Agile Software Development (Kanban) (iii)

6 Mar

In this post I will focus on the common myths and misconceptions associated with the kanban method. I will state these misconceptions and explain why they are false.

 The most common misconception of the Kanban Method: It’s just Scrum with tweaks. The Kanban Method  is not just Scrum with tweaks, though it might look like that to some, in particular to a casual observer. Take a close look at your current workflow process. Does it seem the easy and early improvements have been made and you feel you’ve now  plateaued some lately? Is it possible you’ve only simulated or copied what others have done but not figured out how to tweak it appropriately for your own context to get similar improvements that you see in their context? Did you only look closely at their solutions but not dig into the “tools” and the discovery process they used in getting to the tweak they made to their workflow process, be it Scrum or something else? If so, maybe it is time to take another look at the Kanban Method with a new perspective.

Other common myths associated with the kanban method:

  • Myth: With Kanban you don’t use iterations
  • Fact: With Kanban iterations are optional. Do it only if you have a need for it in your context.
  • Myth: With Kanban you don’t estimate
  • Fact: With Kanban estimation is optional. Do it only if you have a need for it in your context.
  • Myth: Kanban is better than Scrum/XP/RUP/whatever
  • Fact: Kanban is just a process tool, and there is no such thing as a universally good or bad tool. It all depends on your context. See this article for more info.
  • Myth: Kanban is a drop-in replacement to Scrum/XP/RUP/whatever
  • Fact: Kanban is just about managing workflow. It hardly replaces anything. What it does do, however, is drive change. In Kanban you start with whatever process you have, visualize it, introduce WIP limits, and then evolve from there.


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