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O34 Kanban

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Page no: O34


Main differences between scrum and Kanban.

Normal Scrum want finish all tasks of a sprint in a fixed period (e.g. 1 week or 2 weeks). No new tasks are allowed when a sprint has been started.

Kanban allows new tasks during a sprint. The sprint is not bound to a fixed period, but this fixed period may be used to visualize the workflow inside sprints.

The main principles of Kanban


Principle1: Visualize the workflow.

This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

You cannot improve what you cannot see. Knowledge work needs a way to show progress. Kanban boards are one of the ways to display progress.

→ What does it mean for us?

We use the following flow and move tasks from left to right, the is visualization of the workflow.

image2016-6-10 9-44-34
Our workflow:

TESTING may be on the left of “Plan for Today”.

image2016-6-10 10-20-40


Principle2: Limit the number of started tasks!


This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

Science and the work from Donald G. Reinertsen[6] has shown that when the batch unit of work is decreased, more can be accomplished.

→ What does it mean for us?

Start new tasks only when the old one is finished.

We try finish a task completely: We want to finish a task completely and pass over all stages, we want to move it to CLOSED

This also means that we like full tests and a documentation for an old task before we start new tasks.


Principle3: Do important and urgent tasks before the lower prio tasks.

This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

→ What does it mean for us?

We give prios based on colors. In the future, I might a prio number, as we do in the bank.

Principle 3a: (Product) Management decides about priorities, about the “what to do”, the project manager decides  how to do it.

This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

The “what to do ” is at higher level. The project manager may create “lower level tasks” or sub-tasks that realize the higher level tasks.


Principle 4: Measure the flow of tasks 

(see German Wikipedia)

This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

→ What does it mean for us?

We estimate the effort for the sprint and see if we can maintain the speed. We currently improve our way of work, then we will start this again.


Principle 5. Learn and improve continuously.

This principle is valid in both, Scrum and Kanban.

This practice implies reflecting so that one can learn from experience, and it aligns with performing retrospectives and embracing Kaizen. In addition Open Kanban itself is open source and it welcomes contributions or extensions to the method.

→ What does it mean for us?

We continously do knowledge transfer and create also knowledge transfer tasks.

Principle 6: Daily Scrum session and team members.

In both scrum and Kanban, daily scrum sessions happen in the morning.

Each team member says what he plans doing today. Clearly this plan is bsed on priorities (see 2a-2c).


Principle 7: Tasks can be “in progress” only for one single day.  

In the bank we said that “IN PROGRESS” must be finished on the same day, this is related to principle2.

This implies that one in progress task has max 4h. If you realized that you more work , create sub-tasks for the original task and explain what to day.

→ What does it mean for us?

We call the “In Progress” list now “Plan for today“. It is what we agreed in the daily scrum session.

We use sub-tasks in the form of checklists.

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