Building a bridge between Scrum and Kanban: Things you should know

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Scrum.org recently announced a new course and certification assessment, Professional Scrum with Kanban, along with accompanying learning materials. This is a positive step forward, Scrum being a framework that you add practices to in order to build out your overall process. When practicing Scrum, it’s important to continuously look for ways to improve, and by introducing Kanban practices to how you are currently working with Scrum, you can.

In developing the new course, Scrum.org worked with Daniel Vacanti, CEO, ActionableAgile, who was part of the team that developed the Kanban Method in 2007. We jointly came to the realization that although our expertise may live in different areas, we share the same goal of helping people improve how they deliver products.

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We also had a shared disappointment about the artificial divide that had been built between two groups, who in the end, had more in common than they had differences. We then decided to work together to build a bridge between our two communities. We recognized the importance of embracing and incorporating other Agile practices and designed the Professional Scrum with Kanban course to teach how to incorporate Kanban practices while using Scrum, all without changing Scrum.

With this concept of building a bridge, it is important to remember that the intent is not to change the Scrum framework but to show how teams can use Scrum with Kanban. Scrum is not a methodology and we have always highlighted that you need to add practices to create a process that works best for your teams, just like teams do today using Scrum with XP or Scrum with TDD, etc. In this course, we show how Kanban can be applied without changing Scrum.

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So how exactly do we build this bridge? Many Scrum Teams are using the practices of Kanban to help them better visualize work and deliver more value to their customers. But, there is much confusion how you can make it work well together. In this course, we demonstrate in very practical ways how the practices of Kanban can make Scrum Teams even better.

When you start applying Kanban, not just putting stickies on a board, you start realizing that you need to think much more about some of the things that Scrum includes. For example, the definition of “Done”? What should be the boundary of your work? You also need to consider the Sprint Goal by visualizing work in that context, you can gain better focus. Also, ensuring that ideas such as clearing the board, which are often very important for Scrum Teams, are thought about.

Another thing that comes to mind when bringing these two together is to make sure that you’re doing Kanban well. When getting started, you want to ensure you have the right practices in place to maximize your benefits. That’s the reason that we also collaborated on the Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams. One of the great things about Scrum and Kanban is that they both see the importance of reflection and change. A great team is always looking at itself and asking, ‘How can we get better?’. Scrum with Kanban provides ways to do that. For more information on the Professional Scrum with Kanban course visit this page.

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Steve Porter
Steve Porter
Steve Porter works with the Scrum.org team of experts and its wider trainer community to create and maintain its Professional Series of courses and assessments. Steve guides this collaborative process to ensure training is current and meets the needs of the professional Scrum community. Before joining Scrum.org, Steve was the product owner for TeamPulse, Telerik’s agile project management tool. He has also provided application lifecycle management (ALM) consulting services for organizations around the globe. At his core, Steve is still a developer. He taught himself how code at an early age and has spent years turning ephemeral ideas into functioning software. It's the joy of this craft that Steve brings to all his interactions at Scrum.org.

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