Scrumban Method : Introduction, Implementation and Purpose

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by StarAgile

March 28, 2021
Category Agile and Scrum


Scrum + Kanban = Scrumban

Scrumban is the most effective framework to manage projects which combines the scrum and kanban effective routines to manage, execute and deliver results. When scrum framework was a boon to agile methodology with timed sprints, retrospectives, and stand-ups, the Kanban visual way of tracking work is adding feather on the cap. Register for a scrum certification or kanban training course to learn all the plus of using these frameworks for a faster delivery without compromising the quality of the product. 

Let us study how to build a scrumban system step by step in this article. We have explained it simply to make all audiences understand and we will start with scrum basics, what is kanban to deep dive into them collaboratively to make it scrumban.

A Brief Intro to Scrum Followed by Kanban 

The scrum method is simple with 3 key people namely the master, owner, and the team. Master is the owner of the scrum process and the owner owns the product itself, the team consists of developers, QA folks, and others. The team will work by creating sprint backlogs and plan for a sprint lasting between 15 to 30 days. The retrospective will analyze the lag and will place them for the next sprints. 

On the other hand, Kanban will use post-its and sticky notes to visually update status which is visible to all across the team. The status changes are visible to all which keeps moving from ready to start to work in process etc. Therefore the workload is made visible to all the team members using the Kanban board. 

What is Scrumban

scrumban

Now let us formally explain about scrumban. As the name implies it is a combination of scrum and kanban together including all the best features to get the right project management structure. Scrum is a foolproof process-oriented framework that allows the team to work at their pace but stick on to time. Kanban helps the scrum team to manage workflow visually and the board is open to all the team so they are aware of what the status is and when an action is required. Therefore, scrumban is a pull system and new work is started only when there is a need not a batch work where work keeps on starting irrespective of the need.  

Steps to Implement Scrumban Method

It just includes 5 simple steps to make scrumban work effectively. Let us see them one by one. 

1. Create a scrumban board 

This is simple if you know Kanban and you need to create a board similar to the billboard to use that as a tool to log the primary workflow. Keep it flexible to add columns but ensure not to make it clumsy. Let the team have separate columns for easy tracking of each of every work that is in progress. 

2. Manage time limits 

Even though work in progress is marked by the team it has to be time-bound because that is the core principle of the scrum. Kanban can be a continuous workflow tracking system but it has been defined within time to follow scrum methodology. Therefore, here you combine kanban’s workflow with scrum time limits. 

3. Project prioritization 

To explain this you must understand that in scrum each developer or testing engineer will be assigned a specific task in every sprint. In scrumban, all work is listed on the board and is prioritized. The team will decide to allocate based on their workload and expertise. 

4. Get ready with the poker cards

Sprint must be between 15 and 30 days, therefore only a particular project part can be accomplished in each sprint. Make use of poker cards or like methods to assess the story points for every task. Therefore you can understand that this is a contiguous method and time-bound as well. 

5. Meeting schedule 

Scrum has many meetings like a daily standup, sprint planning, review, and retrospective. Kanban is visible to all and all the time. Thus scrumban will have few meetings which are short and scheduled daily. Possibly it can be done at the same time every day to let the team discuss what is accomplished and what needs to be focused upon. 

Why Collaborate Scrum and Kanban

After understanding how scrumban is formed you will now know the need for it in projects. Yes, it helps the team to follow scrum with a continuous workflow. It offers more flexibility to the team to choose tasks based on their convenience as all tasks are displayed on the board. When the end date of any work is not defined this method will help as it is not time-bound but follow the scrum process. This means it divides work into sprints but there are no time limits defined. Scrum cannot react to sudden changes but kanban can handle any changes. Kanban becomes less effective when the resources are shared and Kanban will show a broader picture as to who is working on what. Thus the combination of both will create an excellent project management framework. 

Final Takeaway 

Not only scrum masters but all the team members who are migrating to scrum projects must attend the scrum training and get certified scrum master certification to go with the flow. This will provide more rooms to better understand scrumban and kanban also can be effectively used in all places required. 

In summary, batch work is replaced by a pull-based system by combining scrum and kanban. Scrum is process-oriented and Kanban will limit WIP, manage flow, make the processes explicit and enhance the collaborative work to make feedback loops work. This will allow the team to have transparency, sense of ownership and thus can accomplish the task within every sprint.