For enquiries call:



HomeBlogAgileWhat is Scrumban? Definition, Process, Implementation

What is Scrumban? Definition, Process, Implementation

27th Sep, 2023
view count loader
Read it in
14 Mins
In this article
    What is Scrumban? Definition, Process, Implementation

    Scrumban is an innovative project management methodology combining Scrum and Kanban . It is a practical and effective approach to managing projects and workflows. The Scrumban framework is discussed in a comprehensive guide that covers the definition and meaning of its principles, benefits, and implementation. For those who are interested in Kanban, it may be worthwhile to explore Kanban courses for practical learning opportunities.

    The guide offers insight into What is Scrumban in Agile? It explores its framework and process and provides a step-by-step guide to implementing it in an organization. It also includes a Scrumban example and workflow to demonstrate this methodology's work. The Scrumban guide is suitable for anyone interested in enhancing their Agile skills, whether a seasoned Scrum Master or team member. Let's dive deep into Scrumban.

    What is Scrumban?

    Scrumban is a project management methodology that combines Scrum and Kanban. It is a hybrid approach that provides flexibility, structure, and continuous improvement. It emphasizes visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and prioritizing tasks based on business value and customer needs. Scrumban is beneficial for teams that have outgrown Kanban and need more structure, or for teams that have adopted Scrum but struggle with its strict framework. It uses sprints, retrospectives, and planning meetings to provide structure while also allowing for flexibility and adaptation to change. Scrumban helps teams optimize their workflow and improve their overall efficiency. As a Scrum Master, obtaining a Scrum Master certification can help you guide your team through the adoption of Scrumban.

    Why are Teams Merging Scrum and Kanban?

    Teams are merging Scrum and Kanban because it helps them optimize their workflows and improve their efficiency in software development. While Scrum provides structure and visibility, Kanban offers flexibility and adaptability. By combining the two approaches, teams can tailor their workflows to meet the specific needs of their business while emphasizing continuous improvement.

    Disadvantages of Scrum

    Disadvantages of Scrum include the rigid nature of the framework, which can make it difficult to adapt to changes quickly. Additionally, the intense focus on meeting sprint goals can cause teams to overlook long-term goals and strategic planning.

    Disadvantages of Kanban

    Disadvantages of Kanban include a lack of structure, which can make it difficult to track progress and identify bottlenecks. Additionally, the pull-based approach can lead to overburdening team members if there is a sudden surge in demand.

    How Scrumban Combines Scrum and Kanban?

    Scrumban combines Scrum and Kanban by leveraging the strengths of both methodologies.

    1. It uses Scrum's sprint framework but allows teams to customize the duration of sprints.
    2. Scrumban leverages Kanban's visual board and WIP limits to optimize workflow and monitor work progress.
    3. It emphasizes the importance of continuous delivery and feedback, enabling teams to make changes in real-time and continuously improve processes.
    4. Scrumban promotes a collaborative and self-organizing team structure, empowering team members to take ownership and make decisions.
    5. It prioritizes customer value by refining and prioritizing the product backlog.
    6. By combining Scrum and Kanban, Scrumban offers a flexible approach that allows teams to customize their processes and adapt to changing circumstances.
    7. Scrumban helps teams improve efficiency, reduce waste, and deliver value to customers by incorporating key principles from both methodologies.

    How Does Scrumban Work-Step by Step Guide?

    The Scrumban process begins with Scrum's sprint planning, daily stand-up, and retrospective meetings. Then, it shifts to a continuous flow of work through the use of Kanban's visual boards and WIP limits. The team adapts to changing priorities and focuses on delivering value quickly. 

    Step 1: Develop a Scrumban board

    To develop a Scrumban board, start by defining the workflow stages and creating columns for each stage on the board. Add task cards with descriptions, owners, and due dates. Use color-coding to indicate priority and urgency. Set work-in-progress limits to ensure a smooth flow of work. Prioritize tasks and move high-priority tasks to the top of the "To Do" column. Ensure that the board is visible and accessible to all team members. Regularly review and adapt the board to optimize team performance. By following these steps, a Scrumban board can help teams effectively manage their work and improve their productivity.

    Step 2: Set your work-in-progress limits

    To set work-in-progress (WIP) limits, start by analyzing the team's historical performance data and identifying the bottlenecks in the workflow. Then, determine the maximum number of tasks that can be in progress at each stage without causing delays or overloading team members. Set these limits on the Scrumban board, and ensure that team members understand and adhere to them. Regularly review and adjust the WIP limits to optimize workflow and improve team performance. WIP limits can help teams maintain a steady flow of work and avoid common productivity issues, such as multitasking and task switching.

    Step 3: Order the team’s priorities on the board

    To order the team's priorities on the Scrumban board, start by creating a backlog of tasks that need to be completed. Then, prioritize the tasks based on their urgency and importance. Use color-coding or labels to indicate the priority level of each task. Move the highest priority tasks to the top of the "To Do" column on the board. Encourage the team to focus on completing the highest priority tasks before moving on to lower priority ones. Review and adjust the task priorities regularly to ensure that the team is always working on the most important tasks. Prioritizing tasks can help teams stay focused and achieve their goals more efficiently.

    Step 4: Throw out the planning-poker cards

    Throwing out planning-poker cards involves abandoning the traditional method of estimating task complexity and switching to a more collaborative approach. Instead of using individual estimations, the team works together to discuss the complexity of each task and reach a consensus on the time required to complete it. This approach promotes better communication and collaboration among team members, improves accuracy in task estimations, and helps the team achieve a shared understanding of the work to be done. By moving away from the rigid estimation process of planning-poker cards, teams can improve their productivity and efficiency.

    Step 5: Set your daily meetings

    To set up daily meetings, also known as daily stand-ups, start by scheduling a regular time and location for the meeting. Keep the meeting short and focused, ideally 15 minutes or less. During the meeting, each team member should give a brief update on their progress, identify any roadblocks or issues, and indicate what they plan to work on next. The team should discuss any items that require attention and make decisions collaboratively. Ensure that everyone attends the meeting and actively participates. Regular daily stand-ups can help teams stay aligned, identify and address issues quickly, and maintain a steady pace of work.

    When to Consider Using Scrumban?

    Scrumban can be considered in several situations, including:

    1. Teams that have outgrown Kanban: If a team is finding that Kanban is no longer providing enough structure or guidance, Scrumban can provide a more structured approach while still maintaining flexibility.
    2. Teams that have adopted Scrum but are struggling to implement it effectively: If a team is finding that Scrum's strict framework is too rigid for their needs, Scrumban can provide a more flexible approach while still incorporating the benefits of sprints, retrospectives, and planning meetings.
    3. Teams that need to prioritize work based on business value and customer needs: Scrumban can help teams focus on delivering value to the customer quickly and efficiently by prioritizing work based on business value and customer needs.
    4. Teams that need to accommodate changing requirements: Scrumban's flexibility and adaptability make it a good choice for teams that need to be able to respond to changing requirements or shifting priorities.
    5. Teams that need to improve their overall efficiency: Scrumban's emphasis on continuous improvement can help teams optimize their workflow and improve their overall efficiency.

    Overall, Scrumban can be a good choice for teams that need a flexible and adaptable approach to project management while still providing structure and guidance.

    Differences between Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban

    Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban are Agile methodologies that offer different approaches to project management. Scrum is best suited for complex projects with evolving requirements and emphasizes planning and delivery through time-boxed sprints and a fixed team structure. Kanban, on the other hand, focuses on continuous delivery and flow, with visual boards and WIP limits that help teams manage steady, predictable workflows.

    Scrumban is a combination of Scrum and Kanban that offers a flexible approach to project management. It uses sprints and visual boards, allowing teams to adapt to changing circumstances while optimizing workflow and reducing waste. Scrumban emphasizes continuous delivery, feedback, and waste reduction, making it an excellent choice for teams that need to balance structure and adaptability.

    Overall, each methodology has its own strengths and is best suited for different types of projects and teams. It's essential to consider the project's specific requirements, team structure, and workflow when deciding which methodology to use.

    Advantages of Scrumban Methodology

    Scrumban methodology offers several advantages to teams looking to improve their software development process. Here are some of the key benefits of using Scrumban:

    1. Flexibility: Scrumban methodology provides the best of both worlds, allowing teams to leverage the flexibility of Kanban and the structure of Scrum. It allows teams to adapt quickly to changing requirements, while also providing a framework to plan and manage work more effectively.
    2. Reduced Waste: By limiting work in progress and focusing on completing tasks before starting new ones, Scrumban methodology helps teams reduce waste and increase efficiency.
    3. Improved Visibility: Scrumban methodology provides a visual representation of the team's workflow, making it easier to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
    4. Continuous Improvement: Scrumban methodology emphasizes continuous improvement through regular retrospectives, allowing teams to identify and address issues as they arise.
    5. Enhanced Collaboration: Scrumban methodology encourages collaboration between team members, as well as between teams and stakeholders, leading to better communication and alignment on project goals.

    Overall, Scrumban methodology can help teams become more responsive, efficient, and effective in delivering high-quality software products.

    Disadvantages of Scrumban Methodology

    As with any methodology, Scrumban also has some potential drawbacks. Here are a few disadvantages of using the Scrumban methodology:

    1. Complexity: Scrumban combines elements of Scrum and Kanban, which can make it more complex than either of these methodologies on their own.
    2. Limited Guidance: While Scrumban provides some guidance on how to implement the methodology, it does not have the same level of structure and guidance as Scrum or Kanban.
    3. Requires Expertise: Scrumban requires a certain level of expertise in both Scrum and Kanban, which may be challenging for teams who are not familiar with both methodologies.
    4. Potential Conflicts: Scrumban can lead to conflicts between team members who prefer one methodology over the other.
    5. Lack of Formal Training: As Scrumban is a relatively new methodology, there is a lack of formal training and certification programs available, making it difficult for teams to receive standardized training.

    It is essential to consider the potential drawbacks when deciding whether Scrumban is the right methodology for your team.

    How to Implement the Scrumban Methodology?

    Implementing the Scrumban methodology requires a structured approach. Here are the steps to consider when implementing Scrumban:

    1. Identify the need for Scrumban: Before implementing Scrumban, it is essential to identify whether it is required for the project. Scrumban works well for projects that require flexibility and continuous improvement.
    2. Train the team: It is crucial to train the team on the principles and practices of Scrumban. The training should focus on the workflow, the pull system, and continuous improvement.
    3. Develop a Scrumban board: Create a Scrumban board that reflects the workflow of the project. The board should include columns such as backlog, ready for development, development in progress, ready for testing, and done.
    4. Define WIP Limits: Set work-in-progress (WIP) limits for each column on the Scrumban board. These limits prevent overloading the team with too many tasks at a time.
    5. Implement Pull system: Implement the pull system to help the team prioritize tasks based on their importance.
    6. Monitor the process: Continuously monitor the Scrumban process to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
    7. Improve the process: Analyze the data collected during the monitoring process and make improvements to the Scrumban process.

    By following these steps, you can effectively implement the Scrumban methodology for your project.

    Key Takeaways

    Some key takeaways from the Scrumban methodology are:

    1. Scrumban combines the best of both worlds from Scrum and Kanban, providing flexibility and continuous improvement.
    2. It emphasizes on the continuous delivery of high-quality products.
    3. It can be used for both software development and non-IT projects.
    4. It focuses on improving flow and reducing waste in the development process.
    5. Scrumban encourages collaboration between team members, stakeholders, and customers.
    6. It provides real-time visibility into the status of work in progress, allowing for better decision-making and risk management.
    7. Scrumban is adaptable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of an organization.
    8. The methodology promotes a culture of continuous improvement, allowing for ongoing experimentation and learning.
    9. Scrumban can be used in conjunction with other methodologies, such as Agile and Lean.

    Overall, Scrumban offers a flexible and adaptable approach to project management that prioritizes continuous improvement and value delivery, making it an ideal framework for teams seeking Agile training and methodologies.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is a Scrumban board?

    A Scrumban board is a visual management tool used to track the progress of work in a software development project that utilizes the Scrumban methodology. It is similar to a Kanban board and typically consists of columns that represent the various stages of the development process, such as backlog, analysis, development, testing, and deployment. Work items, represented by cards or sticky notes, are moved across the board as they progress through the stages. The Scrumban board provides a visual representation of the development process, making it easier for the team to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and prioritize work items.

    2What is Scrumban used for?

    Scrumban is a project management methodology that is used for managing workflows, improving team efficiency, and delivering high-quality products or services. It is particularly useful for teams that are experiencing inefficiencies and want to optimize their workflow, and for those who want to incorporate the benefits of both Scrum and Kanban methodologies. Scrumban is commonly used in software development, product development, and service delivery, but it can be applied to any project or process that involves managing and prioritizing multiple tasks or work items.

    3Is Jira a Scrumban?

    Jira is a software tool that can be used to implement various project management methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban. Jira provides teams with a platform to plan, track, and manage their work, and it can be customized to support specific workflows and processes. Therefore, while Jira is not specifically a Scrumban, it can be used to implement Scrumban by providing teams with a visual board for managing work, tracking progress, and identifying bottlenecks.

    4What are the characteristics of Scrumban?

    The characteristics of Scrumban include:

    1. Hybrid approach that combines Scrum and Kanban principles
    2. Pull-based approach to optimize workflow efficiency and reduce work in progress
    3. Focus on continuous improvement
    4. Flexibility to customize workflows to meet the specific needs of the business
    5. Visual management techniques, such as Kanban boards, to provide teams with a clear overview of the work in progress
    6. Team collaboration and communication through daily stand-up meetings and regular retrospectives
    7. Incremental delivery of small batches of work to improve customer satisfaction and reduce the risk of project failure.

    Rajesh Bhagia

    Blog Author

    Rajesh Bhagia is experienced campaigner in Lamp technologies and has 10 years of experience in Project Management. He has worked in Multinational companies and has handled small to very complex projects single-handedly. He started his career as Junior Programmer and has evolved in different positions including Project Manager of Projects in E-commerce Portals. Currently, he is handling one of the largest project in E-commerce Domain in MNC company which deals in nearly 9.5 million SKU's.

    In his role as Project Manager at MNC company, Rajesh fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. His strong communication and client service skills enhance his process-driven management philosophy.

    Rajesh is a certified Zend Professional and has developed a flair for implementing PMP Knowledge Areas in daily work schedules. He has well understood the importance of these process and considers that using the knowledge Areas efficiently and correctly can turn projects to success. He also writes articles/blogs on Technology and Management

    Share This Article
    Ready to Master the Skills that Drive Your Career?

    Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

    Your Message (Optional)

    Upcoming Agile Management Batches & Dates

    NameDateFeeKnow more
    Course advisor icon
    Whatsapp/Chat icon