Scrumban: An Overview


Scrumban is a hybrid agile development methodology which was originally developed to help projects transition from Scrum to Kanban. The term was coined by Corey Ladas; author of “Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development”.

Scrumban combines the structure of Scrum with the flow-based methods of Kanban. If done correctly, your team can benefit from both the flexibility offered by Kanban and the prescriptive nature of Scrum.

As mentioned on the Wrike blog,

  • Scrumban uses the Scrum backlog approach to plan, prioritize, and allocate work
  • Scrumban uses Kanban boards to visualize work and progress

How to get started?

  • Create a Scrumban board: This is similar to a Kanban board and is composed of three columns: Todo, In-Progress and Done.
  • Set your Work-In-Progress Limits: Set a realistic limit on the number of tasks that each of your team members can work on at the same time. Setting it to an ideal number will ensure the right level of productivity for the team without overwhelming them.
  • Daily Meetings: Schedule daily standups to discuss on accomplishments, blockers and what’s next. Don’t let these meetings extend into design discussions! Those need to be done separately!

Can I do Scrumban in JIRA?

In Atlassian JIRA, a project is just a set of issues while a board can be either be a Scrum or Kanban boards. This doesn’t mean that we cannot use Scrumban with JIRA. You need to plan items into Sprints, and releases (one or more sprints), and ensure Agile ceremonies like Daily Standup Meetings are done using a Kanban board. Backlogs can easily be managed and groomed.

What should I work with? Scrum, Kanban, or Scrumban?

This is a good question! It would depend on the nature of your projects and the kind of process / structure that you would like to adopt for it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here.


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About the Author: Anuj Seth

Anuj is a certified PMP with over 20 years of Software Development and Management experience. He founded PM Tips in 2020. Contributors are welcome. Drop him a note via the Contact page.

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