Kanban Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
In Kanban -
Can you have sprints?
You can easily overlay your sprint cadence with Kanban principles and apply them accordingly. Many teams start with Scrum and move to a sprintless approach, especially when they truly understand how limiting WIP and focusing on flow can help them deliver more with improved quality. You must always start with what you do now and evolve your working practices based upon the challenges or opportunities you face. Don’t simply jump from Scrum to Kanban without truly understanding what problems you’re trying to solve.
Should we still estimate our velocity?
Kanban teams measure their lead time by collecting data. This doesn’t mean you can’t still estimate your velocity over a period of time but what you’ll find is understanding lead time distribution charts is much more reliable than estimating velocity.
Do we still publish iteration goals?
Yes. Having any kind of goal that a team is working towards is a fundamental requirement for successful delivery. Kanban doesn’t prevent teams from taking an iterative approach to delivery but don’t necessarily require a team to operate using Iterations / Sprints.
Do we still use a product or sprint backlog?
Kanban represents your system of work. Where Scrum teams refer to the backlog, Kanban teams refer to this as upstream Kanban. It’s very common for Kanban teams to have represent demand in a backlog column on a physical kanban board.
Does the Product Owner role exist?
For teams evolving away from pure Scrum then it’s very common for the product owner role to exist. Some teams decide to continue with the job title whilst others rename it. The closest mapping from Scrum roles to Kanban roles for the Product Owner is the Service Request Manager (SRM).
Does the Scrum Master role exist?
For teams evolving away from pure Scrum then it’s very common for the Scrum Master role to exist. Some teams decide to continue with the job title whilst others rename it. The closest mapping from Scrum roles to Kanban roles for the Scrum Master is the Service Delivery Manager (SDM).
About Ian Carroll
Ian is a consultant, coach, trainer and speaker on all topics related to Lean, Kanban and Agile software development.
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