Author: Ajay Reddy
Audience: developers wanting to learn scrumban
Reviewer: Alex Denham
This book sets out to show how Lean and Agile principles can be mixed and managed within the Scrumban framework.
Scrumban is a mixture of two popular frameworks - Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is perhaps the better known of the two, and is popular as a project management framework. It is based on formalized processes such as spring planning, and has set roles such as the Scrum master. The Kanban method is mainly a framework based on the ideas of 'evolutionary change' and continous improvement. Putting the two together, Scrumban is described as applying Kanban systems within a Scrum context.
The book opens with a chapter demystifying Scrumban, starting with an acknowledgement that while Scrum is simple and effective, it can be difficult to master.
The next three chapters look at the foundations on Scrumban. There's a chapter describing Scrumban's origins and how it fits into 'systems thinking'. The interesting idea here is that most developers thnk analytically, which means we break systems down into collections of independent things. This works well on one scale, but can mean we miss interactoins and dependencies across the larger system. To see such things means deliberately thinking about the big picture rather than the immediate problem.
Next is a chapter that sets out to clarify the relationship between purpose, values and performance. It starts with a section titled 'why we're paid to work' (because we produce something of value), and goes on to look at how a team performs differently from a collection of individuals. The following chapter builds on this to look at why Scrumban works, focusing heavily the Kanban element of Scrumban.
Now we come to three chapters that look at putting Scrumban into practice, starting with how to roll out Scrumban in an organization. There's an extensive description of the kickstart process and event from different viewpoints.
A chapter on 'working under the hood' concentrates on how Scrumban is used to manage uncertainty and risk, and this part of the book closes with a look at how to measure the success of projects managed using Scrumban.
The final part of the book covers more advanced topics such as convictional leadership and evolving roles. There's a chapter on how you can keep improving once you've mastered Scrumban, and a final chapter on modeling. The book ends with an extensive appendix that gives high level summaries of the fundamentals of Scrumban; additional background on the models and frameworks; more complete case studies of the examples used earlier in the book; and discussions of other resources.
While the upbeat tone of the book, especially in the coaching tips, was at times a bit overwhelming, the book explains Scrumban and how to use it well. This would make a good book for anyone using Scrum and wanting to add Kanban into it, or if you're thinking of moving to an agile programming model.
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The Dream Team Nightmare
Essential Skills for the Agile Developer
Agile Product Management with Scrum