Following a well-established track record of success in other domains such as manufacturing, Kanban is increasingly used to achieve continuous development and delivery of value in the software industry. However, while research on Kanban in software is growing, these articles are largely descriptive, and there is limited rigorous research on its application and with little cohesive building of cumulative knowledge. As a result, it is extremely difficult to determine the true value of Kanban in software engineering. This study investigates the scientific evidence to date regarding Kanban by conducting a systematic mapping of Kanban literature in software engineering between 2006 and 2016. The search strategy resulted in 382 studies, of which 23 were identified as primary papers relevant to this research. This study is unique as it compares the findings of these primary papers with insights from a review of 23 Kanban experience reports during the same period. This study makes four important contributions, (i) a state-of-the-art of Kanban research is provided, (ii) the reported benefits and challenges are identified in both the primary papers and experience reports, (iii) recommended practices from both the primary papers and experience reports are listed and (iv) opportunities for future Kanban research are identified. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.