What is agile?
Agile methodology is a practice that centers around continuous iteration of development and testing by self-organizing and cross-functional teams throughout the Software development life-cycle. Agile is an alternative to the traditional or waterfall model of software development. It is an ideal process for those who want to work with continuous feedback. The primary object of each iteration is to come with a working product. Having understood what is agile, lets now understand how kanban appears in agile methodology.
Kanban in agile methodology
Kanban is a visual workflow management tool that can be used to become more agile. Team working with agile methodology can use kanban softwares to identify the bottlenecks in their current workflow and improve their existing processes.
Kanban in its simplest form is : The visualization of the workflow and limiting the W-I-P.
What we need to understand is that kanban is not a process of its own, but a process improvement method.When agile teams use kanban, it can result in reduction in the lead time and increase productivity.
Agile, Kanban and Scrum methods for project management focus on iterative delivery. Team of developers usually work in a time frame of two to four weeks to deliver a batch of user stories, which are nothing but the features of a product or service. At the end of the timeframe, the features are demonstrated to the customer and the team starts to work on the next batch of user stories.
On the kanban board, we can visualize the flow of work in the timeframe. The process of designing, developing and testing that happens within each sprint or timeframe can be visualized. When there’s capacity or backlog on the Kanban board for more work within the WIP limits, the teams pull the next item to work on.
Kanban vs agile. What’s the difference?
Kanban originated in the 1950s in the world of lean manufacturing. It was developed by Toyota based on the concept of grocery shopping in a supermarket. It seeked to attain something known as “just in time” production. The emergence of kanban into the field of knowledge work, such as software development was championed by David Anderson, and a sizeable community of people who were interested in applying the principles of lean management into software development.
On the other hand, Agile process flow was developed primarily by software developers to define better ways of developing and delivering software. Although Agile is still transforming and adapting, most of the common ideas associated with Agile had begun to solidify much before Kanban came to be recognized. Therefore, including Kanban as part of Agile veils both the concepts to an extent.
Also, at the very core, agile flow is primarily concerned with breaking the entire projects into parts and delivering them at continuous intervals and incorporating changes, whereas kanban seeks to identify bottlenecks through visualization and eliminate wasteful activities that do not add any value.