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Scrum and Kanban Agile frameworks

In our last article we have described Agile as an umbrella term for many different frameworks. Theseameworks has similar characteristics, they are lightweight and adaptable to various processes, products / services / constraints, iterative and incremental, customer oriented and includes elements of employee empowerment, interfaces collaboration and tight communication.

One good example is the Agile Scrum framework – which is the most popular agile framework. Agile Scrum framework meets all of the above doing the following:

·         The organization structure is divided into multidisciplinary, self-managed and independent scrum teams that are able to deliver end-to-end customer value.

·         The product / service / project is divided into small valuable increments called 'features' - those can be delivered or at the very least be presented to an internal or external customer and receive feedback on.

·         The work timeline is divided into short iterations called 'sprints' that are usually 2-3 weeks long in which valuable features are delivered.

The Agile Scrum framework includes a number of roles (scrum master, product owner) whose essence role is to ensure that elements such as - connection to the voice of the customer, team independence and tight communication are maintained within the team. In addition, the Scrum framework has familiar routines (ceremonies) - Planning, Daily, Demo and Retrospective, that are aimed at routinely introduce the organization into short cycles of customer value delivery and continuous learning.


Additional example is the Kanban framework that is sourced from the Lean management philosophy (a visual pull system that easily communicates the need for inventory replenishment in the production floor exactly when it is needed). The Kanban method helps manage the amount of open tasks (Work-In-Process - WIP) to increase the value unit flow for a just-in-time and short-term delivery to the customer.

Applying this method includes a Kanban board that visually displays the workflow and that is used on a daily basis by the team. The cumulative WIP, barriers and dependencies can be easily identified on the board and is addressed in a short period of time.

As mentioned above, each of the Agile frameworks can be adapted to any process, meaning it is NOT necessarily 'Agile development framework' and surly it's NOT only software development.

Examples for how it applies to two different types of processes are:

Process

Sales process

Complex and multidisciplinary product development process

Team form

Multidisciplinary team

Multidisciplinary team

Team's disciplines

Market analysis, customer service, sales reps and back office

Mechanics, electronics, software

Sprint length

2-week sprints

4-week sprints

Sprint input

Short lists of sales potential

Product requirement

Sprint delivery

Two weeks' worth sales

End-to-end product unit/feature

Feedback given

Quality of leads (given to the analysts who built the list)

Compliance with product requirements

KPI's

Sales, sale's closure lead time

TTM, Quality, Product cost

 

In addition to scrum, each of these teams can also adapt a Kanban board to help with task and WIP management.

In conclusion – Scrum and Kanban are two popular Agile framework that expresses the agile principles in different ways and can help organizations be rapid and flexible within various processes.