Kanban - Agile

Agile Kanban is Agile Software Development with Kanban approach. In Agile Kanban, the Kanban board is used to visualize the workflow. The Kanban board is normally put up on a wall in the project room. The status and progress of the story development tasks is tracked visually on the Kanban board with flowing Kanban cards.

Kanban Board

Kanban board is used to depict the flow of tasks across the value stream. The Kanban board −

  • Provides easy access to everyone involved in the project.

  • Facilitates communication as and when necessary.

  • Progress of the tasks are visually displayed.

  • Bottlenecks are visible as soon as they occur.

Advantages of Kanban board

The major advantages of using a Kanban board are −

  • Empowerment of Team − This means −

    • Team is allowed to take decisions as and when required.

    • Team collaboratively resolves the bottlenecks.

    • Team has access to the relevant information.

    • Team continually communicates with customer.

  • Continuous Delivery − This means −

    • Focus on work completion.

    • Limited requirements at any point of time.

    • Focus on delivering value to the customer.

    • Emphasis on whole project.

The tasks and stories are represented by Kanban cards. The current status of each task is known by displaying the cards in separate columns on the board. The columns are labeled as To Do, Doing, and Done. Each task moves from To Do to Doing and then to Done.

Kanban Board is updated on a daily basis as the team progresses through the development.

WIP Limit

The label in the Doing column also contains a number, which represents the maximum number of tasks that can be in that column at any point of time. i.e., the number associated with the Doing column is the WIP (Work-In-Progress) Limit.

Pull Approach

Pull approach is used as and when a task is completed in the Doing column. Another card is pulled from the To Do column.


In Agile Development, the team is responsible for planning, tracking, reporting and communicating in the project. Team is allowed to make decisions and is accountable for the completion of the development and product quality. This is aligned to the characteristic of empowerment of the team in Kanban.

Continuous Flow

In Agile development, there is no gate approach and the work flows across the different functions without wait-time. This contributes in minimizing the cycle time characteristic of Kanban.

Visual Metrics

In Agile Kanban, the metrics are tracked visually using −

  • Kanban Board
  • Burndown Chart

Uses of Kanban board

Kanban Board is used to −

  • Measure the cycle times, that can be used to optimize average cycle time.
  • Track WIP limit to eliminate waste.
  • Track resource utilization to eliminate waste.

Uses of Burndown chart

Burndown chart is used to capture −

  • The current status of the tasks and stories.

  • The rate of progress of completing the remaining tasks.

As Kanban Board is updated daily, it contains all the information that is required by the Burndown charts.