Myths about Kanban for Software Development

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1. Start with Scrum, move to Kanban

I’m not sure where this rumour started but we don’t know any Kanban thought leader who has ever advised anyone to start with Scrum and only then move to Kanban. Scrum can be a nice start in some cases of course but some teams might prefer to start with a flow based method from the beginning of their project…and that’s Kanban. Kanban manages small pieces in a chaotic environment extremely well and allows teams to create a work breakdown structure that still keeps the big picture at bay. What’s more? You can start applying it before you even have a team. Scrum and Kanban are two very different methods, both widely applicable, both valuable but neither one can be identified as a truly advisable start to absolutely any project.

2. Kanban is only for Support teams

It may be true that support teams benefit a great deal from applying Kanban to their work, however it is definitely not true that only support teams can do it. Support teams generally deal with similar work items every time and strict deadlines, that’s why a structured board works well for that process. However, Kanban is capable of reflecting every process or flow, not just the linear ones – it depends on the way you’re working. One must recognize that a Kanban board doesn’t dictate how your team should break down your work. Instead, it reflects your optimal process and can be as flexible and varied as your project demands. Not every task will be in the format of a support ticket, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be in order to follow a similar flow on a Kanban board.

3. There is no planning and estimation in Kanban

Perhaps the root of this misconception is the belief that according to Kanban, estimates and planning would actually be considered waste because they don’t bring direct value, they only aim to predict how value will be created later on in the project. Although there is a grain of truth in that, there is a form of waste accepted in the lean world, referred to as necessary waste. Planning often falls into that category. No company out there does Kanban without some sort of planning and there are no exceptions to this at all. Forecasting might be inaccurate for a long time, but even with Kanban, teams will still want to have a sense of the goal. However, despite the fact that every business requires planning, Kanban advises not to spend an excessive amount of time on it.

Did we manage to debunk these three myths? Let us know in the comments below if you thought of any other myths we could add to the article.

Happy Kanbanizing!

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