We have a complete (one-hour long) video of the tutorial presented by Arun Kumar, CEO of Kerika, at the recent Lean Transformation Conference on the subject of Kanban vs Scrum: what’s the difference, and which should you use?
(The slides for this talk, and more, can be found on Slideshare.)
Forming a team 00:01:32
The Product Owner 00:02:01
The Scrum Master 00:02:55
The Scrum Team 00:03:55
Pulling Work 00:04:04
The Product Backlog 00:05:45
Scrum Stories 00:06:25
Writing a good Story 00:07:35
From Epics to Stories 00:10:25
From Stories to Tasks 00:11:13
Estimating with Story Points 00:13:04
Organizing a Sprint 00:15:00
How long is a Sprint? 00:19:15
Sprints in theory 00:20:32
Sprints in real-life 00:20:53
Daily Standups 00:23:25
Burndown Charts 00:24:13
Team Velocity 00:25:35
Best Practices for Getting Scrum Right 00:28:00
The Nuclear Option 00:30:57
Where does Scrum work best? 00:32:02
Scrum in Government 00:33:25
Where does Kanban work best? 00:35:43
Collaboration Networks 00:37:25
Paper doesn’t scale 00:38:30
Using Kerika for Personal Kanban 00:39:50
Using Kerika for Team Kanban 00:40:24
Using Kerika in the Public Sector 00:40:37
Using Kerika for Scrum Projects 00:40:54
Capturing stories as “virtual sticky notes” 00:41:20
Question: how do you deal with poor performers on the team? 00:49:15
Question: in Scrum, are units of measure like lines of code still applicable? 00:50:08
Question: how do you measure individual performance? 00:51:03
Question: how do you handle poor performers within a team? 00:52:25
Question: when do you use the Nuclear Option? 00:54:20
Traditionally, in a Kanban or Scrum board the priority is denoted by the position of the card within a column: cards that are higher priority are placed higher within a column, and the card at the top of the column is the highest priority at that stage of the workflow.
For example, in this view of a board the highest priority item for Planning & Design is the card on top of that column:
This method has the advantage of simplicity and clarity: there is no ambiguity about what is the most important work item at any stage of the workflow.
The disadvantage of this method is that as many cards start to move across the board, especially on boards where the workflow is complex (i.e. the board has many columns), it becomes harder to track all the cards that are especially important.
In other words: the simple method doesn’t scale well, and our goal with Kerika is to provide the simplest user interface on top of the most capable work management system, so we realized we needed to do something more.
With our latest version, Kerika makes it easier to explicitly tag each card with a priority of Normal, High or Critical:
Along with assigning tags to a card, you can now set the priority of the card as well: by default all cards are Normal, but they can alternatively be flagged as High Priority or Critical.
Viewing all the High Priority and Critical Cards
We have also extended the Highlights function for Task Boards and Scrum Boards to make it easy to quickly see all the High Priority and Critical cards on a crowded board:
When you are looking at a board, the High Priority and Critical cards are also highlighted with small stars: a solid red star for Critical, and a hollow red star for High Priority:
The Normal Priority cards don’t have any star; we didn’t want to crowd the design which would have made it harder to spot the more important High Priority and Critical cards at a glance.
High Priority and Critical Cards across all your Boards
We have made it easier for teams to manage multiple Due Dates within the same project, especially when a single work item (as represented by a Task Board or Scrum Board card) contains many different sub-tasks, each of which could have a different Due Date.
Where a card has multiple tasks, each with different Due Dates, the range of dates is shown on cards to make it easier to understand the “time footprint” of the work item as a whole.
Here’s an example of a card with two open/remaining tasks, one of which is due today and the other tomorrow:
When viewed on a Task Board or Scrum Board, Kerika will show the range of dates involved for this card:
This provides better context, better usability for users who work with due dates: at a glance you can see the overall “time footprint” of a work item that involves several sub-tasks.
The What’s Assigned to Me and What’s Due Views are now smarter about handling multiple due dates for the same card: if just one task within a card is overdue, even though the card as a whole isn’t yet overdue, this is shown in the Overdue column in these Views.
Your 6AM summary email (which you can turn on optionally) now lists the due dates on individual tasks within cards, as these become overdue or due this week or next week.
Previously, when you hid a column Kerika would show that like this:
The name of the column that was being hidden was shown vertically, to make it easier to retain the overall context of the board.
We have improved this so hidden columns now look like this:
The subtle (but important) distinction is that Kerika now shows you how many cards are in the hidden columns, not just the name of the column. We think this will make this feature more useful, to more people, more of the time.
We have made a bunch of improvements to the Contact Us feature in Kerika, which — as before — can be accessed by clicking on the help button (“?”) in the top-right corner of the Kerika app:
Previously this simply opened up your local email client to send us a message; now the feature is built into Kerika itself, and is smarter about how it works.
When we analyzed our old trouble tickets, and emails to firstname.lastname@example.org in general, we found there were very few instances of actual bugs being found, but more commonly there was some confusion about how Kerika was working for the users.
And very frequently when people got in touch with us, they didn’t include important information in their original emails that would help us understand what problem they were currently facing.
This meant we had to reply back to ask them some common questions, like “have you already invited this person to join your board?”, and this led to unwelcome delays in resolving the problem for our users, especially when they were located many time-zones away and there was a 24-hour delay before they replied, and then we replied, and so on.
Our new Contact Us dialog, while very simple in appearance, acts as a smart collector of key information that can help us understand the context of the user’s query:
Who is part of this board team right now? Again, this isn’t something we would know without being told by the user, since we don’t have any easy way to look at someone else’s boards. If you think you have added someone to your board, but haven’t yet, this can help us clarify any misunderstanding on your part.
What’s the current state of your Inbox and Sentbox? Are there invitations waiting for you to accept that perhaps got missed, because they unfortunately ended up in your spam folder? Are there invitations that you had previously sent to coworkers, that haven’t been accepted yet?
What’s your current computer environment? What operating system and browser are you using? In the very few instances when someone reports an actual bug, it’s very important to know which browser and OS they were using, since the bug may be limited to a single environment.
And, finally, the Contact Us process reminds our users that any intermittent problem they are facing can often be resolved simply by refreshing their browser: if they had experienced any fleeting network problem or latency that interfered with their Kerika view, a simple browser refresh will fix that quickly.
If you are working with Kerika’s unique Whiteboards, you will appreciate a new feature we have added: you can select any existing line or arrow on a canvas and change it to a different style of line or arrow.
We had previously added similar functionality for changing a shape from one form to another, e.g. a rectangle to an ellipse, while preserving all the other properties and content of that shape; now this is possible with lines and arrows as well.
With our latest version, a task within a card (on a Task Board or Scrum Board) can now be assigned to multiple people, just like the card itself.
This makes it easier to handle more complex work items that contain a large number of tasks, each of which may require more than one person to handle.
To make this work, we have also updated the What’s Assigned to Me and What’s Due Views to make sure everyone who is assigned to a task, where tasks have multiple people responsible for them, sees this clearly.