Here, it says that iterations within Kanban are 1 week long. What does this mean? I had the impression that there were no sprints within Kanban, but a continuos flow of work. Does iterations in this case mean sprints, or does it mean something else?
Interesting find and great question! You're correct, Kanban does not have iterations in its traditional sense. It was originally intended for manufacturing type work where there's a continuous flow. In this specific case though (the PDF) the portion under "Scalability" justifies and explains how Kanban can actually be used as part of development / on projects. If Kanban is used in this way (non-continuous flow, remember that if there was a continuous never-ending flow then this would not be a project) then there has to be some sort of time-box for iterations.
I have not seen 1 week iterations being specified elsewhere but the idea still applies with Kanban having the shortest iteration length, in my opinion. If Kanban were to be applied to projects then the duration would be very short as the emphasis is on reducing work in progress and delivering value sooner. Since XP uses 2 to 3 week iterations it would make sense to set up Kanban with 1 to 2 week iterations.
Hope that helps.
Yasir Mehmood, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, CLP (LeSS), CSPO
I concur with Yasir's comments because the use of Kanban is not always so cut and dry. What I have found through real-life experiences using Kanban, as well as discussions with other project management professionals who have used Kanban, is that although Kanban can be used to create products other than manufactured products, such as software applications, it is normally only used by very experienced project teams in terms of their technical expertise and the length of time the team members have been working together as a team.
In real life, Kanban is most effectively used by support or trouble-shooting teams who have a continuous flow of support issues or product defects and want to track their progress and workload on a week-by-week basis. A 1-Week Iteration is an extremely short time box and is best used for small user stories or tasks that can be completed and demonstrated to the customer or product owner fairly quickly.
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