This week Wayne Allen is starting an experiment: one of his teams is going to drop the “traditional” agile approach of iterations and velocity, in favour of a kanban-style pull system with capped work in progress. The team will do no estimation, and the only metric for the department will be the average number of days required for a story to make it through the whole process.
I hope Wayne will keep us informed on the experiment’s progress and results, because I believe this is the kind of practical research that the agile world desperately needs right now. I suspect this kind of move could only be made in an organisation that has built up a deep reservior of trust in agile (and in Wayne); I wonder what other pre-requisites ar enecessary for kanban development to be acceptable (not to mention successful). I’m particularly interested the reactions of those who want to know what features are coming in which release at what date: Will they have less visibility of progress and planning information than before? Will they get nervous as a result? Or will they adapt their behaviour to the new throughput metric?
Hats off the Wayne and colleagues for trying this, and for anouncing the experiment publicly.