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Are there some tools buit for Kanban process?

Qunfeng Wang
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 433
I read from the introduction that Kanban is a next generation Agile process. There are some tools available to work with Agile process. For example, the Rational Team Concert, it has the Scrum planing system, and built tools for continuous integration. Are there some tools available for Kanban?


To be or not to be. It's a question.
Marcus Hammarberg
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Joined: Aug 07, 2013
Posts: 41
    
    5

Hello,

there are loads of electronic tools, whereof many are online.

Before I list them: just a few words of ... warning or pros and cons of electronic or physical board:
There’s a lot of debate in teams all over the world about whether a physical or electronic board should be used. Since there’s no one right answer for all, you can only weigh the pros and cons against each other and decide for yourselves.
Pros with an electronic board:
• Universally accessible, and hence a great help for teams that not are co-located
• No loss of data, whereas a physical board can drop stickies on the floor
• Automatic calculation of metrics
• Can store information and discussions about the item
Pros with a physical board:
• Generally bigger
• Draws people from their desks and becomes a natural place to gather
• Generally easier to set up—just need a whiteboard or a wall
• Easier to change and adjust to your particular needs
The reason we talk more about physical boards is that they are generally easy to get started with and to change in those early phases. But again, you decide for your team!

Right - now some of the tools that we've come across or used (these are also listed in Appendix B of Kanban In Action):
- Agile Zen: http://www.agilezen.com/
- Lean Kit Kanban: http://leankit.com/
- Trello: http://trello.com
- Kanban Flow: https://kanbanflow.com/
- Kanbanize: http://kanbanize.com/

There's also some tools that runs on top of other tools:
- Greenhopper for Jira: http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/overview/kanban
- Kanban for Team Foundation Server (TFS): http://tfs.visualstudio.com/en-us/learn/view-your-kanban-board.aspx
- Huboard for GitHub: http://huboard.com/

And there's probably a lot of others as well.
Hope this helps you.

My main tip: start physical when possible, and then, when you feel that your board starts to feel stable, go electronic if needed.


Hope this helps
/Marcus
http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
Marcus,
Would you consider the fact that you can run out of space on a physical board a pro or a con? I can see a little of both, but you've got way more experience and I'm interested in your opinion.

Thanks!
Burk


SCJP, SCJD, SCEA 5 "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
Marcus Hammarberg
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Joined: Aug 07, 2013
Posts: 41
    
    5

Haha - great question.

The first thing that pops into my head is: wow you have so many items going on at once that you actually run out of space? Well that's something worth investigating.

I cannot solve that for you but I would start asking questions, like these:
- are all those items in progress?
-- how long lead time does that give us for each?
--What if we simple start doing fewer at the same time?
- is there a bigger board around? Or are our stickies too big?
- are we in reality two (or more) teams working on the same board?
-- maybe we could split the board into two?

Your on the right track: there's both a pro and and con. But at the very least you should start asking question around it. Have you tried Root Cause analysis? See chapter 10 (section 10.2 Root Cause analysis) in the book or this excellent article: http://www.crisp.se/file-uploads/cause-effect-diagrams.pdf.
I think that question "We run out of space on our whiteboard" is an excellent question to analyze in that way. You'll be amazed with what you come up with.
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
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    3
Great questions.

I should say though that, I was mostly suggesting that if a team ran out of space on a physical board then they'd know there's a problem, while an electronic board would likely just expand so they wouldn't necessarily see it.

I did run out of space once, but it was on a personal board I'd made for use in a notebook, so it wasn't very big to begin with, and the post-its were a bit larger than necessary.

Burk.
B. Katz
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Joined: Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 51

Burk Hufnagel wrote:I did run out of space once, but it was on a personal board I'd made for use in a notebook, so it wasn't very big to begin with, and the post-its were a bit larger than necessary.


Hehe... which leads to another pro-con situation, right?
Using the 3"x3" post-its take up far more room than you generally need them to, but with the 2"x1.5" post-its, you run the risk of not being able to read what you wrote! hehe

And, thank you, Marcus for the pdf link above. I will use it the next time I try to discuss maintaining a proper software development cycle with the boss.
(It would be nice to actually have a project with specs and delivery dates instead of the usual "We need this new feature cut into the code... yesterday!" hehe)

Thanks again.


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
-- Galileo Galilei
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
B. Katz wrote:Hehe... which leads to another pro-con situation, right?
Using the 3"x3" post-its take up far more room than you generally need them to, but with the 2"x1.5" post-its, you run the risk of not being able to read what you wrote! hehe

Actually, in the sample chapter of the book, there's a suggestion to use a Sharpie instead of a pen to prevent tiny writing. I think the idea is to put just enough down to remind people what the actual task is.

The fun part is that it's not uncommon to have space set aside on the card for other information so there's even less room for a description than you thought. Google 'kanban card' and look at the images - some of them are really complex. Wow - just thought of a question to ask Marcus.

Thanks!
Burk
 
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