Scrum and Kanban update

Every now and then the people who invented Scrum make some changes. You’d expect that from a framework that espouses the virtues of ‘inspect and adapt’! During the same period Kanban also went through a few changes as part of their own continuous improvement.

We have updated the material on to reflect the changes to these frameworks, and to ensure you are kept up-to-speed with the latest thinking in the industry.

For those that don’t want to scour every page in the Scrum and Kanban books, here is a quick overview of the changes:

From Scrum

More information has been added discussing the need for Artifact transparency to improve decision-making inside and outside of the Scrum team. One of the Scrum values is transparency and it was felt that better decisions could be made to increase value and control risk by improving the transparency of documentation.

Sprint Planning is now one event to cover both aspects of planning. The first part is consistent with how the ceremony was previous done – What can be done this Sprint? The second part is more focused on working together as a team to decide how the chosen work will be done. A formal inclusion of a Sprint Goal has been added – it has been implicit until this point.

The Product Backlog is now refined rather than groomed. The refined Product Backlog items should be transparent, well enough understood and granular enough to be input for the Sprint Planning and for selection for the Sprint. Product Backlog items with this transparency are called “Ready.” Ready and Done are two states that reinforce transparency.

There is more guidance on the need for time-boxed events, such that every event has a maximum duration. This is designed to remove the need for other, non-Scrum, meetings that sometimes crop up because of a mis-application of the ceremonies. Further clarity is given on a Sprint, as container event; it has a fixed duration that cannot be shortened or lengthened.

The importance of the Daily Scrum as a planning event has been emphasised. You may have seen it become a status update event rather than for the team to come together to plan their work. The team should focus on working together as a self-organizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment by the end of the Sprint. The input to the meeting should be how the team is doing toward meeting the Sprint Goal; the output should be a new or revised plan that optimizes the team’s efforts in meeting the Sprint Goal. To that end, the three questions have been reworded to change the focus to the team over the individual:

  • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal

From Kanban

Kanban has had a couple of more major changes which makes it more important to re-read the book. A 6th principle has been added – Implement Feedback loops. It is a welcome addition and much of the intention of the new principle can be explored in our Feedback module.

A new practice has been added known as the Improvement Kata. It is designed to help a project or team continuously improve and focus on the key outcomes and measures that everyone is working to.

Finally, there is a section on ‘deep’ Kanban. This is based on the observation that many teams end up implementing one or two of the principles, seeing decent results and then almost stopping without really exploring the other principles. More impressive results will come from implementing all of the principles and combining them with the Improvement Kata and continuous improvement mindset.


Even though we have provided a synopsis of the changes here, we do recommend re-reading the material from time-to-time as it can be amazing what teams take for granted once they are in delivery mode and settled in an approach. You will be surprised what ‘new’ things that can be learned.

As always, we welcome feedback and hope you are getting on well with delivering the changes you need to increase value, improve flow and advance the quality of your products and services.

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