scrumban

Scrumban In A Nutshell

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.

Understanding Scrumban

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.

Key takeaways

  • 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.

Connected Business Concepts And Frameworks

what-is-scrum
Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.
scrum-at-scale
Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.
scrum-anti-patterns
Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).
dynamic-systems-development-method
During the 1990s, rapid application development (RAD) was becoming increasingly popular. The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is an agile approach that focuses on the full project lifecycle while adding further discipline and structure. DSDM is founded on eight key principles. Each principle supports the DSDM philosophy that “best business value emerges when projects are aligned to clear business goals, deliver frequently and involve the collaboration of motivated and empowered people”.
disciplined-agile
Disciplined Agile was first developed at IBM in 2009 and then introduced to the mainstream in a 2012 book entitled Disciplined Agile Delivery. Disciplined Agile (DA) is a people-first process decision toolkit with a focus on learning and the streamlining of internal processes.
bimodal-portfolio-management
Bimodal Portfolio Management (BimodalPfM) helps an organization manage both agile and traditional portfolios concurrently. Bimodal Portfolio Management – sometimes referred to as bimodal development – was coined by research and advisory company Gartner. The firm argued that many agile organizations still needed to run some aspects of their operations using traditional delivery models.
acceptance-test-driven-development
Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) is a part of the agile methodology where automated tests are written from the user’s perspective. Unlike test-driven development – where acceptance tests are created from the perspective of the developer – ATDD advocates the automation of tests from the various perspectives of the user.

Read Also: Scrum, Kanban.

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

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Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"