Authored by: BIBIANA GARCÍA in January, 2023.

Title: Scrumban

Our journey within Agile

As a Project Manager, I had the opportunity to take a Scrum Master course and apply those learnings into our company. That experience made me reflect on the way we work and understand a framework I thought I knew more about than I really did.

In the following sections, I'd like to share with you the key concepts of this method, as well as some lessons I've learned from this experience.

Aligned with the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto and convinced that agile is the best way to develop software, we began our journey to find a framework that suits the low complexity of our projects, scale and size of our teams.

Since Agile is based on flexibility and adapting to the needs of the team and the project,
what if, in the meantime, we try Scrumban?

Scrumban tries to find a middle ground for teams that find Scrum too rigid and Kanban too flexible. In this way we can take elements from both frameworks and combine them to get the best tool that suits our own team and project needs.

SCRUM

Scrum is undoubtedly the most used in the industry. It is a lightweight framework that allows collaborative work between teams generating value through adaptive solutions to complex problems.

The purpose is to drive teams to move forward together, in a self-organized way, learning through experiences, reflecting on their victories and defeats in order to achieve continuous improvement and produce value.

KANBAN

Kanban is a Japanese word that translates as "visual card". It originated in the late 1940s at the Toyota factory as a way to improve their engineering and production processes.

Based on the "pull" production method of U.S. grocery stores (where they stocked based on expected customer demand to avoid having too many products on the shelves), they decided to apply the idea of "just-in-time" production.


Toyota used physical cards to signal separate steps in their manufacturing process. These cards enabled team members to easily see what had been completed and what remained to be done.

Which one to use?

Scrum might be the best choice for projects that are expected to develop and deliver products, with a high level of complexity and uncertainty, in a consistent manner. It's more structured, allows forecasting, emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress towards a well-defined goal.

Kanban is often the best approach for projects that provide a service, support for software already delivered or when priorities are continually changing, as it is a visual system that allows work to be managed as it progresses through a continuous process. It is more flexible and does not require roles, allowing it to be applied in smaller teams.

Other methodologies such as Medodology XP or Extreme Programming, which we have not yet been able to investigate, are also used, but to a lesser extent than the previous ones.

Conclusion

Implementing Scrum or other agile development methodologies is about making adjustments and compromises where it makes sense. Small companies should at least try these practices first before abandoning them. If they’re not quite right, teams can tailor the practices later to fit to their specific small-company situations.

Ultimately agile is about doing things rapidly, so keep trying new approaches with your small team until you figure out what works.

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Bibiana García
Name: Bibiana García

Date: January, 2023

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