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Toyota's Kanban Is Still Driving Agile

Agile project practitioner VersionOne has released a new version of its Team Room developer support environment product. The Agile team tool sits alongside related new visualization improvements, reporting capabilities, and Kanban improvements.

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NOTE: Kanban is a technique for managing software development initially based upon Toyota's "just-in-time" (JIT) production system. The Japanese word means "card you can see" when roughly translated. Toyota used the system to base car production on physical customer orders rather than managerial forecasts. The Kanban-guided software development process, from requirements to development, follows the same principles of "create it when you need it".

TeamRoom is designed to support team members' daily activities, providing interactive storyboards and taskboards, integrated team communication, and helpful information for daily "stand-up" sessions.

Developers can customize their TeamRoom with mascots and avatars, select the information panels to display data that is important to them, and implement their own team-based WIP limits.

"Today's Agile project management tools cater to either the development team or the project manager, but not both," said VersionOne CEO, Robert Holler. "With our latest release, software organizations finally get the benefit of both an enterprise Agile lifecycle management tool for roll-up and reporting purposes along with a streamlined team experience."

Holler claims that TeamRoom's more personal configuration options along with its WIP controls allow the personality of teams to "take front-and-center", while still providing the visibility needs of the enterprise.

In this VersionOne Fall 2012 release we find relationship visualization — to enable everyone to understand relationships between work items flowing through the development cycle; and storyboard aging — to show the time work items have been in process, helping teams identify stalled stories and potential project impediments.

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