Scrumban In a Few Words

Scrumban on a page.

Scrumban is designed as a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban, both of which are agile frameworks.

The Kanban side of it

Kanban side of it is used to manage the creation of products (digital and software typically) with a focus on continuous delivery. See Kanban is a Few Words for more information.
The aim is not to overwork the development team, but work in a steady manner.

The Scrum side of it

Scrum uses both iterative and incremental practices. It significantly increases productivity and reduces time greatly over other practices. See Scrum in a Few Words for more information.

About Scrumban

Scrumban was designed to address the needs of certain development teams that wanted to focus on a reduced amount of work, so they could simply apply a pull based approach to Scrum and Kanban. The benefit of this hybrid approach is it provides flexibility to adapt and change as per the needs of the stakeholder requirements.
Benefit of Scrumban is the flexibility to adapt and change based on stakeholder's needs.
Scrumban has the benefits of using all the methodology of the Scrum Framework along with using the visual components of Kanban for the workflow process.

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It is suitable for transitioning new teams to start on a framework before deciding if Scrum or Kanban is suited.

Scrumban provides a useful approach and way of learning for these new teams by them focusing and learning the value of continuous improvement.

How does Scrumban work?

It uses the structure of Scrum and combines it with the workflow based method of Kanban.

Characteristics of Scrumban

  • Planning is still conducted at regular intervals, and always syncs with reviews and retrospectives.
  • Your team can decide how much to pull into the sprint based on the complexity of the work.
  • When prioritizing the work, it is based on demand. This enables to team to choose what is the next best item to work on.
  • It uses a Definition of Ready so the team are certain that there is the necessary level of requirement analysis before starting the work.
  • Typically there is a 'Ready' queue between Backlog and Doing so you can easily organise and track progress.
  • Based on the power of Kanban, Scrumban also uses process improvement, visual aids and value metrics. These include:
    • Pull system/continuous improvement. This is done by pulling items into Doing from backlog, as they have capacity. 
    • WIP limits should always be in play. Limits for how many items are in progress at any time.
    • Roles are not defined, it is team focused
    • Provides shorter lead times focusing on Just in time planning.
    • Refined customization of workflow is allowed.
    • It focuses on cycle rather than burn-down.
    • Use process buffers and flow diagrams to expose process weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement
    • Use policies to make process step transitions clearer.
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When to use Scrumban

  • Great for teams that need the structure of Scrum along with the flexibility of a workflow-based approach.
  • Great for teams who are looking to transition from Scrum to Kanban.