Scrum + Kanban = Scrumban

April 25, 2014

What are the benefits of Scrumban + What Kind of Work is Agile Scrumban Best Suited For?

blog-140425-scrum-kanban-scrumban-336x336 Scrum + Kanban = Scrumban agile The Agile Scrumban approach combines the use of Scrum and Kanban and is commonly used in development and maintenance projects. It contains the best features of both methods with the fundamental elements of Scrum’s Agile working in combination with the Kanban lean towards process improvement. In practice the two methods are separate, fit for different purposes with Scrum for developers, whereas Kanban is more suited for IT operations – maintenance groups. However, development and maintenance teams need cross-competencies: maintenance requires development capabilities for bug fixing, while development needs a process management for production. Teams can consider implementing Scrumban in maintenance projects, event-driven work and agile teams focused on new product development. In product development projects, Kanban represents the lean approach for efficient production of new products.

Scrumban = Scrum + Kanban

Scrum focuses on small, cross-functional, self-organizing teams, requiring team members to split the work into a list of small, concrete deliverables, then set priorities and estimate the relative effort of each item. Scrum is based on short fixed-length iterations (usually 1–4 weeks), with potentially shippable code demonstrated after each iteration, and use retrospective to optimize the process after each iteration.

Kanban is a tool for visualizing workflow by splitting the work into pieces, writing each item on a card and putting it on the wall. It uses named columns (to-do, in progress and done) to illustrate where each item is in the workflow. Limiting Work In Progress (WIP) helps to explicitly limit how many items may be in each workflow state.

Scrumban helps to increase quality, work just-in-time, shorten lead time and it also helps continuous process improvement by minimizing waste due to eliminating everything that is not adding value to the customer.

When to use Scrumban?

  • For maintenance of different applications
  • For event-driven work like IT support – help-desk hot-line
  • In Agile teams focused on new product development

In order to better understand Scrumban practice, this short table collects some elements of Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban.

Elements Kanban Scrum Scrumban
Roles No described roles Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team roles Team + needed roles
Ceremonies No daily stand up, no review and retrospective meetings Daily stand up, review and retrospective for improvements Daily stand up supported with the Kanban board for status management
Workflow Continuous workflow No Workflow defined, WIP limits are used
Iterations no Sprints 1-4 weeks Continuous workflow
Change Management and bug fixing Just in time Next sprint Can be added at anytime to the board

Using Kanban can result in higher efficiency with the combination of Scrum for development and maintenance teams.

Scrumban can be used by development and maintenance teams as well. You can try our Scrum project templates for free for Agile development (SCRUM project) which contains the Kanban board for managing the workflow.

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Related E-Book

Agile-Waterfall Hybrid Template

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Reka Moksony

Written by

Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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