avoid leaving a lot pending code reviews or the night shift guy must be focused on code reviews. What works better for ...


6

We used Kanban at my last workplace, with only 3-5 devs (myself included), 0-2 testers and one local manager. We saw several tangible benefits: Knowledge gets spread around, because we're encouraged to work on the next thing on the list rather than what we specialize in. Since everyone had a reasonable level of understanding of basically the entire system ...


4

A physical Kanban board acts as an information radiator. It is useful for several reasons: It allows the team to coordinate their efforts by giving them the big picture. For example, they may notice that one column is filling up fast and realise there is a bottleneck. It allows them to tune their workflow. It helps with communication. A member of the team ...


4

TL;DR The part of your question about what product to buy is off-topic. We call those "shopping questions," and they are almost always off-topic. They are also generally indicative of X/Y problems. However, there is an underlying problem here that can be addressed. That is allowing your products to drive your process, rather than picking tools that support ...


4

First: It's clear that your testing team is way too small. A ratio of 5:1 is simply going to (1) cause a huge backlog and (2) cause bugs to slip through. Your own project is proof of this. Even if you could prove that your 5:1 ratio is sufficient you need at least one more tester. A team of 1 tester is not a good idea because you don't have anybody testing ...


3

It really depends on how similar is the work that the different teams are doing; and also how large is each team and the volume of work they handle on an ongoing basis. In most implementations that we have seen, most teams (not temporary project teams but long-running functional teams such as Dev, test or Design or Documentation or marketing) prefer to have ...


3

It is not clear if your team is doing production support or software/ app dev. Assuming it is app dev, there are a few questions to consider - What is the customer's need for the releases your team is making? If there is no pressure from customer to do a release or if the pressure is sporadic or infrequent, then there is nothing much your team can do ...


3

First of all you don't usually want tasks in your backlog but ideas that deliver value. The tasks are usually represented by the columns in the Kanban system, but if it is more of a task board then read on. I don't know if it is appropriate for you, but when I hear 100s of tasks in the backlog I wonder if you expect them to be more or less valuable than the ...


3

"And because they are only ever working on 1 - maybe 2 things at a time, keeping track is no problem for them." Well, yes, if every person on a team is only ever working on 1 thing at a time, then Kanban probably isn't bringing much value to anyone. I don't feel like that should be controversial, but I may be mistaken.


3

Direct feedback The CEO came back at me saying that it should provide a lot of value to them, [..]. But these are all of value to the manager - Not the developer. "It should help" is not an argument. It is a suggestion/command under the guise of what seems to be informative advice. But that doesn't prove that the CEO is wrong, it only suggests that he's ...


3

It is not quite clear whether you have a multi-tasking or context switching challenge or not. Since, as a team, you are supporting 8 different streams of work (6 services and 2 projects), you are already used to (the idea of) doing it. So, mentally, each of your team members is prepared to work in that fashion. There's been a lot of research that shows ...


3

Why not both? Most decent Kanban softwares (e.g. Jira) will allow you to separate boards so that you can have one task appearing on multiple boards. Thus, each team has its own board, and then you can combine them into an 'overview board'.


3

TL;DR While there can be circumstances where you need the level of granularity you're proposing, in most cases it's likely to be a symptom of command-and-control management styles and an outgrowth of the 100% utilization fallacy. Kanban should generally be tracking significant state transitions at the product level, not attempting to prescribe procedures ...


3

Kanban's first principle is "Start with what you do now." and iterate from there. So, what you want to visualize is completely up to you, based on what you do today to track data about your work items. If you have absolutely no current process/ practice regarding something, start somewhere - take a decision as a team that "we will visualize these things ...


3

TL;DR There's no right or wrong answer here in terms of what activities, columns, and swimlanes belong on a given Kanban. However, it's likely that your process is being driven by a software tool choice rather than reflecting the actual workflows and working agreements in your process. You should carefully evaluate whether you have captured the right ...


2

I agree with @fisehara as the most effective method, I would just add one extra comment. You can also break down each column with permanent swimlanes that denote the WIP limits. So if your WIP limit is 3, your colum has 3 sections. The posties can only go in a section so it shows if you are at WIP limit and prevents going over.


2

1) What values does a physical Kanban board offer? Visualize all team work using a very low-tech, low-budget tool while promoting face-2-face communication between team members, collaboration, and team-based problem solving. Physical Kanban boards have been around since the 80's and continue to be used by many, many organizations to help with work ...


2

Given your questions, I assume you have not yet read some of the recommended books on Kanban or attended any Kanban training. I highly recommend you start by reading the book - "Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business" by David J Anderson. It answers all types of questions around the design and use of Kanban boards/ systems and ...


2

[...] what is the most efficient way for me to handle these without loosing track of what items I need to prioritize? You can manage this with JIRA's JQL quick-filters. The simplest solution would be to have, say, a filter that shows everything in the backlog that was created in the past week: created > -7d AND status = Backlog And then go through them ...


2

I would recommend you make separate boards for the independent projects unless the same team is working on all the parts simultaneously, which doesn't make much sense to me based on your short post. If you are using the same board, then color code the different parts. If you are using an electronic board, then you can use tags or labels. Your swim-lanes ...


2

First thing is first: Kanban has no queue columns. This is an anti-pattern. To elaborate, a Kanban board is a visual representation of a workflow. In workflow mapping, we do not represent wait states as steps in a process, rather as notes in the transition from one step to another. Further, this indicates work being pushed to the next step instead of ...


2

Is it working? Then don't stress it. There are some schools of Kanban that adhere to what you are saying. It is not, however, a hard and fast rule. I tend to teach and use a two-way Kanban board as I've found it more effective. The key to a two-way board is WIP limit. If you move something from test, back to development, then you may have to remove ...


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