First Kanban

APEC - Board - Sprint 1













I couldn’t remember from when but Scrum is the trend and XP has been forgotten from Agile blogs (I don’t know why) or it is considered that very hard to implement it.

What about Kanban?

Every time that I mention to one client that they should start using Kanban and then if they grow up with Agile they would move to Scrum, they rejected my proposal saying that they want to adopt Scrum because everybody uses it.

If you check many Agile websites (InfoQ, Agile Connection, Agile42 and so on) you will find many and many articles related to Scrum but a few (or none) mentions Kanban. For me the only reason to happen that it is because of several institutions are selling certifications as Certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner, and Certified Scrum Coach and I could not remember other certifications for developers and Agile Coach. However, there is any certifications related to Kanban (I hope will never have one) so nobody (I mean for business reasons) is interested in promoting Kanban.

First of all, I consider that you have to reduce the waste on the company using Lean approach (improving the workflow, reducing time to release products, and so on) and

then you should move to Kanban and then to Scrum.

Starting with Kanban you don’t need to hire (or reconvert any Manager or Team Leader) a Scrum Master and do many ceremonies (Inception, Sprint Planning, Release Planning,

Sprint Review or Demo, and last but not least the Retrospective that I consider very useful to do it even in Kanban).

What do you need to implement Kanban?

Step 1 – Visualize your work

  • Break down the flow of work into distinctive steps and draw a column of each.
  • Get some stickiest in different colors as you can
  • Write down each task on a separate sticky note
  • Use different colors for different types of work
  • Put them on the whiteboard. Each task  will move from left to right until it’s done

Step 2 – Limit Work in Progress

Set limits on the amount of work the team is allowed to work on at any moment.
The immediate benefit is to limit work in progress to the team’s current capability and you can limit in several ways:

  • Limit WIP per column on the board
  • Limit per swim lane or Work Type
  • Limit per person
  • Global Limit
  • A Mix

Step 3 -Don´t Push too hard Pull instead

Kanban is a pull based process, meaning, team members pull work to themselves when they
have the bandwidth – work is not pushed or assigned by someone else.

Step 4 – Use it, Monitor, Adapt, and Improve

The process is not static is DYNAMIC so you should improve every time

To sum it up, I strongly recommend you to adopt Kanban and then when you get used to working with it move to Scrum if you need!!!


Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile.


I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally
different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible
to implement it.

Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

1 comment

  1. Kanban does have a certifying body in LKU, which issues certificates to Kanban Coaching Professionals (like me) and to Accredited Kanban Trainers. However, it doesn’t issue certificates to everyone who takes a course or completes a test. There is no Kanban equivalent to the Certified ScrumMaster and I hope there never is one.

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