SW integration phase with Kanban

How would you use Kanban in SW integration?

A basic composition of teams could be:

  • Build & Release team,
  • Two specialist teams,
  • Test team.

Builds are received from outside by the build team who attempts to build them and run automated tests. Specialist teams deal with problems (build problems, integration problems, problems found in tests), they e.g. determine the cause of the problem.

So would the initial task be just called "release X" and then we generate the extra tasks for the specialist teams (who will also have some other duties)? Problem is that "release" is just too big a task for the specialist teams and has to be breaken down. But if we don't have a "release X" task (rather only the sub-tasks), how do we figure the status of the release?

Should you have separate task boards for b&r team and the specialist teams?

1 Answer

  1. Loren- Reply


    Although there aren't any strict rules what should be covered by a Kanban board you can say that as rules of thumb:

    • Unless you have a very big team or very big number of tasks on a single board it is better to have one board for the whole group working on the same tasks.
    • It is better to have all tasks of the team on a single board than on a couple of them

    This means that I would aim for a single board for all teams and I would probably also try to include other tasks done by specialist teams as well.

    Then we have organization of the board. One of ideas is having very simple process (to do, ongoing, done) and mixing different tasks on the board, e.g. build and run automated tests on a release, run manual tests, etc. Then, each time when something goes wrong you need a task for specialist team so we add one. This way you generate new task connected with a release as long as something is still going wrong.

    Now the question is how you can say whether release is completed. Maybe you can use several different colors of sticky notes, one per release. You'd be able to say that "yellow" release still has some open issues, while "green" one is all completed and you've just started "orange" one. After finishing release you can easily reuse colors.

    Also you'd have some simple visuals showing you how many issues you had with a specific release - more sticky notes of the same color means more problems.

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