Optimizing Workflows With Scrumban—The Perfect Convergence of Scrum and Kanban

by Anand Suresh

Scrum and Kanban are two standard agile methods used by software development groups today. Their main goal is to enable teams to offer value speedily and adapt to shifting needs. That said, each has unique pros and cons. Scrum’s approach is pretty structured with set sprint durations, defined roles, and activities such as daily standups, sprint planning, and retrospectives. This Scrumban structure can benefit certain teams. That said, the rigid sprint durations don’t provide much wiggle room.

In contrast, Kanban is highly adaptable. It employs a visual work process on a Kanban board with columns symbolizing various work stages. For the prevention of bottlenecks, Kanban works on the work-in-progress (WIP) approach. However, it does not lay down time boxes, ceremonies, or roles as specifically as Scrum.

Scrum And Kanban

For this, one possible solution is Scrumban. Scrumban attempts to bridge the gap between these two worlds by borrowing certain elements from Scrum and Kanban. With Scrumban, teams can operate in flexible workflows as per the Kanban model. They can still have some of the structure possessed by timeboxes and sprints in Scrum.

In today’s blog, let’s delve into how the implementation of Scrumban streamlines work: what exactly does it have for an organization? In the end, we’ll show you both what Scrumban is and why teams can make such leaps forward with this agile approach.

Why Should Businesses Optimize Workflows in Project Management?

Optimizing workflows in businesses blesses them in more than one way. It comes as a package deal of various benefits, all in the name of optimizing workflows and project management. Here are some of the key reasons why businesses should optimize workflows: 

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1. Increased Productivity

All companies eliminate time-consuming processes and streamline operations. This enhances their productivity multifold. It is among the core targets of most organizations. Businesses can achieve improved productuvity with better workflows.

Power-packed and foolproof workflows allow businesses to eliminate bottlenecks and accomplish tasks quickly. This ultimately results in increased productivity, further transitioning into enhanced sales and productivity for all businesses. As a result, investing in optimizing workflows provides businesses with an opportunity to achieve their final goal of increased productivity. 

2. Better Multitasking Capabilities

With the growth of businesses, it becomes impossible to do one thing alone at a time. Multiple operations take place simultaneously and brands must manage them properly. This is where optimizing workflows assist managers. 

Better scope of managing individual workflows makes way for managing multiple tasks at once while maximizing results in all. With the growth of the business, multitasking is extremely important, and with that, workflow optimization to make it practical. 

As a result, this advantage cannot be missed, especially by firms that operate on a larger level or have diversified operations that need efficient management at once. Optimized workflows are the only possible way through which multitasking becomes a possibility and at the same level of efficiency.

3. Improved Agility

Adapting to new and emerging market changes stays at the core of all businesses as a requirement to stay relevant and excel. While this is a dream every business caters to, it often is a challenging dream that cannot be realized without proper preparation. 

To grab the best opportunities, it is important to have streamlined workflows. It positions the business better to grab the opportunities as and when they appear and make the most out of them. Think of it simply as better-managed processes make room for more changes and adaptability. 

This advantage of optimized workflows is at its heart and is an advantage that can hardly be overlooked. Irrespective of the size of the firm and the nature of operations, improved agility remains a core concern for all businesses. 
Scrumban uses a Hybrid Agile Methodology to achieve these goals. Adoption of Agile within software teams spiked from 37% in 2020 to 86% in 2021. A core component of Scrumban is Kanban boards, which constitute 61% of the respondents. 66% of respondents observed an increase in the use of Scrum. This points to the growing relevance of Agile methodologies in the project management practice. (Source: Parabol)

How Scrumban Boosts Workflow Optimization?

With an understanding of the basics of Scrum-ban, let us look at how exactly it can be used for boosting workflow optimization. Teams can finish all their work using Scrumban in a designated period called sprints. 

However, there is no need to wait for one sprint to end for result delivery. On the contrary, it allows businesses a shot at continuous delivery while the project is ongoing. It takes this distinct feature from Scrum and brings it to add to the benefits of Scrumban. 

One of the most celebrated features of Scrumban is that the projects do not necessarily need to have a deadline. The sprints are usually for two weeks, and the team members can work on a specific sprint for the period till it is time to review and reiterate them. This feature sets it apart as a means for workflow optimization for long-term projects. 

How Scrumban Boosts Workflow Optimization?

Better Visibility

Another benefit of using Scrumban is its ability to incorporate trackable work-in-progress limits. It allows the managers to alter the workflow whenever required during the period. 

Team members can manage the number of task cards falling in a particular category to ensure that the team does not feel overwhelmed at any point. For example, if the management feels that the team is overwhelmed or a lot of tasks are due at once, they can press pause on certain tasks till more of the older tasks move to the done category. 

Further, with the cyclical nature of sprints, team members can pull in cards from the product catalog at any time. The movement back and forth from the product catalog to the sprint cards provides space for more flexibility and allows them to manage their workflow based on requirements. 

Additionally, Scrum-ban utilizes the visualization feature from Kanban. Under this feature, teams can analyze the amount of work allocated to them, figure out ways to process it, and better manage their functioning. Visual workflows significantly improve the management of the team, management, and the entire organization and set up tags such as To Do, Doing, and Done to provide a glimpse into the current status of the projects in a shot.

3 Crucial Benefits of Leveraging Scrumban

3 Crucial Benefits of Leveraging Scrumban

At least 81% of the agile teams have reported using some of the other versions of Scrum, which even constitutes Scrumban. (Source: Digital.ai)  Teams who have adopted Scrumban often see several benefits, including:

1. Easy Tracking for Continuous Improvement

Short sprints and retrospectives build in regular process optimization. Not only this, but there is greater transparency that allows businesses to identify errors and fix them as they arrive. The transparency further also allows scope for increased and smoother collaboration within the team. 

Lastly, one benefit that makes Scrumban extremely helpful is its feature of visual tracking. It divides the tasks into different stages and provides a visual representation of the stage of each task to allow businesses to quickly grasp their progress and plan the future course of action.

2. Faster Delivery Times With Scrumban

Shorter iterations and work-in-progress limits help reduce lead and cycle times to deliver value faster. There is also a possibility for continuous delivery since teams can deliver features as soon as they complete them without waiting for the sprint to end. 

Not only this, but lastly, delivery times also get better because of optimized workflows. When everything is streamlined, the team members can reduce bottlenecks. They also accomplish the goals faster. Unnecessary duplications are avoided, and better collaboration is also ensured with increased transparency. All these factors together contribute to having faster delivery times.

3. Flexibility

Scrumban allows teams to adapt sprint lengths and work in progress to meet changing demands. Not only this, but it delivers incremental work with every new sprint that opens up room for greater flexibility. 

Further, the management can seamlessly move tasks from one stage to another. This ensures that the team members are never burdened. Enhanced scope for flexibility is among the main benefits derived from Scrumban that help businesses in a range of ways and ensure that their tasks can be managed and customized at all points.

Conclusion

Scrumban provides teams with the best of both worlds by blending useful aspects of Scrum and Kanban into one cohesive, lightweight framework. For teams feeling limited by strict sprints or overwhelmed by constant new work, Scrumban offers the flexibility, visualization, and structure needed to improve flow and productivity.

While adopting Scrumban has some considerations, it can be a worthwhile experiment for teams seeking to optimize their workflows, improve quality, and deliver greater value. 

Remember, in the beginning, it may seem like you are not able to grasp it, but as time goes by, it shall be easy to adapt to it. Just make sure that your team sticks to it for a while, and see the magic unfold for yourself. We at Practical Logix empower businesses to make the best use of technology to thrive in this competitive landscape. Connect with us today and know how you can leverage the latest methodologies to your advantage!

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