How Does Kanban Work For Software Development?

Published on July 30, 2021
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Choosing the right path during the development process has always been a challenge for even giant firms. Even with so many options and experts discussing the drawbacks and advantages, coming to a commonly agreed path for the development process can be challenging. Various obstructions might disturb you during this process. But since the outcomes of every product and service solely depend on the development methodology, you can’t ignore it.

Kanban methodology indeed proves to be a magic wand for development processes. But have you ever thought about using the Kanban methodology for software development?

One of the first things you will encounter while scouring Kanban methodology is that it is highly versatile. Instead of being limited to only product-based manufacturing industries, the Kanban methodology can be used in different industry domains, including the software industry.

You might have started thinking about how a workflow management process related to traditional manufacturing and inventory management processes can work like a magic wand for software development. Stick with us to find out, as we will let you know the ropes through this blog post.

But before exploring the implementation of Kanban software for software development, let’s get our basics about Kanban cleared.

What is Kanban?

Imagine a situation where the number of cards produced every month is already decided. This leads to overproduction and over-processing as the sales keep on fluctuating. Now, imagine another situation where every sale and purchase information is sent to the head office of Toyota. From the head office, this information is passed to the manufacturing plant, and then the production of the car chosen by the customer begins.

You can see that in the second case, the production is beginning only after the actual sales, which means that the just-in-time principle is being used in the second scenario. This is what Kanban is all about.

The case of software development

Kanban helps companies to be reactive towards the customer’s needs instead of working on forecasting. However, it is now necessary to relate to this world of software development.

Now, instead of cars, take the example of developing bugs and tasks. A tester gets a long list of verification. When the QA runs out of the tasks related to verification, a notification must be sent to the developer for assigning new verification tasks. And if the programmers will not have enough time to deal with new tasks, the tester will remain idle.

This is where the Kanban system can be helpful as it neither allows overstuffing of tasks nor promotes idle situations in the project. So, by using Kanban methodology in the software development process, the entire team can stay productive and have the correct number of tasks in hand at a given time.

Top reasons to use Kanban board for software development

Identifying bottlenecks

There are different types of bottlenecks in software development as a big queue of tasks in the QA team does not go through all of the functions. The QA team might not check on the increasing time of delay, and programmers forget to check after the tester sends tasks for revision.

All these bottlenecks can be identified with the help of Kanban software methodology. You can identify bottlenecks on the board when the lines start forming, and thus you can eliminate all the bottlenecks even before they start harming your productivity.

Focus on work

During software development, it is prevalent for developers to focus on more than one task simultaneously. They might keep switching from one task to another, and the wastage of time in switching costs a lot to the firm. You will be surprised to know that it takes around 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted.

But with the WIP limit capabilities of Kanban software, developers can focus on a single task instead of switching from one task to another. In the WIP limit, there is always a limit to the number of tasks a team member can work on at a given time.

Panoramic view

Before using Kanban software, you must add notes and use text to show what’s done, what’s pending, and what needs to be completed in the software development process. Thanks to the Kanban board, you are no more limited to texts for tracking the progress of the software development process.

The Kanban board gives you a panoramic view of who is currently busy, who is working on which task, what is in the queue, which task is taking more time, who is sitting idle, and when a specific item will be done.

Since Kanban methodology is highly versatile, it can fit like a glove in the development process of software solutions. You have to customize the Kanban software according to your specific needs and consider the software as the project’s final product.

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