Kanban in software development: A systematic literature review

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  Using of Kanban in software development is an emerging topic. This systematic literature review was conducted in order to analyse the current trend of Kanban usage in software development and to identify the obtained benefits and involved challenges. The search strategy resulted in 492 papers, of which 19 were identified as primary studies relevant to our research. The main reported benefits of using the Kanban method were improved lead time to deliver software, improved quality of software, improved communication and coordination, increased consistency of delivery, and decreased customer reported defects. The reported challenges included lack of knowledge and specialized training as well as various organizational issues. Additionally, suggested practices were extracted from the primary studies and summarized for guiding the practitioners interested in adopting Kanban. The findings of this literature review are intended for helping researchers and practitioners to gain a better understanding of the current state of Kanban usage in software development.
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  • 1. Kanban in software development: A systematic literature review Ahmad Muhammad Ovais, Jouni Markkula, Markku Oivo Department of Information Processing Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 2. Agenda • Introduction • Research question • Method • Results • Conclusion
  • 3. Introduction • How to develop better/economical software/services along with the fast delivery and fulfillment of continuous changing requirements of customer. • A number of remedies have been suggested in the literature for achieving this goal (i.e. agile methods). • Over the past decade, research on the “Agile/Lean” concept in software development has seen rapid growth. • Recently Kanban approach in software development also enters to the realm of agile methods.
  • 4. Lean and Kanban principles • Kanban execute Lean thinking in practice; however Lean is more than Kanban. Lean software development principles Kanban principles Eliminate waste Build quality in Create knowledge Defer commitment Deliver fast Respect people Optimize the whole Visualize the workflow Limit work in progress Manage flow Make process policies explicit Improve collaboratively (using models and the scientific method)
  • 5. Research question • What has been reported about Kanban in software development in the existing scientific literature? • Benefits • Challenges • Suggested practices in existing Kanban studies • Future work
  • 6. Research method  Kitchenham et al. guidelines for systematic literature review were followed.  Studies published during 2000-2011  Databases • ABI/Inform (ProQuest) • Science Direct (Elsevier) • Springer Link (LNCS) • ACM Digital Library • Web of Science (ISI) • IEEE Xplore - IEEE/IEE Electronic Library  Data extraction form, selection criteria, quality assessment were designed
  • 7. Selection steps
  • 8. Source Type No. of papers Percentage XP 20XX Conference 6 32% Agile 200X Conference 6 32% LESS 20XX Conference 3 16% IEEE TEM 20XX Journal 1 5% IEEE ICECCS 20XX Conference 1 5% Euromicro SEAA 20XX Conference 1 5% ICSSP 20XX Conference 1 5% Total 19 100% Figure 1. Publication per yearTable 1. Paper distribution according to publication channel and occurrence Results
  • 9. Kanban benefits • Improved software quality. • Better understanding of whole processes. • Improved meeting of customer needs and customer satisfaction. • Improved communication/coordination. • Increased motivation of engineers. • Bugs were fixed more quickly, WIP made it easier to handle blocking in work. • Increased software productivity. • Decrease time to delivery. • Increased release frequency. • Efficiently controlled software projects. • Early feedback on features without delays.
  • 10. Challenges • Hard to change organizational culture and philosophy. • Lack of Specialized skills and training. • Motivating the staff to use new practices. • Hard to manage limit work in progress. • Kanban doesn’t eliminate wastes. • Hard to convince the top level management. • Hard to select task according to priority. • Knowledge sharing. • Misunderstanding of project goals. • Need for guidelines to understand the process as a whole.
  • 11. Suggested Kanban practices • Provide a clear vision for the whole team. • Technical leadership essential. • Use of visual board to makes low team orientation visible and improves the shared mental model. • Encourage team member to provide feedback to each other. • Create a culture for collaboration on solving tasks and problems. • Protect teams from external tasks during the actions phase. • Consider ways of limiting work in progress. • In order to create value, note that all non-value added work is not waste, and that some non-value added waste is necessary. • Mixing and blending processes (Agile + Kanban) and its synchronization is often suggested.
  • 12. Conclusions and future work • The literature review reviled that Kanban usage has been reported mainly at an abstract level in primary studies. • No studies were found which would clearly and deeply indicates study that how to use Kanban approach is, or should be, used in software development. • More empirical studies suggested with industry (Industrial collaboration required). • In academia software factories are suitable place to see strength of new methods. • Reported challenges required more detail studies.
  • 13. Thank you! Muhammad Ovais Ahmad Doctoral Candidate Department of Information Processing Science E-mail: muhammad.ahmad@oulu.fi 13 www.oulu.fi/yliopistowww.oulu.fi/mgroup/ www.cloudsoftwareprogram.or g
  • 14. References Ahmad, M. O., Markkula, J. and Oivo, M. (2013). Kanban in software development: A systematic literature review. , Proceedings of the 39th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA, 2013)  Santander, Spain in Sept. 4-6, 2013. DSD-SEAA CONGRESS 2013 14
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