The Kanban method is known for its famous board, which is becoming increasingly common in general-purpose collaborative tools. This board is a visual and practical way of visualising tasks and progress. But the Kanban method is not limited to its board, which is made up of sections into which tasks can be freely placed.
The table is certainly at the heart of the methodology. At the very least, it contains 3 columns: what needs to be done, what is in progress and what has been completed. Tasks are then moved from one column to another. Kanban also requires clearly defined rules for moving from one column to another. In the case of 3 columns, what, for example, determines when a task has been completed? Does the person in charge consider their work complete? Has it been tested for correct operation? Has the quality of the work been examined? Has it been validated by the customer? etc. At this point, you start to see the advantage of having more columns, and therefore more statuses, or of clearly defining things so that you can move safely from one state to another. Kanban can also impose a maximum capacity per column. Finally, and in line with the agile manifesto, Kanban imposes continuous improvement on the team’s organisation and performance, without clearly defining a framework. Kanban is a permissive methodology which can quickly deviate from agility if the software’s interpretation of the method does not offer features to frame its execution.
It’s an easy method to set up, and an easy one for a collaborative solution publisher to offer. In fact, the Kanban board is everywhere in the collaborative offering. And there are many tools for continuous improvement (capitalisation, conversation, activity flows, etc.). Adopting these easy-to-use tools does not necessarily mean working in an agile way, but they are easy to use and give you the opportunity to get started without any constraints.
The Kanban method is practical for teams to use simply to get organised, without imposing too restrictive a working framework. The method is very flexible, but suffers from its limitations when it comes to speed. To do better, Scrum comes into play…