Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News InfoQ Article: Lean Kanban Boards for Agile Tracking

InfoQ Article: Lean Kanban Boards for Agile Tracking

Agile projects are not the only ones to use “big visible charts” - Lean manufacturing, for example has its Kanban Boards. In Japanese "Kanban" means, loosely translated, 'card or sign'. In a Lean production system, each Kanban card is "pulled" into the system only when the work represented by an "in progress" card is retired.  In this InfoQ article, Visualizing Agile Projects using Kanban Boards, Kenji Hiranabe explore visualizations currently used in Agile, then proposes using Kanban Boards to organize three viewpoints (Time, Task, and Team) to track project status and enhance collaboration.

The visualization tools he talks about are:

  • Kanban Boards. Use a card as a token (Kanban) of a task, story, feature and stick them to a timeline (board). There are several levels of granularities, in three main combinations:
    • Release-Feature,
    • Iteration-Story and
    • Daily-Task
  • Burndown Charts. Count the number of Kanbans (backlog tasks) and track it in a timebox to show the trend of work accomplished. There are also several levels of granularities.
  • Parking lot Charts. Summarize the top-level project status.
  • Calendars. There are a lot of variations of using calendars to show project status or plan.

In the article, Hiranebe introduces a uniquely Japanese addition to status tracking: the Niko-Niko Calendar, on which team members track their mood from day to day.

Hiranabe also mentions his software tool “TRICHORD” that implements Kanban Boards to realize project visualization from the three viewpoints.

Kenji Hiranabe is a frequent blogger and has translated a number of English Agile and XP books into the Japanese language.

Read the InfoQ article: Visualizing Agile Projects using Kanban Boards by Kenji Hiranabe.

Rate this Article