Organizations that want to develop projects (mostly products and software) quicker, more assertive and without a loss of time, opt for agile methodologies like Agile Scrum and Kanban.
- To value individuals and the interaction between them, rather than processes and tools.
- To value operating software, rather than comprehensive documentation.
- To value collaboration with clients, rather than the negotiation of contracts
- To assess responses to change, rather than following a plan
But be aware: Agile methodologies (Agile Scrum and Kanban or others) have certain values, but that does not mean you ignore processes, documentation, contracts and planning.
All these things continue to exist, but have a lesser weight in the rolling out of the process flow.
See below for more details on each of these concepts: Agile Scrum and Kanban.
Understanding Agile Scrum and Kanban
Agile concepts are designed to simplify product and software development processes, but can also be used in other team projects.
The objective is to achieve goals through continuous and easy-to-measure processes, integrating participants and tools in a collaborative way, always remembering the needs of the end customer and exchanging feedback, so that everyone’s walking to the same rhythm.
In this context, Agile uses Scrum and Kanban as preferred frameworks, let’s get to know them a little better.
Agile and Scrum
Scrum and Agile are often confused, but shouldn’t be:
Scrum is a framework tested and consolidated by the market to structure Agile development teams. But it’s not the only one.
Its key features are:
- Setting up multidisciplinary teams
- Working as a team
- Defining the ‘owner of the product’: the guardian of the interests of the end user
- Creating a list of tasks that must be fulfilled (backlog)
- Determining a ‘Scrum Master’
- Adopting a regular and daily feedback routine
- Organizing ‘sprints’ of work, with a determined time to finish
The daily meetings are called ‘Daily Stand-ups’ and at the end of each sprint, a retrospective meeting is held to analyze and discuss everything that has been done and save what was learned for future projects.
Agile and Kanban
With a much older history, which goes back to the management techniques of the Japanese industries of the 1960s, Kanban began as a technique for managing queues in inventory control, developed by Toyota.
By adding a ‘task inventory’ analogy to this idea, Kanban was also seen as a way to organize Agile projects, through small incremental improvements in performance or functionalities.
Based on visual control, it uses a Kanban table, which should consist of between 3 to 6 columns (depending on the complexity of the process), from right to left, where your tasks should go.
Here’s a complete example of column names in a Kanban table:
Some tables are simpler, with only 3 columns:
- In progress
Each task is annotated on a card, which goes from column to column until it is considered as done.
Cards may have different colors, which indicate areas, teams, or job categories as the team decides.
Thus, everyone knows at what stage each task is in and whether any of them are blocking the process.
Agile Scrum and Kanban, are these concepts now clearer for you?
The important thing is to understand that, regardless of your workflow, there will be a more appropriate way to employ these methodologies or others more applicable to your business.
Check out this example of strategic planning: How to organize a small business using the Canvas Model