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How to Master Scrumban and Deliver a Perfect Experience with Prakya

October 6, 2023


Scrum and Kanban, have been around for quite some time in Product Development. They each have their strengths, but using only one of them may not always be the best approach. 

Scrumban might sound like a simple mix of Scrum and Kanban, but it’s more intricate than that. closer to Lean Kanban but with a dash of structure borrowed from Scrum. At its core, Scrumban involves applying Kanban principles within a Scrum framework. It enhances Scrum’s inherent capabilities by incorporating elements from Kanban, providing new perspectives and features.

The concept of Scrumban emerged gradually as organizations sought solutions to the limitations of their existing agile methods.Scrum or Kanban might not always align with the unique requirements and dynamics of their projects. A more adaptable and efficient agile framework, one that could effortlessly adapt to changing needs while still maintaining a structured approach to project management and product development was essential.

The outcome of these efforts is a flexible, user-friendly, and highly efficient framework known as Scrumban. This hybrid methodology keeps Scrum’s best elements while incorporating the adaptability and flow-focused approach of Kanban. The result is a streamlined and effective system that can be applied throughout an organization, from small teams to large projects.

In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll explore how organizations implement it, the advantages it offers over Scrum and Kanban when used separately, and best practices for making the most of it. 

Understanding Scrum and Kanban

To fully understand Scrumban, it is important to understand the principles and the fundamental differences between Scrum and Kanban and what sets them apart 

Defining Scrum: Agile in Iterations

Scrum, an iterative and incremental framework, is firmly rooted in the principles of empirical process control theory. It thrives on teamwork, accountability, and the pursuit of well-defined objectives. Picture it as a series of sprints—a structured approach to managing complex projects.

  • Work in Scrum is organized into sprints, typically lasting 1-4 weeks.
  • Each sprint commences with a planning meeting, followed by daily stand-up meetings, a review meeting, and a retrospective meeting.
  • The goal of each sprint is to accomplish a set of predefined objectives.

Defining Kanban: A Flow-Centric Visual System

Kanban, on the other hand, is a visual project management framework rooted in the principles of lean manufacturing. Its primary aim is to eliminate waste and boost efficiency by emphasizing continuous delivery and improvement.

  • In Kanban, work items are represented by cards on a board, each denoting a task or piece of work.
  • These cards move through various stages of a workflow as they progress towards completion.
  • The core principle is to minimize work in progress (WIP) and optimize the flow of work through the system.

Fundamental Differences: Iteration vs. Continuous Flow

Now, let’s highlight the crux of the matter—the fundamental distinctions between Scrum and Kanban:

Process Approach:

  • Scrum operates as an iterative process with fixed sprint durations.
  • Kanban, conversely, is a continuous flow process without predefined time-boxes or sprints.

Work in Progress (WIP):

  • Kanban relies on explicit WIP limits to maintain a smooth workflow and prevent system overload.
  • Scrum implicitly controls WIP through the sprint backlog, which contains only the work feasible within the sprint’s duration.

By understanding these foundational principles, we begin to see how Scrumban—a fusion of these two methodologies—combines the best of both.

Combining Kanban and Scrum for Scrumban Implementation

The fusion of Scrum’s structured time boxing and Kanban’s workflow optimization creates a dynamic approach that empowers teams to deliver superior results. Let’s delve into how Scrum and Kanban can be combined that forms a powerful Scrumban 

Structured Time Management
Scrum defines a Sprint as a two-week time box, creating a structured framework that kickstarts agility. This approach ensures that teams work within a predictable cadence. This time boxing simplifies time management and enables teams to focus on their tasks with precision and efficiency.

Empirical Learning and Workflow Optimization
Scrum’s foundation lies in empiricism, where teams constantly inspect and adapt their processes. However, Scrum primarily concentrates on time boxing and may not explicitly guide teams on optimizing workflow efficiency. Here’s where Kanban comes to the rescue. Kanban promotes workflow visualization, facilitating process streamlining and effortless bottleneck identification. It allows teams to harness the power of empirical learning and optimized workflow management.

Transparency and Real-time Visibility
Kanban introduces visual boards that offer real-time visibility into work status. This transparency promotes accountability and enables teams to identify and resolve issues promptly. As a result, teams can achieve a steady flow, ensuring faster delivery and improved customer satisfaction.

The ScrumBan
Combining Scrum and Kanban gives existence to ScrumBan, merging the strengths of both methodologies. With ScrumBan, you can harness the power of time boxing, embrace empiricism, and optimize your workflow management for superior results. It’s akin to having a supercharged engine powering your projects.

Below are the practical steps for effectively combining Kanban and Scrum to implement this powerful hybrid methodology.

Establish Scrum as the Foundation

By establishing Scrum as your foundational framework and with Scrum’s iterative approach to project management, break  your work into manageable sprints with clear goals.

Visualize Workflow with Task Boards

Visualize your project’s workflow by using a task board or a Kanban board. This visual representation helps your team gain clarity on the stages of work, making it easier to track progress and identify potential bottlenecks.

Set Work-in-Progress (WIP) Limits

To maintain a balanced workload and prevent overloading your team, introduce WIP limits. These limits specify the maximum number of tasks allowed within each stage of your workflow. By doing so, you ensure that your team can focus on completing tasks effectively.

Implement a Pull-Based System
Adopt a pull-based system, where work is pulled into the system only when there is available capacity to handle it. This practice helps maintain a steady and manageable flow of work, avoiding overwhelming team members.

Identify and Address Bottlenecks

Regularly assess your workflow to identify bottlenecks or slowdowns in the process. Once identified, take proactive measures to address these bottlenecks. This may involve redistributing tasks, adjusting WIP limits, or optimizing your workflow.

Cultivate a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Encourage a culture of continuous improvement within your team. Allow team members to reflect on their processes and make changes as needed. This commitment to improvement aligns with the principles of both Scrum and Kanban.

Create an Adaptable Scrumban Framework

By combining Scrum’s structured approach with Kanban’s flow-oriented principles, you create a Scrumban framework that is both adaptable and efficient. This hybrid methodology empowers your team to continuously improve while remaining focused on delivering value.

Advantages of Scrumban and Best Practices of Prakya

Scrumban offers a set of practical advantages that can significantly enhance your agile project management approach. Let’s explore the key benefits of adopting Scrumban and Prakya’s Best practices.

Effortless Implementation with Prakya’s Scrumban

Scrumban’s inherent simplicity, influenced by Kanban, ensures a hassle-free implementation process. Prakya’s Scrumban with its flexible and adaptable nature, allows teams to transition smoothly without the need for extensive procedural changes. Gradual implementation options empower teams to ease into the methodology at their own pace, reducing the learning curve.
Furthermore, Scrumban’s minimal role changes make it a seamless fit for existing workflows, fostering a culture of self-management and accountability. This effortless implementation sets Prakya’s Scrumban apart as an agile methodology that embraces flexibility while maintaining efficiency.

Lean Efficiency with Scrumban

Scrumban methodology, grounded in Lean principles, redefines the way work and planning are approached—striking a balance between necessity and duration. This Lean approach is a game-changer for agile project management.
By establishing order points for trigger planning, Prakya’s Scrumban teams achieve significant time savings across planning sessions, estimations, and bottleneck resolutions. This streamlined process not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a culture of delivering top-notch results. With reduced time spent on administrative tasks, teams can channel their energy and expertise towards the actual execution of tasks, leading to higher productivity and quality outcomes.

Streamlined Bottleneck Detection

Scrumban boasts a remarkable ability to swiftly pinpoint bottlenecks. Its visual boards offer real-time progress tracking, simplifying issue detection and fostering proactive responses. 

While not all challenges yield to effortless solutions, Prakya’s Scrumban streamlines issue identification, granting teams more troubleshooting time. By integrating robust risk management practices, It guarantees project success amid unforeseen obstacles. This comprehensive approach enhances efficiency, bolsters resilience, and makes the Scrumban a vital asset for organizations optimizing their project management strategies.

Enhanced Focus and Superior Results

Scrumban maximizes focus and quality by employing WIP (Work in Progress) limits, ensuring one-task-at-a-time dedication, minimizing multitasking, and reducing task switching through trigger planning. The pull system, akin to queuing outside stores, guarantees task progression based on available capacity.

This combination of WIP limits and team flexibility results in heightened focus and superior results, making Prakya’s Scrumban the preferred choice for organizations pursuing exceptional project success.

Effortless Large Project Management with Prakya’s Scrumban

Scrumban excels in handling extensive projects effortlessly. Utilizing Scrumban’s visual and iterative approach, it empowers teams to efficiently manage large-scale endeavors. With flexibility in accommodating sizable teams and the ability to customize columns and cards as needed, Prakya’s Scrumban provides exceptional organization.
Borrowing from Kanban, Prakya’s Scrumban simplifies task lifecycle visualization and progress tracking, particularly beneficial in sizable teams. Prakya’s Scrumban stands as the go-to choice for organizations seeking efficient, organized project management on a grand scale.

Enhanced Transparency and Remote Team Success

Visualizing team progress is vital for transparency and alignment, particularly when managing remote teams. An empirical study involving geographically dispersed software development teams from Italy and Finland scrutinized Scrumban’s efficacy in remote settings. It unveiled Scrumban as a potent remedy for the challenges remote teams face, including synchronization, cross-cultural collaboration, communication, and resource utilization.

The study underscored the importance of frequent synchronous communication and robust knowledge-sharing infrastructure for effective coordination. Prakya’s Scrumban stands as an invaluable tool, enhancing transparency and facilitating success in geographically distributed workforces.

In conclusion, Scrumban stands out for its flexibility and lack of rigid rules or team hierarchy, allowing project teams the freedom to excel in their specialized roles and choose tasks accordingly. It represents a harmonious blend of two renowned Agile project management approaches, Scrum and Kanban, offering a middle ground for teams to adapt as needed. With no prescribed practices or exact methods for combining these methodologies, each team’s implementation of Scrumban is likely to be unique, tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

Incorporating Prakya’s Scrumban into your agile project management strategy can lead to streamlined processes, improved efficiency, and better project outcomes.

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