For the past five years I have considered myself to be a Agile SCRUM enthusiast. However, recently I have started to doubt the process in terms of it working effectively. Some of the key issues I have are:
- The planning overhead which comes around every iteration
- The reliance on promoting productivity by limiting the time available during an iteration
- A successful iteration relies on accurate estimation and that is always accurate right!?
- Retrospectives are negative by nature
Of course there are many benefits that SCRUM brings to the table, such as the focus on iterative development, continued customer engagement and measurable performance (that one is the manager in me).
Recently I have been researching Kanban as an alternative option to SCRUM. Kanban literally throws sprints out of the window – not to mention those long planning meetings. This methodology focuses on continuous flow – driving productivity by limiting the number of work items in progress at any one time. The focus is on completing what you start. One phrase these past few days which has stuck with me which I think I read on the Kanbanize blog was – Stop starting and start finishing. I believe this sums up Kanban’s essence perfectly.