An Overview of Kanplan

StarAgilecalenderLast updated on May 10, 2023book14 minseyes3513

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Kanplan is a project management approach that combines the ideas of Scrum and Kanban. With an emphasis on continual improvement and providing value to the client, it is made to assist teams in managing their work in a more flexible and effective manner. Kanplan places a strong emphasis on visualising the workflow, restricting work-in-progress, periodically monitoring progress, and adjusting to shifting priorities. This strategy enables teams to work more productively, collaborate better, and ultimately produce high-quality goods or services.’

Each team must choose the best framework to serve as a foundation for planning, overseeing, and producing top-notch software.

Scrumban vs. kanban vs. scrum

An objective of the project management methodology known as Kanban is to ensure that team members always have just enough work to do to be productive. Teams who employ Kanban reap the benefits of its adaptability, which enables flexible planning, enhanced attention, and total transparency because the highest priority tasks are constantly displayed on the board. Developers can remain focused on the current work, and operational teams who prioritise continuous delivery and often change their priorities will find Kanban to be very helpful.

There are two main methods for managing teamwork: scrum and kanban. With a clear strategy and prioritised chunks of work, Scrum splits the work into fixed-length sprints, whereas Kanban focuses on flexible planning with shifting priorities. However, some teams may find that combining the two methods will better serve their needs, for example, by combining the sprints and backlog from scrum with the WIP caps and cycle time from kanban. The scrumban mixed methodology can be altered to meet the needs of various teams. Cycle time is the amount of time needed for a job to complete its whole journey through a team's workflow.

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What is kanplan?

For agile software development teams, there is a blended technique called Kanplan that includes elements of both kanban and scrum. The ideal option for teams that want to backlog groom but do not want to work in sprints is Kanplan, which is comparable to Scrumban. In other words, Kanplan offers backlog grooming in addition to the flexibility of kanban. Teams that struggle with the time-bound nature of scrum sprints but still want to prioritise their work using a backlog may find this method to be helpful.

Why kanban is a foundation and not a strict framework

The build engineering team is in charge of creating, testing, and releasing Atlassian products. To assist the work of developers, they are tasked with offering a robust infrastructure and a prompt Continuous Integration (CI) process. This required performing about 21,000 builds per month four years ago. The crew now needs to deal with more than 150,000 builds each month, though, as a result of the current workload. The team's commitment to a dependable and scalable build and delivery infrastructure has allowed for a rapid expansion of Atlassian's software development operations, which is shown by this exponential rise in the number of builds handled each month.

The platform used to create, test, and distribute Atlassian software is overseen by the build engineering team of Atlassian. The team had to expand its operations from 21,000 to over 150,000 builds per month to meet up with the rising demand. The team expanded in size, switched from Subversion to Git, put automated testing into place, and decided to switch from scrum to kanban in order to do this. The team used scrumban and subsequently kanban because the nature of their work did not fit well with the scrum structure. However, despite trying numerous boards with various workflows, the team found it difficult to make kanban operate effectively. They had to deal with a column of unresolved problems that needed to be put into ready-for-work state, which slowed down their operations.

To elaborate, the Atlassian build engineering team decided to switch to kanban because they required more flexibility to manage a variety of ad hoc requests, problems, and innovation activities. They quickly realised that kanban did not completely address all of their issues, and their inefficiencies persisted in the "wasteland" column. They were forced to redesign their workflows, put in place a triage system, and lower their work in progress (WIP) restrictions as a result. They were able to streamline their processes and increase their overall effectiveness as a result.

Turn your to-do list into a backlog

Through daily meetings and weekly planning sessions, the build engineering team made an effort to deal with their lengthy and disorganised to-do list. However, they realised that a backlog, not more meetings, was what they really needed. Managers and leads frequently use the first column of issues to plan because kanban boards typically lack this feature. It gets harder to prioritise and picture the problems as the list gets longer. The unified team board remained overpowering and required a lot of scrolling even after the boards were divided according to different areas of work.

The Jira Software team decided to address the issue of disorganised to-do lists by adding backlogs to kanban rather than trying to come up with various ways to restructure the team or the boards. The kanplan feature, which is available in both Jira Software Cloud and Server, was developed to do this. The kanban board is divided into two separate screens by the kanplan feature, which adds a wide column backlog with issues in a listview. The backlog is used for backlog grooming, while the kanban board is used by the engineering team to choose and move jobs along the workflow.

This brand-new feature in Jira Software works like the backlog of a scrum board. The user gets directed to a long column of backlog issues when they click the backlog symbol in the sidebar. Issues can be dragged and dropped into the following stage of the workflow after the backlog has been groomed. By giving the team a transparent and manageable workflow, this enables improved task organisation and prioritisation and boosts overall productivity.


Jira Software team created an agile board that works like a scrum board backlog by combining the kanban board and scrum board backlog to streamline team job management and reduce distractions. The issue detail view, which offers a more concentrated perspective and enables team members to complete tasks more efficiently, may be accessed by clicking on an issue on this board.

Additionally, teams that do not use scrum but rather organise their releases using epics and preassigned versions can still profit from the features found in scrum boards. Product and development managers may easily and effectively manage epics and versions while working in plan mode with the help of tools like view problems and quick edit.

Want to add a backlog to your kanban board?

For teams who wish to benefit from both kanban and scrum, the kanplan feature offers a practical answer. It resolves the problems encountered by Atlassian's build engineering team and presents a new form of work management for teams that find conventional techniques insufficient by allowing users to move cards without a sprint being in process and establishing a backlog for better planning. Instead of mindlessly adhering to best practises that might not be suitable for their team, teams can adapt their workflow using the plan mode on the kanban board. Agile development's core principle is constant improvement rather than rigid adherence to best practises.  By offering a flexible framework that can be tailored to a team's unique needs, Kanplan supports this attitude.

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The backlog screen from scrum and the kanban board are combined in the new Jira Software feature called Kanplan. Teams can place tasks into a backlog to better plan and move cards around without a sprint being in process. This is especially helpful for teams who don't believe that kanban, scrum, or scrumban provide them with the framework they want to complete the task they want.

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