Kanban Work-in-Progress

2014 - 2015 / Management
We tried a number of project portfolio management tools but the simplest and most efficient one was Kanban. With it we could see the work in progress and shorten the project downtime.


Uniscan Research handles two project flows at the same time: New product development and ongoing support. Development projects have a great strategic importance for the company but all too often have no specified objectives or definite deadlines. Support projects are not very time-consuming but are usually urgent. There is no clear picture of how busy developers are going to be and what progress is achieved. As a result, there are much more projects and tasks than there are developers and that causes failures to meet the deadlines and longer time to perform every separate project.


We decided to try Kanban project management system as a fast and easy way to visualize the flow of projects and tasks for development. But before that we had to figure out what a project exactly was and what its life cycle looked like as well as determine what stage each project was on.

We made developers responsible for the overall life cycle of every task, from its first appearance in the development queue and until the deployment brings actual value. It made the development cycle longer as before that developers’ work finished with the completion of engineering documentation. But at the same time it let the developers see the practical usefulness of every project as well as their own contribution to the overall success and gave a clear idea of who would provide the support if needed.



After that we made a kanban board with all the projects and saw the real state of development: The amount of work was thrice as much as we could actually do. Besides we identified what stages caused projects to get stuck. By prioritizing, limiting the project flow and using simple rules we managed to achieve a proper balance between development and delivery time, started to build relationships with our clients and got a deeper understanding of what was going on inside every project.


Anton Ryadynsky:
Kanban makes it possible to visualize development projects. You can not usually see them like work in progress where all the unfinished goods are there on the shelves. Visualization means much by itself — even if you cannot deploy the rules you can manage the process manually.


Managers — Anton Ryadinsky, Alexey Sterinovitch, Pavel Karavaev

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2014 - 2015 / Management