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Kanban, Scrum? Ready for any Change at all?

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Our summary and key takeaways

Why go for Kanban?

Without going into deeper analysis, it would seem that as far as making the transition towards Agile easy, choosing Kanban fits the bill. It is very often the first choice - over Scrum - for development or manufacturing teams. That's because it needs fairly little adjustment and allows people to stay within their previous roles. All that is required from the team is to make their process steps transparent to everyone, stick to a once set WIP limit and to the queue of tasks, as based on the pull method. In Michael's experience though, it's not always as straightforward as it may seem.

What are the common problems along the way?

The most common issue in stopping an easy Kanban implementation from taking place is the fact, that it's rarely the people who are meant to be applying the change the ones who propose it. So you'd have a bunch of management officers, trying to overlook and execute Kanban application among developers or manufacture employees, and this is most of the time ineffective. There is also the issue of unrealistic expectations from the marketing side of the project towards how quickly the developers can work. This is very often distorted already, even without the addition of a new cooperation system requirements.

How to avoid them?

The common result of this kind of approach is a decrease in quality, morale and overall brand and company failure. In Michael's opinion, the one important thing to take from this is learning to either respect the way in which the product development team works (and allow them to do Kanban, Scrum or anything else they want) and let the process grow and be perfected, or simply not to bother with any productivity increasing methods at all, since they will bring no result until the relationship between developers and managers is working correctly.

How to make the change?

What is being suggested here, is a kind of a test before you even start to think of Kanban or Scrum. You first need to learn about the different cultures in your sales and development departments, find out if there is enough people within the company who are willing to make this transition, and also please take into account whether you're really prepared to learn the truth about your company. Only then are you in a position to successfully apply a change.

Read our article on the reasons behind implementing Kanban »