Kanban for Software Development Teams

Learn how to implement kanban principles and practices to improve software development process.
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  • Lectures 51
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

With growing volatility in business environment, software development process has to be responsive enough to ensure that it enables the business agility rather than becoming a bottle neck. The fast adaption of agile based processes shows that software development groups are responding to the need of business. Most of the recent surveys show growing adaption of Kanban processes and in this program you will learn how to apply Kanban for solving your software development problems.

This program not only introduces the kanban and lean software development development but provide detailed insight to implement kanban practices for improving your development process. This program gets into the details of kanban principles and see how they can be applied to software development process. The program provide implementable tips for planning and monitoring software development work using kanban.

This program is approved for 4 Category A PDUs from PMI and 4 Category B SEUs from Scrum Alliance.

Happy Learning!

To access the additional material on Project Management and agile like chapter study guides, additional chapter test, simulated test, Podcast, PMP exam tips, please visit iZenBridge homepage.

What are the requirements?

  • Experience of working in Project environment

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Implement Kanban Practices in software development projects
  • Using Information radiators in Projects
  • Improving flow of development work
  • Implement pull based work management system
  • Identify and Implement Work in Process Limits Manage flow of work
  • Spot bottelnecks in development process

Who is the target audience?

  • Professionals who are responsible for managing and mentoring software development project teams
  • Quality or Process Consultants
  • Agile Practitioners

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Start Here

The core of this program is to enable implementation of Kanban in a development process. It gives you tips and ideas to visualise work and flow of work in sections to improve lead time.

  • Getting started with Kanban – generic software development problems – solve problems using Kanban principles.
  • Lean software development – 7 lean principles and how these concepts can be applied in software development environment – a process which helps in removing waste.
  • Visualizing work – a Kanban principle – how to make work and work flow visible.
  • Work in Progress – importance of putting WIP limits.
  • Managing flow – to ensure a smooth flow of work to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Additional learning – ideas can be put into this section.
Section 2: Getting Started with Kanban for Software Development

This section primarily looks into the reason of using Kanban for software development projects.

  • Problems of software development
  • Struggle to figure out what is going on in project team
  • Kanban principles and tools – how they help to solve software development related problems

Types of problems seen in Software Development

  • Late delivery
  • Too much pending work
  • Unclear who is working on what
  • Work is coming from everywhere
  • Priorities are unclear

Kanban is a visual signal that's used to trigger an action. It is more to do with signal card, visual management system, a system when to produce, how much to produce and what to produce. In general it has to do with visual management of work.

There are 40% agile teams using Kanban maybe as a mix of some other method. Kanban method is a particular method which uses Kanban principles in software development.


There are 3 core Kanban principles:

  • Visualize
  • Limit work in progress
  • Manage flow

Kanban method also talks about:

  • Make Process Policies Explicit
  • Improve Collaboratively (using models & the scientific method)

The 3 principles of Kanban and how it is implemented using a Kanban board. It helps in visualising our work and work stages.

It moves through multiple stages:

  • To Do
  • Analyze
  • Development
  • Test
  • Done

You'll learn the principles of why kanban works, as well as nitty-gritty details like how to use different color stickies on a kanban board to help you organize and track your work items.


Kanban is a part of Agile approach of software development. It´s a method for managing knowledge work with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery. Using visualization of work and work flow ensure that team is focussed towards delivering.

  • Software development problems
  • Principles behind Kanban
  • How principles solve software development problems
Summary Notes Getting started with Kanban
Quiz Getting Started with Kanban
5 questions
Section 3: Lean Software Development
  • Lean and Kanban works together.
  • How lean is used in software development environment.
  • How principles like - eliminate waste makes perfect sense in software development environment.
  • How to eliminate waste that is generated in software development process.

There are 7 lean principles

  • Eliminate waste
  • Build in quality
  • Create knowledge
  • Defer commitment
  • Deliver fast
  • Respect people
  • Optimize the whole

There are 7 wastes

  • Extra features
  • Defects
  • Delays
  • Task switching
  • Partially done work
  • Re-learning
  • Hands off

BUILD IN QUALITY – A principle that tells us that prevention is better than cure.

Writing good codes – putting some testing practices which gives us a feedback as we develop a code.

In Agile Engineering practices like Test Driven Development (TDD), Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD), tells us that before writing the code think about the test.

Figure out processes to catch the issue early and focus on prevention.


CREATE KNOWLEDGE – don't keep reinventing the vale – preserve knowledge.

  • Keep writing the learnings
  • Compile and store
  • Conduct meetings where new learnings are shared

Delaying decisions till the last responsible moment. Delaying it beyond that will result in negative effects.

Defer commitment tells us:

  • Do not make detailed long plans
  • Do not create fine grain requirements

All processes tell us to deliver fast.

Lean principle – monitor the work product and not the worker.

Deliver fast by keeping the batches small.

Removing the bottlenecks in a project helps to deliver fast.


Lean teaches us to respect people not suspect people – right environment, right priority.

If you find a problem in development process, do a root cause process of the problem and not the person.


OPTIMIZE THE WHOLE - Lean principle tells us to look at end to end.

Optimize the whole principle tells us to focus on the beginning to the end of the project.

Customer will not get the delivery till the time the whole process is not optimized.

In Lean environment, tool like Value stream mapping is used – analyse steps taken at various stages and divide the same to value added time and non-value added time to calculate the efficiency of that particular value stream.

  • Principles of Lean software development – how it helps in improving software development life cycle.
  • Reason behind why we delay in talking about user stories.
  • Implementation of lean principles in work environment.
Summary Notes Lean Principles
Lean Principles
5 questions
Section 4: Visualizing Work
  • How to prepare Kanban board.
  • How visualization of work helps in improving software development process.
  • Good understanding of techniques, practices can use to implement visualization of work of Kanban.

Making the work, work flow and work environment visual.

Kanban boards are used to visualize work and work flow – area of control needs to be identified.

Different colored stickies are used to identify different work items.


A Kanban board is a work and workflow visualization tool that enables you to optimize the flow of your work. Physical Kanban boards, typically use sticky notes on a whiteboard to communicate status, progress, and issues.

A Kanban board defines Start and End point.


Looking at a Kanban board you get more information about items which are on the board.

Information which can be put on work items helps in making better decisions, identifying blocked issues, tracking / producing measurement data to continuously improve work flow.

Work item types may be represented by different colored stickies.

Index card gives you space to write but the disadvantage is, it doesn't stick on its own. You can write a crisp description, a deadline, an avatar – who tells us who is working on the project. You can also size your items.

Work items play a crucial role in a project.

  • Practical tips to make a Kanban board.
  • Work items – to use fixed date, indicator to show progress, avatar
  • Tips to apply to software development process.
Summary Notes Visualization
Visualizing your work
5 questions
Section 5: Work in Progress

Identifying importance of WIP limit.


An unfinished project that is still being added to or developed.

Work in progress (WIP) therefore refers to all materials and partly finished products that are at various stages of the production process. WIP excludes inventory of raw materials at the start of the production cycle and finished products inventory at the end of the production cycle.

“Little's Law” is a fundamental of queue theory and defines the relationship between Work in Progress (WIP), Throughput and Lead Time.

One can produce faster cycle time by working on WIP.


High WIP will increase the cycle time and increase in cycle time means slower feedback.

Higher feedback produces many negative effects, it delays the risks, delays cause extra work, extra work demotivates.

WIP should be kept to the minimum.


Identify WIP limit – how to identify what WIP will work for an organization.

Identifying WIP is a context related question.

Lower is better – lower work in process – faster deliveries.

People idle OR work idle – smaller WIP limit, people are idle whereas higher WIP limit, work is idle.

No limit is not an answer – no work can be done with no limit.


Can we put a limit to the complete work rather than putting a limit to a single item? – WIP limit can be put to the number of people working on the project.

Identify the current WIP.

WIP limit can also be put column-wise.

WIP limit can be put on people level as well.

Must revisit WIP limits.

  • Why WIP is needed?
  • Identifying WIP limit for the whole Kanban board.
  • DO NOT work without WIP.
  • WIP limit helps in managing the flow – making customer delivery faster.
Summary Notes WIP
Limit WIP
5 questions
Section 6: Managing flow
  • Techniques and matrix to ensure work items are flowing.
  • Idea / benchmark to a continuous improvement.
  • Directly implementable tips to use in software development processes.

Managing the flow – a process goes through various stages – early customer satisfaction.

Flow based system ensures minimum WIPs, minimum delays.

Focus should remain on how to deliver to the customer.


In Lean – work move through stages faster in order to get a fast value delivery.

Initiate work by putting WIP limits.

In absence of WIP – a huge WIP inventory is created.

Reduce wait time – waiting is a waste.

Make wait items visible.

Reduce size of work item.

Remove blockers – make them visible.

Avoid re-work.

Make use of the cross-functional team.


Having a daily stand-up is a great idea.

Impediments should be visible on the Kanban board.

Focus should be on blocked work.

Facilitator should start from work done – focus of facilitator should be what can be delivered.

Putting questions at daily stand-up is recommended.

Daily stand-ups can be used in Kanban as well.


Identify bottlenecks in the flow of work – resolve on removing them – to get an ensured delivery.

  • Identify the constraint
  • Exploit the constraint
  • Subordinate all other work
  • Elevate the constraint

REPEAT the processes – focus on continuous improvement.

Start with visualization, identify them well and keep looking at them whenever you do process interactions.


In Kanban the complete team puts their attention to ensure shortest lead time.

Lead time – the time between the initiation and completion of a production process.

Cycle time - is the total time from the beginning to the end of your process, as defined by you and your customer. Cycle time includes process time, during which a unit is acted upon to bring it closer to an output, and delay time, during which a unit of work is spent waiting to take the next action.

Two important matrix.


In general terms, Throughput is the rate of production or the rate at which something can be processed. When used in the context of communication networks, such as Ethernet or packet radio, throughput or network throughput is the rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel.

Throughput is a measure of how many units of information a system can process in a given amount of time.


Due Date Performance Report - This report will show you, on average, if a group or agent solves tasks before or after their defined due date. It will also tell you how much time, over or under, it took to complete tasks compared with ticket due dates.


Issues and blocked work items – should have a minimum of them on the Kanban board.

Difference between Issues and Blocked:

  • Issues – customer raises or defects from previous deliveries
  • Blocked items – technical infrastructure issue, technical knowledge issue

Scrum Master should make a note of the issues and blocked items and make a count of it.


A cumulative flow diagram is a tool used in queuing theory. It is an area graph that depicts the quantity of work in a given state, showing arrivals, time in queue, quantity in queue, and departure.

Cumulative flow diagrams are seen in the literature of agile software development and lean product development. They are also seen in transportation.

Cumulative flow diagram is also known as a Burn down chart.

Limiting WIPs will give you a consistence flow of work.

  • Managing the flow – a process goes through various stages – early customer satisfaction.
  • Cumulative flow diagram – a chart that gives you a quick overview of what's happening in a project or product work
Summary Notes Manage Flow
Manage Flow
5 questions
Section 7: Additional Learning

Various topics can be added in this section – Additional learning section.


Do we really need to do planning activities when we work with Kanban? - visualize work, limit WIP, manage the flow.

Few patterns teams use:

  • Make explicit policies where team can do planning on their own.
  • Allocate fixed amount of capacity to class of services.
  • Meetings at a frequency.
  • Signal based pattern.
  • Cadence based meetings.

Rules take care of planning and prioritization.


When to use Kanban and when to use Scrum?

Scrum framework – provides basic framework – need to add things in order to make scrum work.

Kanban – to make things visual, limit WIP and manage the flow.

Kanban principles can be applied while using Scrum.

Scrum brings more changes in an existing project.

Section 8: What Next ? and PDUs

Applying for PDUs

Step 1

Login at pmi website using userid and password.

Step 2

Go to the CCR (maintain your certification: Earn and report PDU)

Step 3

Fill the activity ID IZDLKANSW

Step 4

Click Search

Step 5

You will see the details of activity like below, click report PDU

Step 6

Fill date of the session, and select I agree, Submit

  • Books – to know about Kanban – book written by David Anderson “KANBAN-Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business”.
  • Interaction – various communities you can interact on.
  • Certificates – Agile certificate which covers Kanban – PMI-ACP®
1 page

This document elaborates steps need to claim Scrum Alliance's Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) for this program.

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Instructor Biography

iZenBridge Consultancy, Global Professional Certification Training Provider

iZenBridge is a leading education provider in Agile and Project Management domain. We are an approved global Registered Education Provider of Project Management Institute(PMI)®, specializing in providing quality education to prepare students for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® and PMI- Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA)® Certification Exams.

We are also a leading agile education and registered provider of Scrum Alliance, we conduct regular classroom programs for Scrum certifications like Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) ®. We also give advanced agile trainings like Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD).

We offer very economical and effective 100% online continuing education courses for PMP® , PMI-ACP® and PMI-PBA® certified professionals. Check our YouTube channel for lots of free learning videos on agile and project management.

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