Book: Scrumban – Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development

Scrumban – Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development

by Corey Ladas

Summary: A series of practical essays on how to apply Lean techniques to Agile, and in particular Scrum-based, software development organizations

Intended Audience: Scrum practitioners who want to investigate Lean concepts to improve the way they work

Why You Should Read It: For organizations that are comfortable with their implementation of Scrum or other Agile practices, this book offers a great transitional introduction into pull systems to uncover additional areas for possible improvement. The great appeal of Scrumban is that the lessons are learned from repeated practice, providing a similar level of authority as Henrik Kniberg’s excellent Scrum and XP from the Trenches. There are numerous examples of how to transition from current practices to a Kanban system so there is likely one that will fit your current situation.

My Takeaways

  • Transitions to Kanban systems do not need to be all-or-nothing. There are transitional techniques that minimize risk such as beginning with downstream processes.
  • You probably have more hidden buffers in your system than you realize. If you have a system to track bugs, you may already have a hidden queue. Making these queues visible allows you to control them.
  • Full utilization of team members is not your goal. Without slack, you have limited ability to react to unexpected events without causing unexpected consequences. Improving flow almost always requires less than full utilization.

Recommended?: Likely not a book for those embarking on Agile transitions, but of great interest to those practitioners who need fresh ideas