Kanban For Product Development – Success Or Failure?
Project teams which use Kanban style boards to speed up innovation and improve their development process very often realize that they have made an error.
Product teams start using Kanban with a clear goal – they need to get software delivered and keep product and engineering moving ahead. Teams need a lot of tools to help them visualize work assignments among the team members, and keep teams aligned on building what matters. This is important in every project today.
Problems with Kanban
You should accept Kanban as your development software, only if you have similar or almost the same reasons. But there is a critical issue missing that could cause problems later if you don’t stop and resolve it now.
All great products start with answering the “why” while Kanban only answers the “how”. If you are not sure where your product is going, it will be difficult to fulfill your objectives.
To improve your product drastically, you should change your daily duties to strategic goals of a higher level. In other words, you can easily turn yourself to nowhere by working with wrong directions.
There are 4 aspects where Kanban alone can fail:
Kanban panel will keep the workflow, but it does not grow, as the team grows. It is due to it’s difficulty to keep everyone coordinated and motivated when they are head down worrying about the constant status of each item.
2. The innovation
The best products are made up of excellent features, and features are not only a list of tasks and status updates. Enforcing real innovation is a complex task that involves adaptation, cross-functional coordination, and feature prioritization – all of these aspects are almost impossible with a one-dimensional panel.
Kanban is not a strategic tool, it is tactical, and thus making lists of tasks along with their status will enable you to focus on the low-level items, but fails to help you think about the bigger picture. As a product manager, you should always think strategically and work tactically since you are permanently in a hurry – to move ahead.
To keep employees motivated they need to be able to see a larger perspective. As a product manager, you should be able to show them how their contribution connects to larger goals and initiatives. It will give them a feeling of significance.
When Kanban is used as part of a larger strategic framework, it can give great outcomes; the weakness comes when Kanban is used alone.
That is the reason for you to launch new Kanban panels for teams that are highly connected with the rest of your product management software. It will provide you a way to bring strategy, ideas, releases, and features to life. By introducing Kanban – you will help Agile and Scrum teams to work correctly.
Kanban carefully observes the process through the team every time a new story is started. This has a large implication on the way that managers (masters), product owners and developers work combined. With Kanban, the team can adapt the work (its progress level) dynamically to avoid free or over-worked developers, and that is something that can be monitored by the management.
Kanban is open for scope changes at any time; Scrum limits the communication with the “business” and refers to the product owner while Kanban insists on the active participation of the “business”. Also, Kanban does not have roles, and it is open to team extension at any time.
If your team does not have a product vision and a planning tool to guide your workflow, its productivity will become lower. But if they apply the strategy in Kanban, they’ll get work done and build what matters. That is very important for every product manager.