What is Kanban in IT?

To improve IT teams without starting an enterprise-wide revolution, as in many agile methods such as Scrum, Software-Kanban is an excellent alternative.

A Kanban change initiative is based on the following basic principles:

  • Start where you find yourself at the moment.
  • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change.
  • Respect the existing process, existing roles, responsibilities and job titles.
  • Acts of leadership at all levels in the organization from individual contributors to senior management should be encouraged.

There are very little changes at the usual mode of operation with the introduction of Kanban: established processes, the roles of the company or team remains the same and no new job titles such as "Kanban Master" will be introduced.


The Kanban team agrees on creating small permanent improvements in working methods. The starting point of these improvements is always the current situation and therefore there is no "the" Kanban target state. However, the following core characteristics can be found in Kanban teams:

  • Visualization of the flow of work.
  • Limiting the WIP (WIP = Work In Progress, in execution work)
  • Control and measure the flow of work
  • Making process rules explicitly
  • Improvement through proven models and scientific methods
  • Implement feedback loops

The strengths of Kanban:

  • Minimum effort needed for introduction
  • Builds on existing processes
  • Works even with strong division of labor and specialization
  • Viewing the entire value chain
  • Interesting for successful companies using Scrum for development

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