When you read about Kanban the thing which usually isn’t described in details is what happens with sticky notes which make their way to the right side of the board and are in the last column of your Kanban Board (however you call it).
To be honest I didn’t put much thought in that when we were starting with Kanban. Our sticky notes were just stacking up in ready-to-ship column until we no longer could read them easily. And it was just a matter of time when they were going to come unstuck and fall being trashed by cleaner and forgotten forever.
What we decided to do is to file a sticky note when a feature is actually shipped.
We don’t ship every MMF separately although there are some who do that. We rather look for a complete set of features and ship them in a package. That’s why out “done” column was named “ready to ship” since it is one thing to have some feature ready and completely separated to implement it in production environment. At least it is so in our case.
The key thing for our team is to have feature ready to deploy as soon as possible, not to have it live as soon as possible. It is so because due to a bunch of external dependencies (interoperability) deployment is pretty painful and rather long process which we definitely don’t want to do twice a week.
However when we decide to ship something – there comes everything which is ready at the moment. This is the operation which empties our ready-to-ship column. I take all sticky notes which were in the column and add them to the stack stored in my drawer. After all we need some documentation, don’t we?
Read the whole Kanban Story.