Kanban in a Fixed DurationThis is a common dilemma for teams wanting to use Kanban for 'fixed price, fixed cost" projects.  On the one hand, you have a business demand to commit up-front to a timeline and scope (and cost) to deliver a product; on the other hand, you have a promising tool – Kanban – that completely does away with any concept of time (or scope) bucketing but yet promises higher value and better quality to the customer. I believe the answer lies in both parties in the project - the customer and the vendor (business and IT or external IT vendor)...

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SwiftKanbanHello again! We've improved our card search capabilities with this update and you now have the ability to track throughput for every Smart Lane! You can now filter card lists to show cards satisfying multiple search criteria. All you need to view list of cards with matching text is to type your search string in the required filter box. You can use multiple search strings too, just separate them with commas and search! Also, if you want to exclude search results containing the search string just prefix the first search string with ~ (the tilde symbol).

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Kanban systemSometime back, we published a blog post Due Dates in Kanban Systems – which drew some flak from some folks who objected to the line of reasoning in that post. However, one of the commentators made a good point – that it made sense to have Due Dates in a Kanban system if in fact the process being visualized on the Kanban board already needed Due Dates. The Kanban Method’s fundamental premise is – start with your current process have and improve gradually, in an evolutionary manner.

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Application Lifecycle ManagementApplication Lifecycle Management is – or should be – the management of an application’s (or applications) lifecycle.  An application’s lifecycle really begins from the time it is originally conceived – as a business request to IT to support a specific business function, or as a solution to a strategic opportunity identified during a management review, or a response to a new opportunity for an IT services firm (to bid) for developing a new solution for an external business customer. In response to the request or opportunity, an organization may build a new application from scratch or implement an ISV product (such as an ERP or CRM tool) or even integrate a combination of in-house...

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Capacity PlanningProjects are often executed by dynamic teams. They start with a small core team and as the project gains momentum, add resources over time. This is commonly seen in IT service organizations that do fixed price projects. Fixed price projects have a defined scope that needs to be delivered within a contracted budget and within a negotiated timeline. For the purpose of this experience report, “Dynamic teams” or “Fixed Price projects” will be used interchangeably. Unfortunately, as Ron Jeffries put it, “Agile is founded on management of scope, not predicting when you’ll be done, even if you had fixed team size and “fixed” scope.”

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Archive/ Move Multiple Cards in one go!Hello Folks! We thought we'd begin the new year with a few features that will improve the experience for you in terms of usability. You can now move multiple cards with a single click. Just right-click on any lane header to archive or move all cards in that lane. CTRL + click will let you select a set of cards and right-click will let you move only these cards selectively. Continuing with our theme of adding more configurability in SwiftKanban, you can now customize the appearance and order of Card attributes as they appear on the board.

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happy-new-year-2014-8-300x130_2Energetic, responsive, trying harder - those were some of the best compliments we received from our customers.  As one of them, who switched from a competing product to us, said, "It looks like you guys are always trying harder and better than the rest of them." Absolutely! The past 12 months have been truly exciting.  2013 was the year in which organizations ranging from boutique consulting companies to global automotive giants, high-security government agencies to Fortune 500 global brands trusted us and our products with their technology.

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Visual Requirements ManagementThere is a lot of attention given to Lean/ Agile product development teams around the work done and the (Lean/ Agile) processes adopted in by the Dev team once a set of features (backlog items) have been identified for a set of sprints (scrums) and/ or Releases. However, how do those features get to the team, nicely bunched up in Releases and Sprints? There is a lot of upstream effort by Product Management that goes in ‘herding the cats’ – defining and maintaining the Product Roadmap with input from myriad and often conflicting sources abstracting features and requirements at the right level, getting stakeholders to agree on their priority...

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handle TicketsThat was the question posed in a recent discussion. The question further provides the following details – “I work within an agile team. We have a released product and we are still working towards a future release. Every sprint we receive anywhere from 0 to 5 tickets to fix bugs in the released product. Our team is composed of software engineers (to handle new development) and maintenance software engineers ( to handle tickets). My question is how do you account for the maintenance hours during sprint planning. Currently we have a story called maintenance buffer where we allocate some hours to solve tickets.

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Due Dates in Kanban SystemsMany teams adopting Kanban come from Agile background. Agile thinking has discouraged the use of Due Dates. Due Dates breed undesirable behavior. Focus on Due Dates results in teams working under significant pressure. Quite often, that translates into short cuts in Design/ Testing activities. The net effect is that work quality is compromised and technical debt piles up. That said, Agile methodologies, specifically Scrum, inherently have a Due Date. Most often, this is the Sprint end date.

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