When to use Scrumban? Simple Answer
Scrumban might be that golden balance point between two Agile frameworks Scrum and Kamban, enabling more organisations to adopt Agile methodology without changing much of their existing processes or controls. It is not perfect in all situations, and this is what we would like to discuss in this article.
We want to consider Scrumban when we want more flexibility than Scrum or traditional project management, yet more structure than Kanban. It works very well with conventional organisation processes but underperforms when creating one specific product.
Let’s understand more by considering several project types? Also, this post is the second part of a discussion about Scrumban. The first one you can find here: WHAT IS SCRUMBAN? A GREAT FRAMEWORK AND A CLEAR ANSWER.
1. Why To Use Scrumban In Maintenance projects?
The project does not finish when the product is life or tool is ready for business to use. A company will also need to maintain the new system.
Some examples of maintenance work are:
- Unplanned Work
- Help desk or support service
We are looking here at incidents and fixing problems. The key is that you do not know what form or shape the work will take. Thus, it is tough to fit in a standard Scrum framework with prescribed ceremonies and precise effort requirements. Therefore, you might want to opt-in for Scrumban.
2. Why To Use Scrumban In New Product Development?
When you are venturing to new territories, you do not know what you will find; hence if you plan to release a new product, you might want to apply Scrumban until you have more clarity.
For example, you are in the process of learning about the new potential product, maybe building MVP and creating a new backlog or researching novel capabilities, i.e. R&D.
When you start development, say for MVP, you try to adjust to market conditions and quickly shift your product with frequent and unexpected user stories and ideas. Thus, you might still be finding it challenging to fit everything into a nice, strick Scrum framework, where you can comfortably reiterate with relatively clear stories through the sprints and product backlog.
3. Why To Use Scrumban After Sprint Development Efforts?
Say your team has finished sprint’s development, and you need to test, package and deploy the system, which would come more as service side tasks. You might even have testing, packaging and release teams that are not solely dedicated to the project. So, something like Scrumban could allow you to slot in better with their daily work.
4. How Can Scrumban Help With Difficulties in Resources Allocation?
Often in a modern organisation, you will get a team working on multiple project or priorities. Thus, availability might not be as apparent as Scrum requires. If you like to learn more about Scrum, check out my post: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPRINT AND SCRUM?.
You need a constant throughput capability to predict how much tasks you can take in for each sprint. Scrumban does not have that requirement as you take in jobs only when you have the team’s capacity. Thus, the team can work on multiple projects based on business priorities and taking tasks for a given project if the priority level is higher, which provides you with more flexibility.
If you would like to dive into business resources relevant to the project, you can explore more in the following post: 5 BUSINESS RESOURCES TO FOCUS ON FOR VALUE & SUCCESS.
Great! You got some ideas about where a project or part of it might be suitable for Scrumban. But have you considered the Pros and Cons?
What Are The Pros and Cons Of Scrumban?
Scrumban, as you know by now, is a combination of Scrum and Kanban, which means it would bring some advantages and disadvantages from both. Also, you would get some Pros and Cons by combining the two.
We want to address the shortfalls and utilise the benefits of the Scrumban framework.
What Are Scrumban Pros?
|Splitting A Large Project Into Bitesize chunks / Compartmentalisation||Scrum||As in Scrum, you can split any project into smaller chunks and approach them via sprints.|
|Transparency||Kanban||Kanban introduces Kanban boards, and the team’s work is visible to the whole organisation.|
|Reduce Bottlenecks||Kanban||Kanban board also visually shows where there is a concentration of tasks in the process.|
|Reduce Initial Planning||Scrum and Kanban||Both Scrum and Kanban requires less initially planning than traditional projects.|
|Intuitive||Kanban||You can put Scrumban in almost any business setting, and the process would not change too much. Only how you deal with work will. Thus, the learning curve is much less steep.|
|Independence and ownership||Scrum and Kanban||Due to the self-organised Agile frameworks, the team would choose tasks to work on next, giving ownership, joint accountability and ultimately higher satisfaction when successful.|
|Flexibility||Kanban||Scrumban is slightly more flexible than Scrum or Traditional project management. You can slot in high important tasks instantaneously or work as a team on the highest priority products or projects. Scrum mostly works well when the team works on one specific product without any distractions. So, Scrumban is more flexible than Scrum or traditional project management and less than Kanban.|
What Are Scrumban Cons?
|Less control for Project Manager||Kanban and Scrum||Scrumban promotes self-organised teams, which means team members decide when to pull new work item to the next stage. A project manager has less control than traditional project management when pushing the next task after initial prioritisation.|
|Little Documentation||Kanban and Scrum||Agile, in general, has slightly less documentation, and the purpose is different. If your client or business requires detail documents, Scrumban could be at a disadvantage.|
|More difficult to track task||Kanban||Scrumban can use lead time and cycle time from Kanban to monitor task delivery times. However, a team is choosing when to start tasks. Thus, it is a bit more difficult to monitor when specific jobs are completed without additional operational steps than in traditional project management.|
Also, the team works as one, and it would be challenging to identify underperformers.
|New with No Guide||Scrumban||There is no proper framework guide available. Only the best practises described by leading practitioners. Therefore, it could be unclear if business or projects should apply specific Scrumban tools and ceremonies.|
When To Use Scrumban Conclusion
Hope that through WHAT IS SCRUMBAN? A GREAT FRAMEWORK AND A CLEAR ANSWER post, and this one, you have gained some greater understanding of Scrumban. It is a fascinating framework, and a lot of Agile teams already using it without knowing it. I am personally a fan an will look to implement it in more of my future projects.
As we have touched a bit, it is not great for creating one specific product as it lacks focus. But there are many projects that I have worked on where one product is not a focal point. More often than not, you have to juggle multiple priorities for a team with tasks that come from various projects, and Scrumban would fair much better than Scrum and Kanban.
Kamban would fair quite nicely as well. Still, Scrumban has that bit more structure, like keeping some of the roles from Scrum that provides just enough control to manage projects.
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