Scrumban for Scrum Teams
How Scrum Teams Manage Long term Projects
👋 Hello, I’m Vibhor, and welcome to the 🔒 subscriber-only edition 🔒 of my newsletter, the “Winning Strategy.” Every week, I answer one reader question about Agile Products / Processes, Role-based Skills, and anything else that you need answered about your Career Growth. You can send me your questions here.
Note: If you enjoy reading this post, would you mind showing your support by clicking the little gray heart below the title above? It would really mean a lot and help spread the word about this growing newsletter. 😍
On to this week’s question!
Q: Hi Vibhor. I want to start by mentioning that your newsletter, “Scrum for Project Teams,” was a lifesaver. It is now more clear than ever how I should navigate my role in a project-based environment as opposed to product based. I am more relaxed, and my team seems to be liking it too. The problem I now have is about a concern raised by my team. My team thinks that sprints are unnecessary. Since we are a long term project team, working in sprints actually makes no sense. I am going to take the leap and introduce Kanban to the team. But before I do that, I wanted to take your advice. What should I do?
Thanks for the question.
For those who missed the post on Scrum Master's Guide to Project-Based Scrum Teams, here’s the link
It sheds light on the practical challenges and the contrasting dynamics between project and product-centric environments. It will guide you through the Dos and Don’t of being a Scrum Master in a “Project” team.
The response to this post is unimaginable. It made me realize that there are more Scrum teams working on "Projects" than on "Products" 🤯.
For this reason, the question you’ve asked in this post may resonate with many of the readers, especially those navigating the waters of project-based environments.
To reiterate, your team, being engaged in a long-term “project”, found the sprint cadence somewhat misaligned with their workflow igniting your interest in Kanban as a potential solution.
Now, the essence of this concern lies in the classic debate of Scrum versus Kanban and how one could transition or even blend the two to create a more fluid and accommodating workflow for long-term project teams.
This is a common crossroad that many Scrum Masters encounter, and navigating it successfully requires a blend of insight, flexibility, and a keen understanding of your team's unique dynamics and the project demands.
The way I understand and explain things is different from most textbooks and articles out there. I like to attack the core of the problem by simplifying the question. What you have asked in your question comes down to,
“Is Kanban the right switch for your Scrum team?”
And I will address your question by simplifying:
When do the teams need Scrum?
When do the teams need Kanban?
When do teams need a blend of the two?
Moreover, we'll discuss some practical steps and considerations to ensure a smooth transition should you decide to adopt the hybrid approach.
Let’s get started.