Scrumban is a project management framework that is a hybrid of two popular agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is a popular approach to helping businesses focus on the right strategic tasks while simultaneously strengthening their processes.
|Hybrid Approach||Combines elements of Scrum and Kanban methodologies.||Allows for flexibility in project management.||Using Scrum ceremonies with Kanban boards.||Agile project management with continuous improvement.|
|Work in Progress (WIP) Limits||Sets limits on the number of tasks in progress at any given time.||Prevents overloading the team and promotes focus.||Limiting tasks on a Kanban board to, e.g., five.||Ensuring efficient workflow and reducing multitasking.|
|Iterative Development||Maintains Scrum’s time-boxed iterations (sprints).||Facilitates regular reviews and adaptation.||Conducting two-week Scrum sprints.||Ensuring regular product increments and inspection.|
|Continuous Flow||Utilizes Kanban’s flow-based approach for tasks.||Enhances responsiveness to changing priorities.||Managing a Kanban board with tasks in columns.||Adapting to changing requirements and customer needs.|
|Backlog Management||Balances a backlog of prioritized work items.||Helps teams focus on high-priority tasks.||Prioritizing user stories in a product backlog.||Ensuring alignment with business goals and user needs.|
This is achieved because of the hybrid nature of Scrumban, combining:
- Kanban – an approach to workflow management using visual Kanban boards with each work item occupying a card or sticky note. This facilitates project visibility for all team members and stakeholders. Kanban teams continuously plan, review, and measure the outcomes of their work.
- Scrum – an agile approach used in software development consisting of teams with clearly defined roles such as Scrum master and product owner. Work is divided into short timeframes called sprints and the direction of each sprint is determined by daily meetings.
Developing a Scrumban framework for project teams
It’s important to note Scrumban involves the application of Kanban principles to the Scrum framework. Indeed, Scrumban borrows the prescriptive nature of Scrum to become more agile. Conversely, Scrum adopts the continual process improvement philosophy of Kanban.
Teams wishing to implement Scrumban should follow five steps:
- Develop a Scrumban board. This is similar to a Kanban board, but it should feature as many columns as the team requires to mark each phase of progress. Of course, there shouldn’t be so many columns that the board becomes difficult to read.
- Set your work-in-progress limits. In the Scrumban approach, WIP limits are placed on the total number of cards present on the board at any given time. When setting this limit, teams must be realistic and avoid overextending themselves.
- Order team priorities on the board. Although Scrum teams will assign tasks to specific individuals for each sprint, Scrumban simply establishes a project priority order. It is only at this point that the team allocates specific people to specific tasks. Once assigned, the team member moves the task from the “to do” column to the “in progress” column. No one team member works on more than one task at a time.
- Discard planning poker. Since tasks are prioritized according to importance, there is no need to use the planning poker method to estimate the time and difficulty level of each task.
- Set up daily meetings. Scrumban has no use for typical Scrum meetings based on sprint planning and review. However, daily meetings are still held so that the team can discuss their plans and identify any challenges. These meetings are important in creating team cohesion, as many individuals predominantly work alone on their assigned tasks.
When should Scrumban be used?
Scrumban is most effective for projects that incorporate both product and support features. For example, the development of a new piece of software and associated maintenance package.
However, Scrumban can also be used for:
- Ongoing project maintenance where is no definitive completion date exists.
- Teams experiencing difficulties with Scrum because of a lack of resources or incompatibility with rigid Scrum principles.
- Businesses wanting more flexibility in task and resource allocation.
- Scrumban project management is a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban agile methodologies.
- Scrumban implementation involves five simple steps. By following each step, project teams must understand that Kanban principles are applied to the Scrum framework – and not the reverse.
- Scrumban is particularly effective for projects that necessitate product and support features. They are also popular in businesses that desire more flexibility in task or resource allocation.
- Hybrid Agile Approach: Scrumban is a project management framework that combines elements of Scrum and Kanban, two popular agile methodologies. This hybrid approach aims to provide the benefits of both methodologies, allowing teams to focus on strategic tasks while improving their processes.
- Kanban Principles: Scrumban incorporates Kanban principles, which involve visualizing workflow using Kanban boards. Each work item is represented by a card on the board, allowing teams and stakeholders to have clear visibility into project progress. Kanban emphasizes continuous planning, reviewing, and measurement of outcomes.
- Scrum Elements: While adopting Kanban principles, Scrumban retains some aspects of Scrum, such as clearly defined roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner) and time-boxed iterations called sprints. However, Scrumban offers more flexibility and continuous improvement, aligning with Kanban’s philosophy.
- Implementing Scrumban: Five Steps:
- Develop a Scrumban Board: Create a visual board with columns representing different phases of work.
- Set Work-in-Progress (WIP) Limits: Limit the number of cards in progress to avoid overloading the team.
- Order Team Priorities: Establish a project priority order; tasks are assigned as they’re pulled from the queue.
- Discard Planning Poker: Since tasks are prioritized, estimation using planning poker isn’t necessary.
- Hold Daily Meetings: Hold daily meetings to discuss plans, challenges, and maintain team cohesion.
- Appropriate Use Cases:
- Product and Support Features: Scrumban is effective for projects that involve both product development and ongoing support.
- Ongoing Maintenance: Suitable for projects with no definitive completion date, such as continuous maintenance.
- Resource Challenges: Helpful for teams facing resource constraints or those struggling with rigid Scrum practices.
- Flexibility in Allocation: Businesses seeking flexibility in task and resource allocation can benefit from Scrumban.
- Key Benefits:
- Hybrid Flexibility: Scrumban provides the flexibility of Kanban within the structured framework of Scrum.
- Enhanced Visibility: Visual boards offer transparency into project status and progress.
- Continuous Improvement: Encourages ongoing process improvement based on Kanban principles.
- Adaptability: Suits projects with changing priorities and varying workloads.
- Cohesive Teams: Daily meetings maintain team communication and unity.
Connected Agile & Lean Frameworks
- Business Models
- Business Strategy
- Business Development
- Distribution Channels
- Marketing Strategy
- Platform Business Models
- Network Effects
Main Case Studies: