Kanban is probably the best thing that can happen to a DevOps team from the “project/process management” point of view. It is infinitely flexible and is able to address the core issues that a regular DevOps team has in a lightweight and unobtrusive way. Definitely, give it a try and let us know how that works for you in the comments section below.
While you may choose to implement a much more complex board, we would like to suggest starting with the simplest format possible and improving as appropriate. With the sample board above there are three default columns “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”, but we have added three horizontal lanes. Let us go through them one by one.
- Production Issues – this is the nightmare of every DevOps team. Production issues means unhappy users and this is the worst thing that can happen. If you have something in this lane, you must stop doing whatever it is that you are doing and tackle the production issue. Once the issue is fixed and marked Done, then you can continue with your ordinary tasks.
- Automation – a great deal of the work in a DevOps team is automating repeatable tasks or at least it should be. Having this lane on your Kanban board is a way to say “Yes, we understand automation, we give it a special place on our Kanban board, and we want to measure how many jobs we automate and how much time it takes”.
- Operations – this is where support tickets come in or where you put some administrative tasks like meetings, phone calls, etc. Try to keep this lane as empty as possible, it will give room for automation or strategic projects.