Published: December 18, 2021

Kanban: Unleashing Agile Awesomeness for Your Team

Is Kan Ban the right Agile Methodology for my Software Team?

Wrangling projects, backlogs, user stories, tasks, and trackers is overhead many devs prefer to avoid. Couple that with meetings and formal processes that can constrain efforts and it’s no wonder status tracking often falls into the “I will do it later” category. I’ve stood up multiple dev shops in organization lacking any sort of software methodology, and in each case, used Kanban as part of our processes. Even before I ran dev efforts (or even knew the term Kanban), we used whiteboards, sticky notes, and columns to identify: Todo, Active, Next, and Complete, while we built and monitored military communications networks. It’s a very simple, straightforward, and yet powerful, way to tackle workflows. If Marines can grok it, so can you!

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a workflow management system that visualizes tasks as cards on a board, representing different stages of completion. It emphasizes:

  1. limiting work in progress
  2. optimizing flow
  3. fostering collaboration

By providing a clear visual representation of work and promoting a balanced workflow, Kanban helps teams improve efficiency, maintain focus, and continuously improve their processes.

So, why should you choose Kanban for your agile methodology?

With a myriad of choices, why did I choose (and why should you consider choosing) Kanban?

Visualize Your Work with Clarity

Everyone loves staring at stack of text and spreadsheets right? Nope. Imagine a workflow management system that brings a touch of “visual flair” to your team’s daily operations. Visual Flair

Kanban harnesses the power of visualization, transforming your team’s workflow into a clear and organized structure using “boards” and “cards”:

  • Boards are broken in columns, each representing a stage in the lifecycle.
  • Cards are tasks that need to get done.
  • Witnessing tasks move from “To Do” to “In Progress” and finally to “Done” is a very tactile update.
  • This visual representation fosters transparency, promotes collaboration, and ensures everyone is on the same page.
  • Plus, it is often much easier to quickly and easily just understand.

Work Flexibly, Yet Thoughtfully

One of the greatest strengths of Kanban is its flexibility. This agile methodology can adapt to various projects, whether you’re developing software (the best kind of project), managing marketing campaigns, or organizing tasks of any kind.

Kanban doesn’t impose rigid rules or predefined roles. Instead, it offers a framework that empowers you to tailor it to your team’s unique workflow and preferences. It’s a versatile tool that you can shape to meet your specific requirements.

Focused Work-In-Progress

Context switching is expensive and maintaining a (too) large list of active tasks adds to that context switching. Kanban can impose a simple solution to minimize that tax: limits on Work-in-progress. E.g. a max number of cards in the WIP column. These limits act as a protective barrier, preventing your team from being swamped with unfinished tasks. By setting a maximum number of cards allowed in each workflow stage, Kanban helps maintain a healthy flow, ensuring that your team can focus, deliver quality work, and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


Kanban embraces the spirit of collaboration, fostering open communication, knowledge sharing, and teamwork. As cards progress through the workflow stages, team members can easily see who’s working on what and where they can offer support. This promotes a sense of camaraderie, minimizes silos, and enacts a more collaborative approach to building.

The Other CI: Continuous Improvement

Part of any software methodology is improving the process. Kanban promotes regular reflections, retrospectives, and feedback loops which enable you to identify areas that could benefit from innovation. By emphasizing continuous improvement, Kanban encourages your team to embrace a growth mindset and seek ongoing optimization.


In the world of agile methodologies, Kanban is a powerful option for teams seeking enhanced productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. Its ability to visualize work, flexibility, and emphasis on flow optimization make it an appealing choice software development. The low overhead, flexibility, and numerous tool/platform options make it immediately available to most software teams.