Scrumban | best Kanban and Scrum

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17th Oct, 2022
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Scrumban | best Kanban and Scrum

Scrumban is a blend of Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is an Agile methodology, created to help the existing Scrum teams in exploring Lean and Kanban concepts in the organization & also Scrum and kanban is deciding new agile benchmark in organization. But, why is there a need of merging Scrum and Kanban methodologies? The discrete syllables “Scrum” and “ban”, are enough to describe the several phases of transition from Scrum to Kanban.

Basically, Scrumban is an Agile management framework, that is implemented when the teams opt for Scrum as the working way and use Kanban methodology as a magnifying glass to view, understand and carry out continuous improvement in the work.  

Today, many organizations are experiencing some issues with the Scrum methodology, so they steer their way of working to the Kanban methodology. But some of the enterprises have discovered an optimized means of clubbing the methodologies forming ‘Scrumban’, as a new way for the teams to follow.  

Why are teams merging Scrum and Kanban?  

The need of combining these two concepts is due to the cons of both the technologies. Let us see the disadvantages of Scrum and Kanban methodologies.

Cons of Scrum:

  • Scrum works according to the emphatic guide. ‘Sprints must be time-boxed to a month or less’, as mentioned in the the Scrum guide. This rule is deccelerating the working pace of the teams. 
  • Each sprint should result in a potentially releasable product at the end of each increment.
  • Scrum teams are asked to deliver the software- designed, coded and tested to the stakeholders, in a very short span. This causes more ‘anxiety’ among the team members.
  • Scrum teams have to entirely commit to the customers’ requirements. In case they fail to achieve the high-priority target, they might have to decide to add some technical debts to solve the time-boxed problem.

Cons of Kanban:

  • Kanban provides a very linear technique of work. It was firstly used in the car manufacturing line, which was successful as well. So, it is believed that the Kanban can only be used in the systems which have repeatable processes. 
  • Kanban is not very useful in complex systems like software development process as the software needs change at each and every point. 

Merging Scrum and Kanban

Corey Ladas was the first to coin the term “Scrumban”. According to him, 
“Scrum can be a useful scaffold to hold a team together while you erect a more optimized solution in place. At some point you can slough off the cocoon and allow the pull system to spread its wings and take flight.” 
In one of the article, Corey suggested that the time-box principle, mandated by the Scrum, is no longer necessary. In a recently released book, Ajay Reddy stated-
“Although Scrumban has evolved as a framework over the years, it has no definitive guide or definition. In fact, as highlighted early in this book, several “authoritative” sources disagree about what Scrumban actually represents”.  

There are a few changes made in the practices of ‘Scrumban over Scrum’. Let us look at those changes:

  • Added some specialized teams and functions
  • Self-organization concept, but with some specific boundaries
  • Applied the policies explicitly in the working styles
  • Queuing theory and the laws of flow are applied  

Let us see that how Scrumban is distinct from a Kanban method, as follows:

  • Organized around the teams
  • Prescribed a proper framework for the teams to work instead of just specifying a technique as in Kanban
  • Realized the value of time-boxed iterations
  • Focuses on continuous improvement techniques

The team needs a proper structure and a set of practices as a starting point of any project. Comparatively, Scrum is prescribed more than the Kanban technique. Newly formed teams usually benefit from the structured framework. Those teams who like structure and continuous improvement by the Scrum but want continuous flow which is provided by Kanban can go for the Scrum/Kanban hybrid i.e. Scrumban. Large enterprise framework viz., Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) make use of the both models- Scrum and Kanban.

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