If you've discovered the value of Scrum agile development while making your game, expert Clinton Keith outlines Lean and Kanban
, two ways you can be agile during all phases of the game development process.
Lean Development and Production is mostly derived from the Toyota Production System designed in the late 1940s to eliminate overburdening, inconsistencies, and waste. Many car manufacturers and other manufacturing industries adopted the principles of lean thinking in the 1990s:
"This past decade has seen its adoption in many industries that aren't considered in the traditional manufacturing arena, including software development. Lean principles concentrate on eliminating waste, delivering fast, empowering the team and seeing the whole (Among others benefits -- see the book references at the end of this article).
We can apply these principles to game development as well. Like automobile manufacturing, in production we have long chains, or streams, of work that need to be performed by specialists in order.
Like automobile manufacturing, the cost of labor and mistakes are by far the greatest costs. We need to employ the full skills of everyone "on the line" to improve what we do and how we do it. The automobile industry discovered decades ago that assigning everyone on the line a fixed set of tasks does not achieve the best results."
Anyone that has used Scrum has also used a simple Kanban system, which represents a "pull system" for work:
"A Kanban card is a signal that is supposed to trigger action. You can see Kanban everywhere. The next time you order a barista drink at Starbucks you can see a Kanban system in place. The coffee cup with the markings on the side is the Kanban!
With Scrum, a team member "pulls" a card across a board on a daily basis as accomplish work. No one is pushing the work at them in at a predefined rate.
We can employ some of the practices of Kanban that are not used in Scrum to visualize a complex production stream and allow us to apply lean principles to make that production stream as effective as possible."
You can read the full feature
, which goes into detail on the Kanban system, Lean principles, and why their concepts are an attractive alternative to adopting waterfall practices (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).