Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum said: «I estimate that 75% of those organizations using Scrum will not succeed in getting the benefits that they hope for from it… Scrum is a very simple framework within which the «game» of complex product development is played. Scrum exposes every inadequacy or dysfunction within an organization’s product and system development practices. The intention of Scrum is to make them transparent so the organization can fix them. Unfortunately, many organizations change Scrum to accommodate the inadequacies or dysfunctions instead of solving them.»

In order to overcome increasing complexity in organizations several execution models following agile and lean methodologies have evolved, one of them is called Scrumban, a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban.

Scrumban is a management framework that emerges when teams employ Scrum as the chosen way of working and use the Kanban Method as a lens through which to view, understand, and continuously improve how they work.It helps teams accelerate their transition to Scrum from other development approaches and it helps teams evolve new Scrum-like processes and approaches that work for them. It also enhances new capabilities within teams to overcome challenges that Scrum causes them to confront.
The Scrumban Framework enables teams to manage the introduction of the artifacts of Scrum or enhance the metrics and flow management practices of Kanban. It visualizes information and helps provide improved contextual understandings and more accurately measures the outcome of different approaches. It is flexible enough to provide a set of basic processes that can be customized by experimenting and analyzing feedback loops. And it supports both «revolution» and «evolution». It allows and supports learning and understanding at a level of quality that is greater than provided by one of both methods alone.

With a Self-Assessment an organization can determine how closely existing management practices and procedures correspond to the elements of Scrumban. The book Scrumban, Rethink, Practical tools for self-assessment by Gerard Blokdyk presents a set of questions that allow assessing your own organization.
To overcome the increasingly complex challenges faced by Software Maintainance in recent times, several execution models following agile and lean methodologies have evolved, one of them being Scrumban. Challenges include: supporting varied technologies across multiple layers requires a number of specific and specialized resources. Furthermore, the business landscape has become complex, necessitating a number of specialized teams to work together to deliver software maintenance services.

Final take-away points
Do regular retrospectives!
Make sure retrospectives lead to real change. Only then you can start your journey towards evolving to the right process for your context.

Never stop experimenting!
The goal is not Kanban or Scrum, but continuous learning. The key to learning is the short feedback loop. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just start somewhere and ask questions, experiment and learn.


Christian Herbst

Chief Executive Officer