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How to Use Kanban for IT Operations (DevOps)

Using Kanban for IT operations can be a great option to scale your DevOps easily in an non-obstrusive manner. 

Implementing this lean methodology across DevOps teams can lead to improvements in process management, team productivity, and flow of daily operations.

What is IT operations or DevOps?

IT operations is based on a software development methodology that strives to increase collaboration, communication, and cooperation between stakeholders in software development, quality assurance, and IT operations. 

IT operations are also known as DevOps. With minimum downtime, DevOps powers incremental deployment of small revisions and website or product updates. 

It has fast become a must-have for tech companies to correct fixes, improve performance, and deliver advanced product features.

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Why use Kanban for IT operations?

To deliver a consistent and feature-rich solution for the end-customer, a DevOps team needs to ensure on-time delivery of high-quality products that meet industry standards.

Traditionally, the three teams of software development, quality assurance, and IT operations have operated independently, but they need to function together as one for project success.

Kanban works well with the incremental delivery and deployment needs of DevOps teams while encouraging them to focus on enhancing the flow in the system.

Combining multi-disciplinary workflows of test, deployment, development, application monitoring, and integration becomes easier with Kanban. 

Kanban enables your team to maintain stable flows while visualizing the complete value stream at once.

How to use Kanban for IT operations

Since Kanban has a board structure, it is best to start with a simple layout and add more detailed cards as needed. Keeping it simple will also help teams understand progress better, and they’ll be able to update it as per schedule.

Here is a sample board structure that can serve as an inspiration to organize Kanban in IT operations:

  • To Do – This column includes cards of all work tasks that are yet to be done
  • Doing – This column can have a listing of tasks that are work-in-progress
  • Testing – This column can house that are in the testing phase of the workflow
  • Done – In this column, cards with tasks that have been completed are moved

Additional columns for production, automation, and operation can be added either vertically or horizontally.

  • Production – Any work issues identified in production will be moved here and tackled on priority until completely resolved.
  • Operations – Use this column to curate all administrative tasks and support requests in one place. Keeping this section relatively clean will allow your team to focus on more strategic projects.
  • Automation – Automating repetitive and manual tasks is a priority in the DevOps culture, and this column can be used to highlight possible tasks that can be automated.