Why use Kanban?
In this video I ask Josh Nankivel from pmStudent.com why he has chosen to use Kanban for managing the tasks for his project team. A transcript of this video is below.
Elizabeth Harrin: Hello! My name is Elizabeth Harrin from the blog “A Girl’s Guide to Project Management” and I’m here today with a fellow blogger from PM Student, Josh Nankivel. Hello!
Josh Nankivel: Hello!
Elizabeth Harrin: How are you?
Josh Nankivel: Good.
Elizabeth Harrin: Good.
Josh Nankivel: Good to be here.
Elizabeth Harrin: Well I would like to talk to you about Scrum because I understand that you used to use Scrum and now you’ve moved to Kanban.
Josh Nankivel: Yes.
Elizabeth Harrin: Tell me a bit about why you decided to do that?
Josh Nankivel: Well, when we initially started using Scrum and I have to say for the
Elizabeth Harrin: Oh right.
Josh Nankivel: Every 2 weeks, we would do a sprint planning session to figure out what we’re going to do in the next 2 weeks, then we would lock it down, we would execute on that, we would do a retrospective and all that type of thing. I think the timeboxing became a little bit too structured.
Elizabeth Harrin: Oh, right!
Josh Nankivel: So
Elizabeth Harrin: Okay!
Josh Nankivel: So what Kanban allows for is more of a, it’s a pull system where you’re just pulling tasks along and as you get things done and you make sure that you’re never working on more than one thing at a time so there’s that focus aspect and it just allows us to do things on the fly. We have releases defined but our releases are pretty large. I work in the aerospace industry. So our releases are anywhere from 6 to 9-month timeframe.
Elizabeth Harrin: Okay, right.
Josh Nankivel: And so when I was using Scrum, it was essentially a bunch of 2?week sprints that made up little pseudo-releases…
Elizabeth Harrin: Right!
Josh Nankivel: …But the real release was in 6 to 9-months’ time. We weren’t really doing it anyway the way that you would in a normal Scrum environment where you’re actually doing a release of the software, putting it out there in front of users every 2 weeks or whatever it is. So you know Kanban was a perfect fit. So yeah!
Elizabeth Harrin: That’s great! Alright, thanks very much!
Josh Nankivel: Thank you!
Is it also known ‘here’ that with Kanban you can ditch estimation and instead set up SLA’s for delivery?
Kanban is great because it provides visual feedback. Whiteboards+ postits are a normal picture in our office. But with distributed teams we started to look into online solution… Check smartQ – (a href=”http://www.getsmartQ.com”>www.getsmartQ.com.
As the site smartly puts it “the cleaning lady will not be able to get to it”. Funny, but we had problems like hat before (people cleaning the board).
Erica, I’d never considered the issue of someone cleaning off the white board! We write ‘please leave’ on ours, but that’s not a foolproof strategy.
This does happen a lot.. even with digital kanban boards. We’re using https://kanbantool.com and first we had to contact support to restore an old version of our board, because someone had “deleted all”. This helped, but we then got smarted and – unless necessary – we do not allow regular users to be able to delete tasks, they just have a custom access – edit, create, move but not delete. Works a treat.
Hi Mathias. Thanks for commenting and sharing your experiences – it always makes it more relevant to hear what other people are doing.