This cover is from a great little book that I used to read to my son when he was much younger.

The essence of the book is one of diversity and tolerance, that we are all made up of many influences, we are all different, unique and wonderful, it’s a really great message.

Those who know me, know that I’ve a very soft spot for Cynefin and this fits nicely with the meaning of the welsh word itself, but this isn’t a Cynefin post.

So why the post?

I was chatting to another consultant who said you’re doing Kanban, the guys here are used to doing Scrum and it just made me think that this person really didn’t understand what Kanban is really about.

It was put across as though Scrum and Kanban were opposing methodologies and you have to choose one but they are really not.

I keep hearing a belief that somehow Kanban’s all about stories and Scrums about tasks and this is not a case of this statement being right or wrong,  its just missing the whole point.

With Kanban we start with what you do now and the “what you do now” can be scrum and that’s fine, it can be anything really and usually is.

Scrum tends to be used to optimise development and from this we tend to see Water-Scrum-Fall emerge as invariably we still have issues in the product and deployment spaces.

This isn’t the fault of Scrum its just how people tend to implement it, as though it’s a panacea, a one size fits all will solve all your problems recipe, let’s optimise Development and the word will be a wonderful place.

Even if we embrace DevOps to get changes out of the door quickly, unless we optimise the product space to make sure we are building the right things, the things that matter the most to the business and our customers, then all we are doing is building the wrong things quickly.

Likewise if we concentrate on making sure we are building the right items, unless we can get things out of the door in a timely manner, we will probably miss the boat and not drive the benefits we are looking for

For me Kanban is an overarching approach that seeks to allow us to optimise the whole not just individual bits and here and there.

It isn’t a rigid disciplined framework that says “do it like this”,  thou shalt use scrum and it has to look like this, for me it’s a set of tools and techniques that we can use to help drive change.

It brings us to a space where we can bring all of our-skills and experience together to work out what’s right for our client, the correct blended approach for them.

It just reminded me of the little Hotchpotch that’s all, buy the book for you small child

By the way if you genuinely think Kanban is just an alternative to Scrum then please buy Mike Burrows book, Kanban from the Inside and read it 5 or 6 times, if you still think so then drop me a line and we can go for a beer and have a chat, mates rates obviously 🙂