Main principles of Kanban Task
Everyone who is interested in Kanban software development methodology wants to know what Kanban task is. This is quite a simple issue. Nevertheless, it has a lot of various aspects that should be mentioned in this article. It is impossible to understand the nature of Kanban tasks without giving the general definition for this methodology.
Today Kanban is extremely popular in software development, but few people know that initially it was invented for other industry. Kanban originated in Japan in 1940s. At that time the famous Japanese corporation Toyota had big problems with delivery of its production. The managers of the company began to search solutions for this problem. As a result – they invented a new project management system called Kanban. It is based on three main principles that allow the enterprises to manufacture high quality production and deliver it to the customer just in time.
The main principle of Kanban is the principle of customer demand consideration. It allows companies that use Kanban to avoid unnecessary production. If the specialists of the enterprise learn the customers’ demands before running new tasks, they succeed.
The second principle of Kanban is focused on WIP limitation. It allows the enterprises that use Kanban to provide high quality and timely delivery of their production. If the company performs too many tasks at the same time, it may affect the quality of its production negatively.
Visualization of workflow is the third Kanban principle. It is aimed at showing the progress of work and analyzing it. It also helps the managers forecast the results of their work.
Now let’s find the definition for Kanban task and describe its nature.
In software development Kanban tasks are user stories gathered by the Product Owner and prioritized in the product backlog. Unlike other Agile methodologies of software development Kanban does not subdivide tasks into groups according to their prioritization. Kanban developers are focused not on segments of work, but on certain tasks. As the task is formulated, it is placed in the first column of the Kanban task board. In software development it is usually called “to do”. The work on the task begins when it is placed in the second column of the Kanban board. As we have already mentioned, Kanban methodology is based on the principle of WIP limitation. It means that Kanban teams do not perform too many tasks at the same time. In software development projects the average amount of tasks that are placed on the Kanban board is about two or three items. That is because of the fact that Kanban teams are usually quite small, so it is hard for them to perform more tasks at the same time.
As we can see, Kanban task management is a simple process. Any team member can perform the role of a Kanban task manager depending on the stage of the project. Kanban methodology of software development has the toolss to manage all tasks successfully. It is the Kanban board. As we have already mentioned, this simple device allows the team to visualize its workflow, analyze it, and make some corrections in it if it is necessary.