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Posted by: jsonmez | July 7, 2010

Book Review: Scrumban

I just finished reading “Scrumban” by Corey Ladas.

scrumban

This book is a self-published book, which is really a collection of essays.  Be prepared for that before you read the book, so that you know what to expect.

It is not a book that tells you how to exactly do Kanban or Scrumban, but it gives you ideas about Kanban and lean concepts and how to solve certain problems you might face in implementing a Kanban process.

Some parts of the book might be a bit difficult to understand without a background in lean methodology, but overall most of the common problems and solutions are understandable.  This is definitely a book you could study and contemplate on as you read through the material and look at the charts.

Good:

  • Excellent use of diagrams and pictures of real Kanban boards to illustrate points.
  • Lots of different solutions for common Kanban problems.
  • In depth talk about strategy and reason behind different possible solutions.
  • Several unique perspectives on many of the concepts presented.

Bad:

  • Not exactly an easy read.  It is a little rough and some of the concepts rely on knowledge outside of the context of the book.
  • Some of the assumptions are a little broad and aren’t backup up by much real data.

What I learned:

This book really expanded my mind about different ways of implementing Kanban and solutions for some of the common problems.  Some of the solutions surprised me, but made sense.

I learned more about the reasoning behind limiting the WIP to force the system to self-correct.  I had not considered that strictly limiting the WIP would force freed up resources to automatically move to help resolve the clog in the pipe, since they will not be able to take in new work.

Corey presented a great technique on planning by having a just-in-time planning session when the number of items in development reaches a certain threshold.  I had heard of this technique before but had not seen a practical implementation of it.

I would definitely recommend this book to expand your thinking on Kanban software development.  If you are looking for instructions on exactly how to set up your Kanban process, this book probably won’t help you, but if you are looking to understand more about the why of Kanban and how to solve particular problem or pain points, get this book.

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Responses

  1. […] Book Review: Scrumban (John Sonmez) […]


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