Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kanban Revived in an Agile Kind of Way

I just returned from a workshop on the latest in web technologies (invitation only) where I was surprised to hear reference made to kanban. Kanban is a card-based system originally developed by Toyota in the 1950s for controlling their manufacturing lines. I have a note about it in the "Brief History of Buffers" section of my Perl::PDQ book because it is a logical precursor to JIT scheduling and compiling. I will also discuss it in the up-coming Guerrilla classes.

Now, it seems kanban has been revived under the "agile" banner for making software development more efficient. Of course, the concept of using cards to capture dev state information is not entirely new, even in the context of software engineering. So-called Snow Cards are another card-based technique used to monitor the software development process.

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