Kanban: The Follow-up
About 4 months ago we started using Kanban as a project management system for our team of system-engineers.
Although skeptical at first, everyone adopted the new system and soon we where working at cruising speed using our Kanban board.
In those 4 months a lot has changed…
What we started with
This was the board we started with:
While working with it we came across several problems:
- WIP-limit was not implemented clearly enough and did not work as intended.
- “Repeat” column was never checked and useless since nobody bothered to complete or update it.
- “P” for pending and “D” for doing where not the right word choices.
- Identifying projects of the same group with an asterisk and a number was not clear enough.
- “On Hold” gave the impression we only had to wait, while most of the time a more active approach was required.
In the past few months there where a few external changes as well.
Our team of programmers started using SCRUM. As a result we could only escalate the bigger bugs to them though the daily stand-ups. So there was a need for a sort of stand-up-queue to take problems to the programmers stand-up.
What we got now
After some analysis (and a lot of discussion) our Kanban board transformed to this:
What we removed:
- “P” and “D” columns got replaced with “ToDo” and “WIP”
- “WIP” in backlog got replaced by “Story”
- “Repeat” column got replaced by “Transfer”
What we added:
- Emergency WIP-limit: The +1 in “[X+1]” lets you drag a priority project through the process without violating the WIP-limits
- “Transfer” column: Projects or problems that need to be escalated to the programmers team.
- “Follow-UP” swimming lane: The swimming lane where projects go that are on hold but need to be checked-up on from time to time.
A Kanban board is a tool that evolves with your team.
Be sure to reevaluate your board at regular intervals. Your board needs to work for YOUR team.