Kanban Applied to Software Development: From Agile to Lean

Kanban: from agile development to leanMost of my experience of agile software development has been with Scrum, and some aspects of eXtreme Programming (XP). However, for quite a while now, I’ve been reading quite a bit about Lean software development, and Kanban.

For those that don’t really know much about Kanban, I found the following article on InfoQ quite an interesting insight:

http://www.infoq.com/articles/hiranabe-lean-agile-kanban

I haven’t made the jump and tried Lean with any of my teams yet. To be honest, I’ve had such great success with Scrum, across so many teams now, it’s almost a case of “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it”.

Having said that, I do see that the overhead of Sprint planning in Scrum is often quite onerous. Although I really value the predictability teams can achieve by estimating in points and tracking Velocity and Burndown. I’ve seen this help so many teams to deliver on their commitments, meeting expectations and building strong business relationships as a result.

But I can’t help being slightly fascinated by the idea of cycle time in Lean software development. This is the idea that a team’s cycle time represents the average number of cards – or User Stories – a team can deliver in a fixed period of time (iteration). To work best, user stories would ideally be broken down until they are all a similar size. Although not necessarily, as what’s important with cycle time is the average number of user stories that can be delivered in a Sprint. When you think about it statistically, the concept is actually very similar to Velocity.

What if a team could achieve the same level of reliability and predictability, without the need for any detailed estimating and planning? There would certainly be an increase in the team’s productivity, due to the time saved on Sprint Planning.

My sense is that doing Lean – and using cycle time to predict when things can be delivered – may well be appropriate for business as usual. Ongoing development is, by nature, more routine. And therefore the team is more likely to get into a more predictable rhythm. But for bigger projects, where costs need to be estimated in order to secure funding, and the project team is not yet established, I’m not sure if cycle time would be predictable enough?

Kelly.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

In The Zone with Marcin Zasepa

Welcome to the second in our new series, ‘in the zone’, a collection of conversations with CTO’s within the CTO Zone community. Each week we’ll be discussing the latest trends, insights gained from there experiences, and future predictions for their industry. This week we’d like to welcome Marcin Zasepa, CTO at Homegate AG in Switzerland. Every episode will be approximately 30 minutes

Read More »

In The Zone with Sasha Bilton

Welcome to the first in our new series, ‘in the zone’, a collection of conversations with CTO’s within the CTO Zone community. Each week we’ll be discussing the latest trends, insights gained from there experiences, and future predictions for their industry. This week we’d like to welcome Sasha Bilton. Every episode will be approximately 30 minutes long, and we aim

Read More »

Case Study: DAZN Data Engineering

Find out how 101 Ways helped DAZN improve their existing data warehouse as well as planning and setting the foundations of the new cloud-based data platform. Click here to download the full case study. Get in touch with a member of the 101 Ways team if you would like to discuss ways in which we can help you and your company

Read More »

Search the Blog

Agile Management Made Easy!

All About Agile

By Kelly Waters

“’Agile’ is one of the biggest buzzwords of the last decade. Agile methods often come across as rather more complicated than they really are. This book is an attempt to unravel that complexity. To simplify the concepts. This book breaks the concepts into small bite-sized pieces that are easy to understand and easy to implement and delivers the message in a friendly and conversational style. Allaboutagile.com is one of the most popular blogs about agile on the web. ”

Kelly Waters

Agile 101 is available to purchase. GAME ON!

Agile 101

Emma Hopkinson-Spark

“Whilst there are lots of ways you can vary the game depending on the teams you have and the learning outcomes you want, the basic flow of the game play is common to all.”
Emma Hopkinson-Spark

Why did we make the game?

How to play the game?

London

101 Ways Limited
41 Corsham Street
London
N1 6DR
United Kingdom

Manchester

101 Ways Limited
No.1 Spinningfields
Quay Street
Manchester
M3 3JE
United Kingdom

Amsterdam

101 Ways BV
Weesperstraat 61-105
1018 VN Amsterdam
Netherlands

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch with one of the team at 101 Ways, then please fill out the form below or email us at contact-us@101ways.com.