Scrumban can be best described as a hybrid of the Scrum and Kanban methodologies. With the increasing popularity of adopting a Kanban approach in software development, Scrumban was introduced as a method to ease teams using Scrum into the processes of Kanban.
1. What is Scrumban?
Similar to Scrum and Kanban, in Scrumban work is divided into iterative processes and is monitored with the help of a visual board.
The defining features of Scrumban are:
2. Limits to WIP (Work In Progress)
With Scrum, teams are limited to working within Sprints. In Scrumban there are no time based limitations, however work is limited through WIP limits on columns on the task board. The objective of this is to move stories in a flow from left to right on the board, with the objective of maintaining quality standards. If too many things are being worked upon at the same time, this risks compromise on quality. If any one column has too many items on it at a time, the whole team should shift its efforts to that column in an effort to get work done.
3. Planning meetings
These should be done regularly. If a team is unable to cope with the influx of stories, a planning meeting may be the needed.
4. Review meetings
The purpose of these meetings is for the development team to gain feedback from clients, so they can make appropriate changes as required by the client. Clients prefer these meetings to take place often.
5. Retrospective meetings
The purpose of these meetings is for the team to look back and analyze its previous activities. The timing of these meetings can vary, but it is considered good practice to have them after every review.
6. Standup meetings
Standup meetings are daily meetings held by the team to discuss the progress of their work, and any problems they are facing. They are a standard practice of Scrumban.
7. The Scrumban Process
- Goals. This is where the team defines broadly its goals. A goal may be a broad objective which the team hopes to accomplish by doing multiple smaller tasks.
- Story Queue. This is where goals are broken down into multiple Stories. A long list of Stories is created at this stage.
- Analysis. This is where Scrumban differs from other approaches. The Stories created in the previous stage are now analyzed, and a select few are Accepted for further work.
- Development. Work is started on the selected Stories.
- Testing. Once work has been done on stories, the results are tested by QA teams.
- Deployment. The results are then put into practice.
- Done. All completed stories are now marked as Done.
Scrumban empowers teams to continuously adapt to the needs of their clients, without feeling burdened by the process itself. Scrumban also increases working time in the team by removing unnecessary meetings. It also limits the teams Work In Progress, which means maintenance of higher quality output. Scrumban helps to increase the efficiency of teams, and thus makes them more Agile.