In my last post, I talked about tools for tracking Agile projects.  Whatever too you use, you have to know what to do with the information.  It’s not just about the project being ahead or behind schedule, it’s about using the information to improve the software development process and its implementation.  One optimization which has been part of many Agile schools from the beginning, back to the Toyota days, is minimizing work in process.  In fact, it’s the major focus of Kanban.

Work In Process isn’t just code sitting in your editor.  It’s any task that’s not done, done, done.  In other words, if it hasn’t made it all the way through your software process, it’s still work in process.

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I have heard several talks and attended several presentations both comparing Scrum and Kanban and explaining how they can be used together.  I came across this article, which talks about this article (I list both because the commenting article brings up good points, too).  So why am I adding yet another level of indirection to this chain?  Because an awful lot of people understand past the surface and the buzzwords of the various flavors of Agile/Lean, and that leads to confusion, unmet expectations, and failed projects.  The most important  point of these articles is that Scrum and Kanban are not interchangeable techniques.  They differ greatly in scope and goal.  That’s why they bring up the metaphor of choosing between a knife and fork.

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