Kanban and Scrum – A Book Review
Kanban and Scrum: making the most of both introduces the Scrum methodology and the Kanban tool. It compares the two approaches, differentiates them and show how they are related. Divided in two parts, the book presents the theories first and then a case study at the second. People who have heard of Agile, Scrum, Lean and Kanban will now have a better understanding of how each approach can affect teams, processes, and workflows, and how both can be used at the same time.
The book comes in paperback and was published in March 2010 by online publishing site lulu.com. It has 120 pages and about 0.3 inch thick. The cover shows a cartoon illustration of what seems to be a Scrum task board at the mid upper part, and the title and authors’ names at the lower part over a light watermarked background. ISBN-10: 0557138329; ISBN-13: 978-0557138326
Kanban and Scrum is primarily for software development teams and companies who are planning or may have started transitioning from traditional methods to more Agile ones. It is also for those interested in applying Lean principles, continuous improvement, and productivity tools like Kanban. It is for everyone who believes change is needed in the process or workflow but a bit confused whether embracing one approach means being exclusive or not to the other.
What Customers Say
Bas Vodde gave it 4 out 5 starts because of Henrik’s very clear writing and ability to explain complex concepts n a simple way. He describes the book as thin that can be read quickly.
Audrey Hollingsworth remarked that the text provided a great comparison of Scrum and Kanban, with the case study at the second part giving good information, too.
A Goodreads reviewer from Sweden gave it 4 out of 5 stars for being nice and easy to read. However, he does not like the use of smileys in the text.
Content, Approach, Style
Kanban and Scrum is divided in two parts. The first part is written by Henrik Kniberg and gives explanations of what Scrum is and what Kanban is. Part 1 is divided in 16 short sections. It gives a general explanation, how the two relate to each to other, the peculiarities of Scrum with its roles and sprints, how Kanban limits work in progress (WIP) per workflow while Scrum limits WIP per iteration, and more. Part 2 is a case study mostly written by Mattias Skarin as he helped apply Kanban in a games development company.
The book is written in short, easy-to-read paragraphs with subheadings per topic. It uses bulleted lists and many illustrations. Some sections are just one page in length. There are more descriptions and explanations about Scrum than Kanban and there are more similarities presented than differences.
Why Buy the Book
Kanban and Scrum is a good introduction of the two more popular non-traditional methods of software development. It gives the right perspective of how applying either can result in improvement. It also describes how one tool is different from the other in making change happen. Those who can grasp the concepts very well are given tips how the two can be applied together in certain situations.
Books that Complement
Ken Rubin’s Essential Scrum is a highly recommended book about the subject.
On the other hand, David Anderson’s Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change is considered canonical by many Lean and Agile coaches.
Henrik Kniberg has written other books about Lean and Agile principles. He is the author of Lean from the Trenches and Scrum and XP from the Trenches. These books are considered references by his fellow Lean and Agile coaches. Henrik has over 15 years experience in software development in various capacities including team leader, consultant, CTO and CEO. He is the founder of Crisp based in Stockholm, Sweden, and he helps teams, managers and companies transition to Lean and Agile methods of software development.
Mattias Skarin is a contributor and is also a fellow Lean and Kanban coach at Crisp. He has a Masters of Science Degree in Quality Management and has experience as a developer for over 10 years. He is one of the early proponents of Kanban, has helped a company reduce game development time from 24 months to 4. He mentors teams in all levels, from development to management.