I have to a admit: I am an agile coach, started with scrum and got certified in 2008. I focused using scrum and it mostly worked: scrum isn’t the solution but it helps deliver products better than waterfall. I sold scrum and used scrum.

I was doubtful about kanban: not having enough information on how to use kanban instead of scrum in project development. I did use kanban for IT support only.

I had also heard of Product Flow Development.

Last year, for a customer, I thought kanban would be more suitable than scrum as customer requests came coming in and it was hard to plan sprints. To do so, I decided to see what was there in terms of kanban and watched the video of Eric Brechner, Kanban for Project Management: Kanban from Project Management

As I was watching the video, I almost stopped half-way through… Almost but kept watching it to the end where he explains how planning and estimating is done with kanban: I bought his book straight away.

Basically, he is doing proper project management using Kanban… not scrum.

So we implemented kanban with our customers picking up ideas from his book.

Here is my conclusion:

  • From the first week using kanban, we started seeing real issues and ways to improve
  • After a month, it was clear kanban does work effeciently
  • We faced little resistance from the team
  • It was easy to get the customer involved
  • Playing with WIP limits (Work In Progess limits), it was easy to improve efficiency of the team, reducing waste and increasing outputs and quality
  • Culture of continuous improvement was easy to sustain
  • We had weekly retrospectives with the customers
  • Other teams started using kanban with very similar results, just a bit of coaching was required
  • Coaches had to read the book from Eric Brechner and their understanding of kanban was very good. They came up with good ideas.
  • Even some team members read the book
  • We used an electronic board making governance of the project easy

So, whether this is called scrumban, lean kanban management, kanban for project management, kanban with some of the scrum ceremonies works very well, and from my little experience, better than scrum!

Here is a summary of what I have collected: