Kanban vs Scrum product development with Lean

I would like to express my support for your decision to include Kanban or Scrum because both tools are very useful, but at the same time, they give you a lot of freedom of action.

Keep in mind that they are tools that will help you in your work and I would recommend you to use both according to the specific moment. If I could borrow an example I read – “which tool is better, the fork or the knife? If you eat meatballs, the fork is better, but for a steak, the knife is better. If you eat rice, some people prefer chopsticks… ”That’s why you need Kanban or Scrum at a time, depending on your needs.

In both methods, you have a board to work with and on which to have your tasks, and the tasks are placed there through maps. You can use different colors to make it even clearer and clearer – for example, the red ones are urgent, the yellow ones are the ones for which the deadline is approaching. I suggest you start with simpler tables with three columns – Tasks to do on the left, tasks that are currently being done (in the middle), and completed tasks (or approval tasks according to their nature).

You decide how to say the columns and how many to be, but it’s good to start small and see how good it is for you. With Kanban, you have a limit on the number of tasks in each column, while Scrum does not limit you in this, but limits you in time – through sprints. This is the classic Agile approach. Reference: “Waterfall vs V-Model vs Scrum vs Kanban“,

Therefore, I suggest you start with a board with three columns and each column should have a constraint as follows: left column (tasks to do) – 5, middle column (what you are currently doing) – from 1 to 4, right column, or ready tasks – from 1 to 4 according to the size of the team. If the team consists of two – 1 task if it is of four – 2 tasks, etc.

Starting this way, you will see if the number of tasks in a column is many or few and if there is a need for adjustment.

Keep in mind that it is up to you and your need to decide what is best for you. The product owner can put the tasks in the first column and make changes there, but not in the other columns.

Here the difference between Kanban and Scrum is that with Kanban you can make a change in the middle and right column immediately according to the urgency of the task, while with Scrum you have to wait for the next sprint.

Get started and see in a week whether this table and number of tasks are best for you, or whether you need to increase or decrease the number of tasks, or perhaps remove the restrictions altogether.

If I have to summarize the pros and cons of using them – then I see only pros because using these tools will save time, systematize your work and everything will lead to greater efficiency, which will save you time and effort.

It is important to constantly ask if there is a need for new columns if there is a need to increase the number of tasks in each column:
Too low limits → people out of work → poor productivity
Too high a limit → tasks that stand idle → bad execution time.
This is the beginning and direction, and we will explain the other similarities and differences in a working meeting.

In a personal meeting, I would like to explain to you about Kanban and Scrum, and now I am attaching my letter to my colleagues, which will still give you information about what it is about.

My recommendation to you is to provide one board to each team in the first place, as well as ask for information each week on how they are doing and whether they can adjust their work (such as the number of tasks in each column, for example). You can also consider investing in Kanban and Scrum software.

Teams need to have self-control and self-organization – let external interference be avoided. It would be good to attend the workshop when we will clarify the similarities and especially the differences between Kanban and Scrum, but if you have any questions – please ask them.

Lean as a way of thinking in the organization

To be able to apply Lean as a way of thinking, the managers of the organization must first be familiar with Lean. Reference: “Strategy for Lean Thinking and Learning in Organizations“,

If they successfully perceive and decide to apply Lean as an attitude, they should get directly acquainted with the work of their employees. To look at the environment (environment) in which you work and to spend enough time with your subordinates to get an idea in the various departments of how to work. To eliminate all unnecessary actions, managers need to focus on the ultimate goal, how the work process has gone so far, and how the customer can be more satisfied.

The happiness/satisfaction of the customer from the product must be at the forefront as a priority of the organization. Any defect or potential observed should be thoroughly considered, remedied, and considered in the direction of how such situations could be avoided in the future. Understanding and improving the process can certainly stop many practices that are of no value to either the client or the company.

To be at the forefront, quality is of the utmost importance to reduce quantitatively oriented production. To consider, plan and act on what the client is looking for now, not to cover future and potential needs. If there is a desire to improve the work process, a positive attitude, and structured and organized events among employees, Lean will be successful and the organization will be successful.

If we assume that the product has a good foundation, then it will have room for development and upgrading. It is necessary to seek feedback from customers, because in this way, in addition to feeling important and important to the company (as of course), you get feedback, a free survey of the most important for the organization – customers.

A possible problem would be unrealistic deadlines for the implementation of a project without a quality preliminary inspection by a person/people directly familiar with the way of working. The reluctance of employees or managers to improve the work process by developing the way of thinking and acting, as well as lack of motivation and communication would be major obstacles leading to the deterioration of the service provided, delays, and the emergence of new defects.

By Robert Brown

Robert Brown is a longtime manager of a technology organization and author of a management book. In his spare time, Mr. Brown helps students get a better education by helping to publish free study materials.

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