Book Notes #31: Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both by Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg

Kanban and Scrum are two flavours of Agile software development – two simple but surprisingly powerful approaches to software development.

Title: Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both
Author: Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg
Year: 2010
Pages: 120

You’ve probably heard of Scrum and Kanban if you’re interested in agile software development.

Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both is a book written by Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg that provides an overview of two popular Agile development methodologies, Kanban and Scrum, and how they can be used together to optimize workflow and increase productivity.

As a result, I gave this book a rating of 8.5/10.

For me, a book with a note 10 is one I consider reading again every year. Among the books I rank with 10, for example, is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Overview of Kanban and Scrum

This book aims to clear up the fog about how Kanban and Scrum can relate somehow, so you can identify how Kanban and Scrum might be useful for you.

A brief comparison of Scrum and Kanban is provided in the book to explain the differences and give hints as to when each is perhaps more effective than the other.

This book is an informal but illustrative introduction to the differences between Kanban and Scrum.

Part I illustrates the similarities and differences between Kanban and Scrum, comparing for understanding, not for judgment. 

Part II is a case study illustrating how a Scrum-based development organization implemented Kanban in its operations and support teams.

Kanban and Scrum are both Agile development methodologies that focus on flexibility and adaptability.

Kanban is a pull-based system that prioritizes tasks based on their importance and allows for continuous delivery.

Scrum is a time-boxed, iterative system that emphasizes teamwork and regular progress reviews.

By using Kanban and Scrum together, teams can gain the benefits of both methodologies, such as the ability to prioritize tasks and deliver results quickly while also maintaining a focus on teamwork and regular progress reviews.

The Kanban board can be used to visualize the flow of work and identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

The Scrum ceremonies (e.g. Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective) can be used to drive collaboration and alignment within the team.

Combining Kanban and Scrum allows teams to be more adaptive and responsive to changing requirements and customer needs.

The book provides examples and case studies from real teams that have successfully implemented Kanban and Scrum together, showing the benefits they have achieved.

My Book Highlights & Quotes

“… Scrum and Kanban are process tools in that they help you work more effectively by, to a certain extent, telling you what to do. Java is also a tool, it gives you a simpler way to program a computer. A toothbrush is also a tool, it helps you reach your teeth so you can clean them…”

“… Knife or fork – which tool is better? Pretty meaningless question right? Because the answer depends on your context. For eating meatballs the fork is probably best. For chopping mushrooms the knife is probably best. For drumming on the table either will do fine. For eating a steak you probably want to use both tools together. For eating rice… well… some prefer a fork while others prefer chopsticks. So when we compare tools we should be careful. Compare for understanding, not for judgment…”

Overall, “Kanban and Scrum, Making the Most of Both” is a must-read for anyone looking to optimize their workflow and increase productivity. 

The authors, Mattias Skarin and Henrik Kniberg, provide a comprehensive overview of two popular Agile development methodologies, Kanban and Scrum, and show how they can be used together to achieve the best results. 

The book is filled with real-world examples and case studies, making it easy to understand and apply the concepts to your own team. 

By combining the best of both worlds, teams can be more adaptive and responsive to changing requirements, while also maintaining a focus on teamwork and regular progress reviews.

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