Michal Sobotkiewicz
Michal SobotkiewiczKANBO PRODUCT OWNER
He leads the KanBo Technology & Innovation strategy team to map, build and inspire a future we want to work in.

If we take a look at the official definition of Scrum, it is defined as a lightweight framework that empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to create value in an efficient manner relying on adaptive solutions for complicated problems.

The framework requires a Scrum Master to develop an environment where:

  • A product owner requests a solution for a complex problem that’s added to a product backlog.
  • The Scrum team comes up with a set of solutions that are added into an increment of value during a sprint.
  • The team and involved stakeholders assess and evaluate the outcomes and make necessary adjustments for the next Sprint.
  • The process is then repeated until desired outcomes are reached.

At the core of Scrum is simplicity combined with flexibility. The concept is the exact opposite of a combination of rigid and mandatory procedural components that frequently lead to unnecessary dependencies as well as a lack of efficiency. Scrum isn’t some rigid methodology, it is a scientific implementation of empiricism that enables individuals and teams to adjust, change, and adapt depending on the requirements and outcomes instead of sticking to a programmed algorithmic approach. Scrum leaves room both for people and organizations to be prepared for unexpected and unpredictable results and adjust accordingly.

KanBo for Scrum Teams

KanBo is An Ideal Software for Scrum Teams

KanBo is a comprehensive and feature-rich software that has the capability to act as an agile tool for project teams empowering them to be creative and innovative during their short sprints. As KanBo is an enterprise-ready solution, matrix organizations can rely on it to solve complex problems via a digital approach. This allows organizations to be highly efficient and productive.

Due to a multitude of similar characteristics, KanBo software aligns really well with Scrum. It also takes a holistic approach to managing a wide range of projects to find solutions to complex problems. It is an ideal companion for designing and developing sophisticated products, complex architectures, and large projects because of its inherently complementary nature to agile methodologies.

Building Blocks of Scrum and KanBo – Sounds Familiar?

The ideology behind Scrum is rooted in lean thinking processes and empiricism – an idea that proposes that knowledge isn’t always static but comes from experience. That’s why decisions shall be made based on what is observed during the current project development instead of relying on rigid methods that attempt to create one-size-fits-all kind of solutions.

Lean thinking enables both individuals and teams to reduce waste and focus on the essentials to find relevant solutions. The fundamentals of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptation. On the other hand, KanBo pillars are work, people, time, and technology. KanBo philosophy is described as empowering purpose-driven organizations to optimize work management with full transparency and trust so people can work the way they were truly meant to – perfectly connected and always in sync.

In other words, it would be safe to say that Scrum offers a holistic approach to development while KanBo brings a holistic approach to project management. Every pillar and principle behind these contributes to the strength and development of each other enabling organizations to deliver more agile solutions along with better-quality products.

It is crucial for organizations to observe that KanBo is not just another project management tool in their digital technology stack. Instead, it complements organizational solutions, not replaces them. KanBo software works best when it is added as an optional tool in an already modern stack like a project portfolio management or an ERP system.

This means that when you are relying on KanBo, you have a great advantage as you can decide which tool or tools your organization should go for. There are Scrum artifacts equivalent in KanBo:

Product OwnerKanBo member with administrative control
Scrum MasterKanBo member
Scrum Team MembersKanBo members
StakeholdersKanBo members
Project VisionKanBo Board with description and objectives of the project
EpicsKanBo Cards
User StoriesKanBo child cards with dependencies to Epics

Scrum Ceremonies in KanBo

What is Sprint?

In Scrum, Sprint is a time-boxed phase when the team’s development cycles are performed. The Sprint is believed to be completed when the project team successfully delivers a minimum version goal, a minimum viable product, or launches a completed schedule. The length or duration of Sprint events generally spans over a period of one month or less to ensure consistency in evaluating progress during project development. The Sprint phase could be anywhere between one week and one month depending on organizational goals and project objectives.

Sprint in KanBo

There is a dedicated Scrum Board in KanBo which is fundamentally a central hub that hosts the entirety of the project information highlighting all the work a team needs to get done. The board is easy to access and can be viewed by any team member at any time to get the required updates. This elevated level of transparency ensures that everyone clearly understands their task and is completely aware of the progress being made during the time-box phase.

What is Sprint Planning?

During the process of Sprint Planning, each team member contributes to defining what can be delivered realistically during Sprint. Best practices usually involve specifying an agenda and focus to achieve desired outcomes. Scrum Sprint Planning offers answers to the following questions:

  • What is the goal of a particular Sprint?
    Product Owner specifies the primary objective.
  • How the project team plans to approach the work?
    The team evaluates objectives and outlines the work necessary to deliver the objective or goal of Sprint.
  • Who is going to be a part of it and what will be their responsibilities?
    During Sprint Planning, both the product owner and the development team discuss, define, and develop a clear understanding of what they are required to do and set responsibilities.
  • Inputs?
    The starting point of Sprint Planning is often the list that includes the product backlog. The team can see the scope and extent of work as Epics.
  • Outputs?
    The team describes what they have to do and who is responsible for each task. The output is essentially a list of tasks that are to be completed during Sprint.

Sprint Planning Objectives & Challenges

The objectives of Sprint Planning include mutually agreeing on goals and the scope and extent of commitment along with splitting up the work between team members. The only challenge is faced by remote Scrum team members as it results in decentralization leading to creating a barrier in dynamic and consistent communication.

Sprint Planning in KanBo

The objectives of Sprint Planning include mutually agreeing on goals and the scope and extent of commitment along with splitting up the work between team members. The only challenge is faced by remote Scrum team members as it results in decentralization leading to creating a barrier in dynamic and consistent communication.

What is Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-Up?

The Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-Up is a 15-minute meeting for all developers or members of the Scrum team. In order to reduce complexity and lack of communication, it is held at the same time so everyone can contribute. The event is held to quickly notify everyone of what’s going on across the team. During Daily Scrum or Daily Stand-Up, each team member is required to answer the following questions to get everyone else up to speed:

  • What did I complete yesterday?
  • What will I work on today?
  • Am I blocked by anything?

Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-Up Objectives & Challenges

The primary objectives of Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-Up include sharing progress with all the team members, identify impediments and dependencies, and plan for the day ahead. On the other hand, challenges for Scrum teams who are working remotely usually include unstructured conversations and follow-up as after answering the daily questions, team members switch to problem-solving.

Daily Scrum, Daily Stand-Up in KanBo

When it comes to daily concurrent communication, KanBo empowers agile and Scrum teams to stay in the loop through a multitude of features. For Daily Stand-Up meetings, team members can rely on the video conferencing feature with screen sharing while timers ensure that things keep moving. When a certain member of the team wants to divert attention and desires to share their thoughts about solving a particular problem, another meeting can be created outlining the context of the problem through KanBo Cards (Epics in Scrum).

To this Card, you only need to add members who are involved and when you have successfully worked out a solution, it can be added to the appropriate KanBo Card (Epic) where the problem occurred. This notifies everyone in the team that the issue has been resolved.

What is Backlog Refinement?

The Product Backlog is a persistently developing, chronologically or otherwise ordered list, also called Backlog List, of what needs to be done to improve the product. It is the primary and only source of work undertaken by the Scrum team. The procedure of Product Backlog refinement involves breaking down and further categorizing and prioritizing Product Backlog items into smaller and more precise workable items (To-Do list or KanBo Child Card).

The most critical items (Epics) are shown at the top of the product backlog, so the team is aware of its priorities and knows what they need to deliver first.

Backlog Refinement Objectives & Challenges

The main purpose of Backlog Refinement in Scrum is to keep the list updated so everyone is aware of their priorities and to-dos. It is also used to specify a plan to mitigate or reduce the impact of impediments and dependencies. The challenges of Backlog Refinement include driving complex problem-solving processes with content-heavy whiteboards and keeping large groups streamlined in terms of communication and work priorities.

Backlog Refinement in KanBo

You can achieve the same results relying on KanBo by ensuring all members have quick and easy access to the digital KanBo Board along with collaboration tools and document information in real-time. This way the team members will have the ability to follow along and stay up to date. You also have the option to add team members to KanBo and work in a digital manner.

With KanBo software, you can also host smaller and purpose-oriented sessions with groups that are functionally aligned and then share progress with the larger group to overcome the Scrum Backlog Refinement challenges. To achieve this, you will need to use filters or groups on KanBo Board. This way you have the ability to create a smaller context group related to Backlog refinement instead of involving everyone who doesn’t need to be there.

What is the Sprint Review?

As the name suggests, Sprint Review is a way to evaluate the outcome of the Sprint and determine the requirement and scope of future adaptations. In this phase, the Scrum Team and stakeholders assess and review what objectives were accomplished, how much progress was made during the Sprint, and between then and now what has changed in their environment.

Depending on the insights of this review, members of the Scrum team collaborate on what to do next. They also establish what qualifies as “done”, develop a culture of delivery with elaborate processes, and celebrate with the team. Well-defined success factors are at the core of every Sprint Review which generally includes the following elements:

  • Attendees of the Review phase generally include the Scrum Team and essential stakeholders that the Product Owner chooses to invite.
  • Product Owner gives an explanation related to the completion and on-going status of Product Backlog items in terms of Done/Doing.
  • Developers talk about operational execution and discuss what went well during the Sprint, what challenges they had to confront, and how they overcame those roadblocks.
  • Developers also demonstrate the work that has been “Done” and answer questions about the Increment for the next phase of Sprint.
  • Product Owner examines the Product Backlog as it currently stands and, if required, projects probable targets along with delivery dates depending on the progress that has been made to this date.
  • The entire team communicates and collaborates on what needs to be “Done” next so that the Sprint Review delivers valuable insight into subsequent Sprint Planning.
  • It is assessed that how the marketplace or potential use of a certain product in development might have changed and what would be the most valuable thing to do next.
  • It also involves a comprehensive review of the budget, timeline, capabilities, and marketplace for the coming releases of functionality and features of the product.

Sprint Review Objectives & Challenges

The objectives of the Sprint Review are to celebrate the team’s accomplishments and accumulate as much feedback as possible to plan for the future Sprint. There are also challenges involved including demonstration without face-to-face conversations and passion might devolve into status updates. The review might also lead to presentation issues while sharing content.

Sprint Review in KanBo

In KanBo, you have the ability to accomplish Sprint Review in a far more convenient and engaging manner involving all the stakeholders without creating any additional work. All work statuses, project-related progress, and comments are stored in a central hub of KanBo Board, so there is no additional work required during Sprint Review.

What is the Sprint Retrospective?

Sprint Retrospective is an effective tool that allows Scrum teams to plan and strategies so they can enhance the quality and effectiveness of their work and products during future runs. Sprint Retrospective is what concludes the Sprint and it is time-boxed to a maximum of three hours for a one-month Sprint so everyone keeps track of the time and resources aren’t wasted.

For Sprints that are shorter than a month, the Retrospective event is also relatively shorter. Retrospectives provide an opportunity for the Scrum team to assess and evaluate their own performance and weaknesses while developing a plan to address areas where improvement is required for the future. Retrospective events are supposed to be positive and energizing experiences for the Scrum team so remain motivated and passionate for the next run.

Sprint Retrospective Objectives & Challenges

The main objectives and goals of Sprint Retrospective include reflecting on the quality and scope of team interaction, collaboration, and performance to make necessary adjustments and changes to achieve better results in the future. It also provides a chance for the team to identify opportunities to enhance the overall working style. The sole substantial challenge in conducting a Sprint Retrospective is video conferences and online meetings that can affect the perception of a safe environment for retrospective conversation.

Sprint Retrospective in KanBo

The equivalent of Sprint Retrospective can be achieved in KanBo by relying on the digital KanBo Board which enables team members to connect with each other simultaneously while having access to all the relevant information. Live video sessions on KanBo encourage free speech and let all team members talk about what’s on their mind without the barrier or concern of judgment. On the same note, KanBo comments, mentions, and search to focus can be used to focus on the main goal of a retrospective that is to plan ways to enhance the quality and effectiveness of future runs.

Conclusion

Scrum and KanBo Go Hand in Hand

By deploying KanBo software, Scrum teams in large matrix organizations achieve an enhanced and reinforced capability of solving complex problems by working more realistically and effectively ensuring they respond to the circumstances and developing situations. Investing in KanBo means that your organization will be well-prepared for the new challenges that come with today’s competitive marketplaces.

  • Relying on KanBo, teams and organizations can accomplish Scrum Planning, Scrum Sprint Review, and Scrum Retrospectives that assist them in achieving shared goals, milestones, and objectives.
  • With KanBo software, you can achieve clearly visible and demonstrable improvements over time.
  • You can find solutions and results for problems, successful outcomes for projects, and the marketplace for solutions.
  • The best form of success is achieved when every member has the knowledge, skills, and teamwork to work together and solve real-world problems with a sense of collective achievement. That’s exactly what KanBo helps you deliver.