Scrumban Experiences

Back into 2008 i was doing lots of scrum like everybody else. I spot several issues working purely with scrum like: Issues working with delivery dates, issues working with distributed work, or work beyond the team level, issues working with FAKE Pos, or pos who could not make any call or was really afraid to make calls because a specific corporate culture.

In brazil CMMI and process, unfortunately are still strong, maybe there are not strong in a direct way but they are still into a indirect way.  People often go to new methods and practices but with old culture and that does not work because as Deming said once: Dont copy the tools copy the principles in order to get the principles it require to change culture and values, for brazil old values around process and quality.

When i started with Kanban was basically around Scrumban back into 2008. As anybody else i was wrong. Thinking about kanban as a method or a process but with less bureaucracy with focus on delivery values, later i figure out scrumban was a rite of passage, a mean for a end, actually kanban is not a process its a improvement tool, to drive change, to drive cultural and behavior change.

I started reading this amazing book here, and there is they blog as well. Corey Ladas talk about they experiences from going from scrum to Kanban. I was to the same road, what i realize down to the road of was going from a method A to a method B but actually changing culture, behavior, values and most important principles.

Mixing scrum and kanban practices help, i belive scrum works, but you need have a very specific scenario where you have real empowerment and your company are at some level or maturity witch most of companies are not there yet. Kanban use to be more effect because it does not try to change company practices and process and roles up to front but instead it goes slowly teaching new principles and values and change they culture and values.

Some people really see scrumban as a method, for me i dont care if is a method or not for me at this point whats really matters is change management culture and company culture and this is a long tern transformation process that takes time.

The practices are not that relevant, and honestly once you understand the principles you will create your own practices. But you still just on the team level and of course there might stuff you need change there but the company is bigger than your team.  So today the real fight is change/improve whole company culture as whole, thats where we got Lean. I figure that out back into 2008, it takes a long time and energy but it worth doing.

The take away is, methods does not matters much, invest in culture and principles not only for teams but for the whole company and try to see as much as the whole as you can, sometimes ar the team level you can only survive and do small things, some changes like Deming said once as well need come from outside maybe a consultancy or a coach who is not day-by-day working with you.

Diego Pacheco

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