When it comes to Agile software development, there are several different frameworks that teams adopt. Two of the most common are of course Scrum and Kanban. While each has its own set of advantages, they also have shortcomings that the other addresses. That’s where Scrumban comes in. Scrumban is a new and interesting concept that lies halfway between Scrum and Kanban.
Before we dive into how Scrumban helps teams effectively stay on track, let’s take a quick look at Scrum and Kanban individually.
Scrum is an agile methodology for managing software development projects. With Scrum, the team organizes itself into specific roles: a Scrum Master, a product owner, and the Scrum team. The team also breaks its workload into time-boxed intervals, called sprints, that last between a week and a month.
In typical practice for Scrum, the team holds regular meetings like sprint planning sessions, reviews, retrospectives, and sometimes backlog grooming. And, of course, there are the daily standup meetings where everyone on the team gives a status update on their progress in the sprint.
Kanban, on the other hand, is a visual approach for managing the team’s workload. It gives us more flexible planning options, faster output, clearer focus, and transparency throughout the development cycle. Kanban is much less timeboxed than Scrum and has none of the typical Scrum meetings or roles.
Scrumban: The Best of Both Worlds
Scrumban combines the best features of both methods. It joins the structure and predictive routines of Scrum with the process improvement capabilities of Kanban, allowing teams to be more agile, effective, and productive.
One of the main advantages of Scrumban is that it saves time. That’s because Scrumban doesn’t have mandatory meetings every week. And despite that, everyone remains on the same page because of the transparency that it provides us with in terms of workflow. Of course, if needed, a team can always introduce a daily standup meeting to discuss plans or challenges for the upcoming day.
Scrumban team members also have the autonomy to choose tasks using the pull principle. This very lean technique controls the workflow by only moving forward when the last task has been completed.
The Benefits of Scrumban
Let’s talk a bit about bottlenecks. Bottlenecks slow down work, mess up schedules, and waste time and money. Scrumban is a great way to find those bottlenecks and fix them before they become a problem. Scrumban also minimizes waste, meaning that anything that is not important for the client is also regarded as not important by the teamt, and no resources are wasted on it.
Something that makes Scrumban very flexible is that changes can be introduced at any time and work on them can start immediately. By comparison, in Scrum, a change cannot be introduced once a sprint has started in Scrum. Scrumban delivers in a continuous flow, as Kanban does, but if needed, sprints can be introduced to help the team.
Last but not least, Scrumban is intuitive. It’s a simple hybrid process that can be easily adapted. There’s no need for a Scrum master for facilitating everything, or even a product owner. But Scrumban is relatively new and there are no best practices to guide us yet. But that opens doors for some teams to see what works for them best, and then create those best practices for them.
When to use Scrumban?
Scrumban is suitable for maintenance of ongoing projects or when a company wants to give more flexibility to its teams in how they work. It can be applied to big or small projects, and it can be modified to suit the needs of the team. It gains more and more popularity each day, and might soon prevail over Scrum and Kanban.
Who knows, you might even find yourself trying Scrumban for your project.