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Why I prefer ScrumBan to Kanban

by Joe Little, 2 June 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from LeanAgileTraining by Joe Little. Click here to see the original post in full.

I have spoken before about why I like Lean and why I like ScrumBan, a combination of Scrum and Kanban.


Some people prefer ‘Kanban’, as it is being called in the software development community.


Of course, what ‘Kanban’ is actually in the wild varies a lot.


So, here are my concerns about doing ‘Kanban’ alone, without Scrum. And I describe many specific ‘Kanban’ practices or lack of practices. Each example item from the wild will not be correct in many a specific case (in a specific implementation of kanban).


1. No upfront planning.


It is fine and correct to say that waterfall does too much upfront thinking.  But this does not mean we should do zero upfront thinking.


In general people who do Scrum also advocate (as I do) some upfront planning before starting the first sprint.  I call this Agile Release Planning, and have talked about specific techniques extensively.  These are patterns that I use. Not always, but almost all the time.


In the wild, many Kanban people do not even do any Sprint Planning. Much less ‘agile release planning’.  Which I think is almost always sad. Yes, I can imagine a few odd cases where agile release planning is not necessary at all.


If the Team is doing purely maintenance work (bugs and small enhancements) and has ZERO work in backlog at the beginning of the Sprint, well...

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