Transition to Kanban in Jira

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Outlined below are some key steps in transitioning to Kanban in Jira: 

       Get into the Agile mindset, lean principles and Kanban by reading up and educating yourself.

       Look for a suitable first project to get started on, which is not very complex in nature.

       Discuss with the team about Development and QA processes to identify the workflows for bugs, tasks and user stories.

       Configure the finalized workflows. These can be improved to improve the efficiency as you go along and gain more experience.

       Set up the Kanban project for the identified pilot project

       Start adding tasks, bugs (when they arise) and user stories to the backlog by getting the Product Owner involved.

       However, detailed requirements should be discussed by getting the whole team involved.

       Prioritize the backlog by discussing with the Product Owner

       The team is only concerned about the work in progress column. Once they pick items for execution, and start working on them, they should not be interfered with. However, the Product Owner can reshuffle the items in the backlog to change priority.

       However, the most important items should be kept at the top of the backlog, for the team to deliver the maximum value.

       Swimlanes can be used to give a better view to the team of what needs to be worked on next.

       The work in progress column should not contain more than 2 or 3 items at once as a best practice. This helps the team achieve the most efficiency while avoid bottlenecks.

       The WIP limit feature in Jira should be used to limit the number of items that can be added to the WIP column as pointed out above.

       Pick items from the backlog by considering the above for execution.

       Daily stand-up meetings which use the same scrum principles can still be employed in Kanban as well. It is a good idea to have daily meetings at least at the beginning, until you get used to Kanban practices. In future, you can decide on switching to a different format and frequency of meetings.

       Use timers or the ball toss technique to keep everyone’s attention during meetings. 

       Use control charts to monitor the following:

v  Transition time between statuses for each issue

v  Team’s cycle time

v  How the cycle time improves with time (rolling cycle time)

       Finally, with practice, the team as well as you will improve as you gain more experience with Kanban.


March 8, 2020, 7:40 a.m. by - Lesith