When it comes to Operations and Maintenance (O&M), we lean towards Kanban because is a more effective means of prioritization and workflow because new issues are continually emerging, often without notice, and it is frequently difficult to plan or anticipate these issues. Like any first responder at a hospital emergency room, major traffic accident, or some other crisis; it is essential to rapidly respond, troubleshoot, diagnose, prioritize, and treat the most critical and urgent tasks at a time. We expect change, issues, and emergencies to happen. Kanban allows us to remain in a constant state of preparedness and more able to respond.
Kanban boards allow the entire team to visualize the priorities and workflow so if there is a crisis or emergency, we can shift the right resources into place. Kanban boards also allow us to identify bottlenecks so we can adjust minimize Work in Progress (WIP). Kanban increases transparency and requires real-time communication, so everybody is in the loop.
The most important benefit of Kanban, when it comes to O&M is its flexibility to allow the product owner to reprioritize work in the backlog without disrupting the team. If the most important items are on top of the backlog, the rest of the team is assured they are delivering maximum value and resolving the most urgent and important issues at any given time.
We believe there is no such thing as effective multi-tasking. The more frequently teams must switch context, the lower their velocity and throughput. So, a key principle and benefit of Kanban is to limit WIP, which also limits bottlenecks and increases work accomplished. For Kanban to work effectively, the continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI-CD) pipeline must be completely automated.