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Kanban: Agile’s Gateway Drug

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Kanban: Agile’s Gateway Drug

· Agile Zone
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Learn more about how DevOps teams must adopt a more agile development process, working in parallel instead of waiting on other teams to finish their components or for resources to become available, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

I’ve always been puzzled why Kanban attracts so much attention in the agile community. At its essence Kanban is workqueue on a wall. Why would any team, delivering within a healthy iterative cadence, switch to a method that does nothing to support a sustainable pace for team members nor provide real delivery planning and predictability to the business?

During a conversation with Rebecca Porterfield, of Solstice Consulting, I realized that I have been looking at Kanban from the wrong perspective. Rebecca has recently rolled out Kanban with a client that had no existing process. The client’s team fell in love with Kanban instantly. It was a welcome relief to the interrupt-driven, everything-is-a-priority world to which the client was accustomed.

This conversation made me realize that Kanban is ideal for teams that have yet to take the agile plunge. Kanban is a quick hit of simple rules that fills a process void. It appeals especially to those who dwell in process-free (or chaotic) environments.

Kanban can be mundane and underpowered for the experienced agilist. It doesn’t provide me with much assistance on my current 30 person, multiple-system, heavy-process-mandated, regulation-driven, do-or-die project.

For the uninitiated, however, Kanban is a grand welcome into the agile community. Many teams (although not all) can invest a little effort in Kanban and reap significant reward. Then the teams get comfortable and even excited about adopting additional agile practices. This makes Kanban the ideal gateway drug to agile.

Discover the warning signs of DevOps Dysfunction and learn how to get back on the right track, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

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Published at DZone with permission of Peter Schuh, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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