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Kanban is an effective technique or tool that is considered very effective in software development. It is a systematic approach to determine opportunities for boosting efficiency.


In some instances, finding ways to boost the efficiency of the software development team could seem inefficient. When it comes to determining opportunities, the busy members of the team are among those who could provide the most insight. Nevertheless, pulling them off task and getting their input may be impossible. After all, while the team is brainstorming, who would get the work done?


To overcome the issues of having a lot of work without enough work as well as not enough time to take a step back, a lot of software development teams discovered that Kanban is a great starting point. The Kanban technique for software development is a systematic approach in determining opportunities for enhancing efficiency. Moreover, Kanban is a practice, thus teams could leverage the principles in their daily work rather than halting what they are doing to concentrate on new enhancement initiative. A software development team that practices Kanban could use the methodologies that are proven to inventing and implementing their unique solutions.


The Kanban methodology originated in Lean manufacturing and rose in popularity rapidly as knowledge workers embraced it to lower cost and keep up with the ever-growing customer demands. Now, there are thousands of organizations in all kinds of industries that use the continuous improvement method of Kanban. Because of its agile development affiliation, Kanban has become a popular tool for development teams. It is different from other methods like XP, Scrum or the Waterfall approach in that it doesn’t utilize time-boxed iterations. A time-boxed iteration is a set period of time wherein a project phase should be completed. Rather, the system relies on continuous products delivery geared towards meeting customer expectations.


  •  Flexibility
  • Minimized waste in work/time
  • Focus on continuous delivery
  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased productivity
  • Ability to focus on the members of the team

Kanban is flexible, without prescribed phase durations. Furthermore, priorities are reassessed regularly, based on the most recent information. Another benefit of using it is the focus on continuous delivery. Through the delivery of small portions of a project to a customer continuously, development teams have multiple chances of synchronizing future iterations with the updated requirements. This way, teams could be certain that they delivery exactly what the client wants. Continuous improvement and iterative cycles are techniques which offer maximum value to a customer. On the other hand, time-boxed approaches that entail waiting until the project’s end for customers to request changes or feedback could open doors to higher costs.  A common case could be found in teams that use a time-boxed approach.  After waiting for weeks or even months, the customer discovers the deliverable to be lacking in some ways.
For a software team, this means having to go backward and undoing or even throwing away a week’s worth of work. For customers, this could mean more expenses and a bitter aftertaste, which leave them little appetite to take on another project soon.

Another benefit of the technique revolves around efficiency and productivity, two concepts which also tie back to the waste reduction. The Kanban system concentrates on waste reduction in all its forms, such as unnecessary motion, over-production and processing, waiting and the defects. When it comes to software development and project management, wasted could be considered as work that’s incorrect and work that’s not needed. When waste is eliminated, a workflow or project, productivity will go up, and people could focus more on the work that matters. Furthermore, efficiency is enhanced in the way that people manage time and the way they do work. Finally, when work is re-prioritized appropriately as needed and communicated visually with the system, a person need not question what one should work on next. Rather, the member of the team pulls the next Kanban card from the top of the queue with no need to spend any time contemplating which task to pull next. The Kanban team is focused only on the work that is actively in progress. As soon as the team accomplishes a work item, they pluck the next work off the top of the backlog.

With Kanban, if a customer’s expectations are not met, a team has numerous opportunities to provide direction for course corrections in iterations. The technique is based on iterative work, or work that’s accomplished in small segments so as to minimize the amount of re-work in case any changes happen. For this reason, customers of the team that practice the technique could give honest feedback as well as request changes on a certain iteration while preserving the timeline, keeping the budget in check as well.

The Kanban software development technique is a systematic approach for boosting efficiency. Kanban is a practice, so teams may leverage the principles in their daily work.