Those practicing Agile software development generally understand Scrum, and the benefits of this iterative method. The Kanban board is practically ubiquitous, so the basics of the Kanban framework are also fairly well understood. We have explained the combination of these two frameworks, dubbed Scrumban, in a previous post titled Scrum + Kanban = Scrumban. But what are the main benefits of this framework, and why should you consider making the switch?
By supporting continuous process improvement, Scrumban can be considered an evolution of Scrum. Both development and Ops / maintenance teams can benefit from the clear overview that Kanban process elements provide: these help you oversee and manage work, spot bottlenecks, and remove them so as to enhance the efficiency of your development processes.
In periods of intense change, when bug fixing and support are also of key importance, Scrum teams are often struggling to predict the amount of support necessary. Without an accurate estimation, resources are drained, and product reliability is often hurt. Kanban helps you overcome these problems, but making the shift to Kanban can prove to be disruptive to your processes. Therefore, Scrumban emerged as a stepping stone when transitioning from Scrum to Kanban, but is often considered a methodology in and of its own.
Maturing Agile Practices
Kanban's critics claim that this framework lacks structure – which is why Agilists prefer it. For teams that are used to working in a Scrum environment, that are accustomed to meetings and constant deadlines, the concept of Kanban is a step too far outside of their comfort zone.
But there are also very good reasons for keeping the Scrum framework. For the majority of projects, Scrum is the most consistently productive framework available, so it makes sense to only use Kanban in certain situations such as production support.
By combining the strengths of both models, Scrumban provides a middle way between Scrum and Kanban, with all the strengths and none of the weaknesses of Scrum and Kanban individually. Since Scrum is the most popular of Agile frameworks, Scrumban provides an important transition point on the Agile maturity curve.
If you feel like your processes are limiting you or simply suspect that you have wasteful processes in place, it might be a good idea to implement Scrumban to support continuous improvement.
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