Scrum + Kanban = Scrumban

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You knew it would happen and so it has, with the growing popularity of Kanban in recent years by the Agile community someone was going to merge Scrum with Kanban and call it something cute: Scrumban! (Scrum + Kanban).  Before you roll your eyes and shrug your shoulder at "yet another Agile method", it may be something worth looking at.

Here's a slide from Yuval Yeret who was apparently one of the first few people to formally propose this:

So in a nutshell here's the rationale for combining the two:

  • Since there seems to be many synergies between Scrum and Kanban techniques, why not combine the best elements of both into one
  • Kanban already has a well know lean way of visually presenting the flow of work, so use it to visualize backlog items and user stories
  • Itegrate daily stand up meetings with Kanban review boards to move the flow of the project more effectively
  • Use visual WIPs to help prioritize backlog items and user stories to efficiently achieve incremental progress

Some challenges you will face and need to address before moving forward:

  • Unless you and your teams familiarize yourself well with both techniques, you may waste more time context switching between which Scrum or Kanban method to follow.  Worse, you will confuse the team and Product Owner with inappropriate use of terminology creating self-induced impediments
  • Kanban places a limit on WIPs, which in Scrum means placing a ceiling on the number of backlog items to be checked off at any given time causing the flow to slow and/or stop.
    • Not too big of a deal, but goes back to the previous challenge just mentioned in that a Scrum centered team will get slowed down by wondering what to do when the limit is reached

Anyway, this is yet another inevitable evolutionary iteration of Agile methods and techniques that you may want to familiarize yourself with and try out if it suits your project's goal and requirements.

Posted on: October 19, 2012 08:38 PM | Permalink

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