Everyday Kanban

Discussing Management, Teams, Agile, Lean, Kanban & more

Category: Jira

You might not use releases, but you still need cadences!

Release button on Jira board

The release button on a Jira Kanban board can be immensely useful even when you don’t do releases!

When you’re using a continuous flow process you don’t always have the concept of releases. But, even when you don’t have releases or iterations, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care about what you’re able to forecast or accomplish in a particular time span.  Cadences are extremely important because they help us create habits, for better or worse, and they make sure that we pay attention to things at certain intervals. The alternative is that we think we’ll get around to things and we never do… time flies by and we don’t give things the attention they deserve. Scrum builds in the concept of iterations for which you measure velocity in order to plan for future iterations. In a continuous flow process like Kanban, you still have to look at throughput over time so you can do light forecasting and to reflect on what’s been accomplished. You still need cadences, you just don’t stop the flow for releasing or planning. No matter what method you’re using, it’s always helpful to be able to easily see and discuss what has been accomplished over the past week, month or quarter.

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Kanban board filters can streamline your daily standups

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say “the board will be so cluttered if we put all of this work on there,” then I would be… well… richer than I am now!  In all seriousness, I love that statement because it gives me an opportunity to discuss how necessary it is to face our reality, no matter how messy. If we force ourselves to see the ugly truth, we’re much more motivated to improve it and others are more understanding when you talk to them. Instead of hiding the mess, we need to learn to navigate it when we need information quickly, like in a daily standup. Fortunately,  many virtual tools, like JIRA, provide quick filtering capability with their visual boards for this very purpose.

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