Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

Jul 7 2009   1:43PM GMT

Overheard – Defining kanban for programmers

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“We in the software community are new to kanban, and it is easy to get a bit too enthusiastic, and unintentionally change the meaning of kanban when we discuss it.”

Henrik Mårtensson, Defining Kanba

Kanban is used by in both lean and agile software development methodologies. Henrik explains that the kanban boards filled with sticky notes used by software developers are work-in-progress (WIP) kanban cards.

Scott Miller says

Each sticker or card represents a task at a small level – design login screen, develop reservation stored procedure, test login (the smaller the task the better). The stickers/cards may also be agile user stories. In addition, there are usually columns for “To Do”, “Active”, “Failed Test”, and “Complete”. There may also be columns for the different teams that are touching the task.

The task is moved along from one column to the next and everyone on the team can see what the status is and what task is due next, without everyone needing a copy of Microsoft Project on their PC’s (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). This also empowers the development team to be a “pull” system. A developer can pull a card from the “To Do” column and work on it. The project manager can see what the status is at any moment.

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