Scrum Agile Project Management

Improving Scrum Sprints with Kanban

Scrum and Kanban are not rivals. If your Scrum Sprints are getting bogged down or missing the mark, combining Scrum with Kanban might be the Agile answer. This article from Kert Peterson provides a comprehensive explanation of how Kanban can improve your Scrum process with Kanban Task Boards, Team Boards, and a better focus on customer needs.

The goal of this article is to explore the application of Kanban within a Scrum sprint. It discusses how Scrum can use some aspects of Kanban to improve value creation and more effectively deliver the sprint goals.

Improving Scrum Sprints with Kanban

Many Scrum teams already use a task board similar to Kanban with “To Do”, “Doing” or “Done” columns. The author writes that this task board must be examined and evolved to foster shared ownership and sharpen the team’s focus on value delivery. Tracking tasks may be interesting and useful to Scrum teams, but they are irrelevant to the customer and the Product Owner. It is therefore recommended visualizing progress at a higher level like the product backlog item or user stories. The second recommendation is to apply the Work in Progress (WiP) limit more globally. Even if Scrum natively limits work-in-progress through the sprint plan, teams are often overcommiting and WIP limits on the appropriate columns will introduce a constraint that will encourage shared ownership of issues. The article also recommends managing the flow, making process policies explicit and implement additional feedback loops besides the daily Scrum meetings and the retrospectives.

The conclusion of the article is that “More siblings or cousins than the rivals that many make them out to be, Kanban and Scrum both aim for sustainable delivery of high quality products and services in the shortest possible time frame. Kanban’s methods to visualize and manage workflow can bring clarity and better team collaboration within the Sprint. The increased emphasis on customers and their needs offered by Kanban can assist Scrum teams in aligning their product to the needs of the market and customers. Understanding these Kanban methods will allow you to leverage Kanban to significantly improve your Sprints.”

Read the complete article on