Introduction

More and more companies have moved to Agile frameworks and methodologies because of the time-bound deliveries, improved product delivery cycles, and efficient project management. Both Scrum and Kanban have their own advantages in the Agile framework. However, where time is not a constraint, it is Scrumban that scores as an excellent project management tool in the Scrumban vs Kanban race.

  1. What Is Scrumban?
  2. How Does Scrumban Combine Scrum and Kanban?
  3. How Does Scrumban Work?
  4. When Should a Team Use Scrumban?

1. What Is Scrumban?

What is Scrumban? Scrumban is a framework for project management that combines the features of both Scrum and Kanban Agile technologies. It takes the flexibility of Kanban and adds it to the Scrum routines, which are predictable and runs it on a framework called Scrumban, making the process more agile, productive and efficient. Hence when one uses the combined processes of Scrumban, the benefits are that the process is vastly improved while teams focus on the strategic Scrum tasks in an Agile environment.

2. How Does Scrumban Combine Scrum and Kanban?

Let’s revise the methodologies of Scrum and Kanban to understand how Scrumban combines these Agile methodologies.

Scrum Basics: Scrum is a software development approach in the Agile methodology. In Scrum, the team has specific roles, namely the Scrum Master- SM, Product Owner- PO and the Scrum Team members. The Scrum team breaks tasks into sprints with a specific timeframe that the team agrees on. Typically this can last from 2 weeks to 1 month. The sprint meeting agrees on a task and individual responsibilities during a sprint meeting. The developers work only to deliver the project agreed upon in the sprint in a timely fashion. The Scrum team also has daily meetings to discuss progress on the sprint tasks.

Kanban Basics: Kanban is also a management tool and a visual approach to the team’s workload management. In this method, the team creates a visual display of the Kanban framework workflow with columns reflecting the projects that are titled “In Progress,” “Ready to Start”, “Completed”, and “Under Review”.

When the developers begin work on an item in the rows, a sticky note card is moved and placed in the In-progress column from the Ready-to-start column. It is flexible to changes, and if an item needs to go backwards, then the sticky-note from the Under-Review column is moved backwards to the In-progress column. Thus project development becomes a visual process helping teams update the project status and view progress at a glance.

Scrumban Basics: Scrumban, as mentioned above, uses the predictability and structure of Scrum with the flexibility and visualization of Kanban while working on an Agile framework. Thus Scrumban teams benefit from the visual freedom of Kanban’s project management and incorporate Scrum’s prescriptive nature and improved agility in Scrumban methodology process management.

3. How Does Scrumban Work?

  • Scrumban board development: The first step is to develop a similar board to the Kanban board known as the Scrumban board, which has the project workflow visualization. This tool is used to add columns and stages as is needed by the team. Note that too many columns can impair the visualization of the Scrumban framework.
  • Set limits on the work-in-progress:  Just as in Scrum, it must set both task and time limits for the tasks. Unlike the sprints, which are rigid on these limits, the Scrumban board shows the continuity of the work-in-progress denoted by the number of Scrumban cards on the board at any given point in time. The teams decide this number in a collaborative and contributing fashion. 
  • Ordering the board and team priorities: In this step, there is a major difference between Scrum and Scrumban. While tasks are assigned in Scrum, Scrumban metrics and projects’ priority is assigned to the team in Scrumban, who then decide who will handle these tasks.
  • Throw planning-poker cards:  Scrum has rigid time limits and assigns pre-defined specific projects during each sprint. This calls for time-estimation, story points and planning poker methodologies to estimate the difficulty involved, time taken etc. Since the workflow in Scrumban is continuous and not time-limited, there are no story points in the Scrumban process. Rather project prioritizing is focused upon.
  • Set daily meetings: Scrum has sprint review, sprint planning, retrospective and daily meetings. In Scrumban, one uses short standup meetings where team members decide when to use Scrumban, the challenges and plan for the day. The meetings improve team-cohesivity, bonding, etc.

4. When Should a Team Use Scrumban?

The Scrumban approach can especially be used in these Scrumban vs Scrum circumstances. 

1.Team needs flexibility in approach: In Scrum, all team members are assigned specific tasks. Whereas a Scrumban team has several projects and decides how to leverage these resources. It also improves team flexibility with team members finding projects best suited to their abilities and skill-sets.

2. Teams having Scrum issues: This approach works well when issues arise due to the Scrum environment. Ex: Lack of resources to maintain a Scrum environment, Scrum is too rigid for the project etc. The flexibility of Scrumban is more cost-effective and easy to follow.

3. Ongoing project maintenance: When ongoing projects do not have a completion date, the Scrumban approach helps expedite the project. Note that new product launches typically have a completion date.

Conclusion

Scrumban applies the visualization of workflow Kanban principles with flexible process steps to the Scrum methodology of working in sprints and timely fashion for product delivery within Agile methodologies. Teams in process and project development thus benefit from the combinational approach of Scrumban as the approach to product development and delivery is flexible, visual and follows the Scrum principles too.

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