Introducing Kanban Into an Existing Scrum Implementation

This content is syndicated from Do It Yourself Agile by Damon Poole. To view the original post in full, click here.

By far, the talk that I am most requested to do is "Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter". I've given the talk all over the US and Europe, most recently in Kiev for Agile EE. Invariably, people come up after the talk and ask how to get started with Kanban. I've given book and coach suggestions, but they are primarily pointers to pure Kanban resources.

Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
There doesn't seem to be much material specifically geared towards introducing Kanban into an existing Scrum implementation as opposed to going from non-Agile to Kanban. So, I've decided to write a short and concise guide to folding Kanban practices and principles into an existing Scrum implementation called "Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter." I will write the guide via a series of blog entries over the coming weeks. I hope you will follow along with me, asking questions and offering feedback.

Who is "Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter" Intended For?
The first question is: when does it make sense to introduce Kanban where Scrum is already in use? It turns out that is a very complicated question. Rather than answer that question, I'm just going to gear my posts towards folks that match a certain set of circumstances. My material for introducing Kanban into an existing Scrum implementation is geared towards folks for which the following is true:

  • You have already been doing Scrum for 6-9 months
  • There is a general feeling that things are going better than before Scrum was introduced
  • You are using user stories
  • You have a definition for "done"
  • Your user stories are relatively short with no stories that take longer than 1/2 of the iteration to get to done
  • Most stories are "done" at the end of the iteration
  • You have an iteration length of 4 weeks or less
  • You have a cross-functional (though not necessarily self-managed or co-located) team
  • If there is a "business unit" that previously served as "the customer" then you've integrated the business unit and software team at least to the point that there is a product owner on the team which talks to the customer of the business unit, and the business unit is no longer considered to be the customer for the software team.
If you do not have all of the above, you may want to consider getting to this point first prior to taking any of the steps that follow. Over time I'll come back and update some of the points above with links to resources for addressing these points if they are not already true. The first post will be available over the next few days. The guide will be based on my talk "Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter". If you want to get a head start you can check out a recent video of the talk which is available on vimeo.

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