At an Agile meetup I was chatting after the talk and someone told me that they had tried Kanban but it didn’t work for them. As a Kanban advocate I find it hard to believe that Kanban did not work. It works with any system you have and work well on its own. I decided to follow up and asked how did they visualize the work flow. They didn’t have a board, they had some software which was not displayed on a large monitor for all to see. I asked how did they limit Work in Progress. I was told they tried it but it didn’t really happen. I asked how they measured and reduced Time to Market. They didn’t… So, we can see they they didn’t do Kanban at all.
It reminds me of some ‘Scrum’ that I have seen where they put some stickies on the wall and have a 10 minute huddle as long as it does not interfere with their status meeting and the stickies on the wall are not complete or updated as they are using a software package to track things handled by the PM.
If you’re not actually doing it, meaning you’re not doing the basics, you are not doing Kanban and should not fool yourself nor claim it does not work. Same for Scrum. If your Sprint is not a fixed time from 1 to 3 weeks you are not doing scrum and putting stickies on the wall will not change that.
Are you really doing it? Try it before you knock it. You might be surprised how well it works.