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.
If most of the open source projects for Scrum tools have ended being transformed in a limited offer that supports a main commercial product, this has not been the case for Kanban. The simplicity of the Kanban approach has allowed open source software developers to create and maintain Kanban tools based on various platforms.
Trello is a free on-line project management tool owned by Atlassian that provides a flexible and visual way to organize anything. This approach is naturally close to the visual boards used in the Scrum or Kanban approaches. As the tool as an open architecture, some extensions have been developed for a better implementation of Agile project management in Trello and provides additional features like Scrum burndown charts or the implementation of WIP limits.
In Kanban, the concept of work in progress (WIP) limit defines the maximum amount of work that can be performed by a team or that can exist in each active status of a workflow. In this article, Gerard Chiva explains why limiting WIP is an important decision for Agile teams.
In the context of software development, Kanban is an approach based on Lean that tries to limit waste and work in progress to the actual capacity of the software development team. The aim of Kanban is to create a context that balances capacity and demand through a value stream and promote visual project management.
The common wisdom is that Agile need Kanban teams to do the work that the Scrum Teams can’t do yet as well as the stuff that you don’t want your Scrum Teams to be distracted by. There is however much more to Kanban than meets the common agilist’s eye.
If shorter release cycle could be considered as a success for Agile software development teams, they might be considered as an issue if the other parts of the organization are not ready to handle this. In this article, Colleen Johnson shares an experience where the successes achieved implementing the Kanban method at the team level were leveraged to expand them to the enterprise level.