How to Boost Your Productivity with a Kanban and Scrum hybrid


Using Kanban, teams can do small releases and adapt to changing priorities. Unlike Scrum, there are no Sprints with their predefined goals. Kanban is focused on doing small pieces of work as they come up. For example, if testers find errors in the product, developers try to fix them right away.

kanban scrum hybrid

If your team has a long-term or ongoing project with no set deadline, Scrumban can be a good method to ensure that there’s a consistent flow of work. Because Scrumban works in sprints, the team is able to monitor if work is continuing to flow during review or planning periods. So even if there is no deadline on an ongoing project, using the Scrumban method can keep cards flowing on the task board.

Hybrid Framework Working Principles

Scrum teams often improve and become more productive over time. After the sprint demo, the Scrum master facilitates a final meeting known as the sprint retrospective. The team reflects on the sprint and evaluates what went well and what did not. This process generates a list of improvement action items, which may be added to the product backlog or cause changes to the team charter. The differences in project management methodologies only matter if you use the methodology consistently. Without WIP limits, for example, Kanban is just another complicated Agile methodology.

Some can call it a swear word; others might not imagine working in any other way. For someone like me, I like to have an idea and slowly see where it takes me because, from my experience, the only constant is a change. You have a lot of discussion about scrum, kanban, and a host of other topics, but not one single mention, let alone an example, of documentation, which is what I want to see. Teams must get direct access to feedback from real users when they need it.

Key takeaways: Scrum vs. Kanban vs. Scrumban

Another important condition to the adoption of Lean is the whole team should work in one office to enable communication. Twenty-three percent of companies realized that using principles of both approaches can be more beneficial than choosing one of the two. The combination of the traditional Waterfall project management approach and Agile is called Hybrid. The Sprint Backlog is a list of tasks the team must complete to deliver an increment of functional software at the end of each Sprint.

Work items, represented by cards or sticky notes, are moved across the board as they progress through the stages. The Scrumban board provides a visual representation of the development process, making it easier for the team to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and prioritize work items. Because teams have the freedom to choose what task they work on it can be difficult to track the effort and contribution of individual team members on the scrumban board. There are no scrum daily meetings to give project managers a snapshot of the progress.

How do you start applying Kanban to agile or hybrid environments?

As mentioned regarding timeboxing, planning would be very light if a Kanban team chose to re-introduce sprint planning. With larger, more complex projects, it will be difficult to manage all of the moving parts in this fashion. Most often, teams that adopt the kanban framework use a digital board to easily manage tasks, stay on top of progress, and meet deadlines. Lean software development is an iterative and incremental framework.

kanban scrum hybrid

Let’s explore the differences among the three methodologies and see which may be right for you. I don’t believe you’ll find a perfect choice for your scenario. Whatever your choice, to benefit from agility you need to be ready to embrace a learning journey. Basecamp is a successful company with a particular way of working. They don’t call their style Agile or relate to any other framework. Three years ago, Ryan Singer published a book revealing how Basecamp works.

Hybrid: Blend of Waterfall and Agile (Flexible Development and Thorough Project Planning)

Wagile adopts Agile practices like short iterations, daily stand-ups, or continuous integration on top of the Waterfall model, without really changing the traditional Waterfall model. If you don’t expect to deal with change, Waterfall is a straightforward, efficient process. The issues with Waterfall come when you have to accommodate changes. For example, Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) builds on the practices of Agile, Scrum, and Lean to provide a solid foundation from which to scale. DAD was developed to provide a more cohesive approach to Agile, taking strategies from Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, and others.

  • Overall, Kanban is a highly adaptable methodology that is well-suited for teams making incremental improvements to a product.
  • Scrum metrics are data points scrum teams can use to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • The team always has room to work on unplanned tickets and fix serious bugs as soon as possible, while planned important releases are not affected.
  • Daily meetings help everyone on the team understand what is being worked on.
  • If you desire to create Scrumban, then consider including the items listed above.
  • His original objective was to use Scrumban to transition from Scrum to Kanban.

By setting customer needs and on-time/on-budget delivery as the highest priority, Scrum has gained the trust of 89 percent of Agile users. Thus, the list of kanban scrum hybrid companies using this approach is impressive. In fact, there is a public spreadsheet with such organizations, including Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo, and Google.

About the Kanban Board

These cycles, however, are termed iterations rather than sprints in Scrumban. Moreover, similar to Scrum, in the Scrumban project, initial planning meetings are held, and backlogs are created. The backlog list is a set of tasks to be performed or a “To DO,” list, and as each task gets completed in a certain iteration, it is removed from the backlog list. To set work-in-progress (WIP) limits, start by analyzing the team’s historical performance data and identifying the bottlenecks in the workflow.

The only caveat is that Kanban teams don’t have Scrum Masters, so that role would not be there to remove impediments for the team. If you do Scrumban, then you will most likely keep your Scrum Master. If you don’t have a Scrum Master, then embrace emerging leaders on your team who love process, and/or have great soft skills.

A Kanban Overview: From 1950s Factory Floor to Today’s Remote Teams

This improves workflow without making any sudden or dramatic changes, ensuring easy Kanban implementation on nearly any team. When you use the Waterfall methodology, you must complete each stage before the next stage can begin. So if you’re considering Agile vs. Waterfall for your project management style, remember that Waterfall offers less flexibility.

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