19 August 2011

Practice with Scrum

  • Athletes practice their skills; practice, repeat, fast, slow, different conditions, etc
  • Scrum gives people an opportunity to practice the elements of the SDLC
  • The timebox is the anchor of this learning/improvement aspect
  • Sprints bring a regular rhythm or cadence that provides a structured and safe backdrop in which to experiment and learn
While Kanban proponents advocate evolutionary change it might lack the rhythm that helps people learn effectively.  On the other hand Kanban enthusiasts talk about the need for cadence to help the team work effectively.

Maybe Kanban laid over Scrum would be a better implementation than Kanban laid over Prince2.

Having said that, maybe Kanban is a better model for getting work done once you are ready to move off Scrum's "training wheels."


  1. Practice doesn't make perfect.
    Practice makes permanent. If you're practicing BAD habits, you'll continue to do them until something helps you change.

  2. Not practicing means only doing it for the first time when it really counts. All those bad habits are already there and you have the additional habits that could have been fixed after the first couple times, plus the lack of understanding that only goes away through reflection and experience.

    Practice without a combination of rigor, reflection, and improvement is not actually practice, it's just making the time go by.

    That said, Kanban (or any process) can be applied to any number of things to become a quick practice session. Turn the process of serving and eating a catered lunch into a Kanban practice, tour a local manufacturing plan that uses kanban methods, get people to use it on individual projects and report or have others help make improvements. The wider a variety of conditions, the better an understanding everyone will have and the more open minded they will be about applying it to a situation (rather then getting stuck in a rut and applying it in a prescribed fashion).