Scrum and Kanban are frameworks that provide an execution platform for Agile mindset.
Even though Scrum and Kanban are distinct work systems, they are both based on Agile mindset and it is not unusual for Scrum teams to integrate Kanban principles within their work methods. Hence, Scrum certification with Kanban is a highly in-demand certification that gives an edge to the software developers and provides them with a validation of their knowledge and understanding of how Scrum and Kanban tools can be integrated and best leveraged. In this article let’s break down these individual concepts ‘Agile’ ‘Scrum’ and ‘Kanban’ to understand the importance of this certification.
What is an Agile mindset?
The Agile mindset has transformed the world of software development and also to a large extent product development in other areas too. Revolving around the idea of iterative development, Agile methodologies help the developer to deliver products in a more efficient and time bound manner with better collaboration with cross-functional teams and feedback from customers. These methodologies are based on incremental development along with feedback rather than developing and delivering the product all at once. This helps in weeding out the problems in the desired software at the initial stages itself.
Agile principles are rooted in the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” which was an outcome of deliberations between some of the leading figures of the software industry in the year 2021. The manifesto was a radical departure from the earlier heavy documentation driven software development processes. The new mindset proposed to focus more on individuals, working software, custom collaboration and adaptability to change rather than processes and tools, documentation, contract negotiation and sticking to plan.
Exploring the history behind how ‘Scrum’ came to be
Even though Scrum is a part of agile mindset, it has its own rich history dating back to 1985 which intermingles with that of agile methods, considering that the founders of Scrum were also a part of the Agile Alliance that came together to formulate the principles embedded in the Agile Manifesto. The Scrum alliance came to fruition in the year 2002. The alliance began rolling out certified Scrum accreditation series. One of the co-founders and a leading figure in the Agile alliance, Schwaber distanced himself from the Scrum Alliance, eventually starting Scrum.org.
Scrum.org provides Professional Scrum Certification assessments. Professional Scrum with Kanban is one such certification that assesses the test taker on the ability to use Kanban tools in Scrum teams.
Professional Scrum with Kanban course is a coursework designed to help the interested individual in the concepts of Kanban integration with Scrum. Please Note that this course is not a prerequisite for taking up the certification assessment.
Now to understand this course, first you have to look into it with its relation to Scrum framework
Understanding Scrum Framework
The Scrum framework encompasses a host of different concepts enshrined in the Scrum Guide. The basic principles of Scrum Theory are founded on heuristics rather than heavy documentation. Empiricism and Lean Thinking are the building blocks of the Scrum framework. The founders of this framework believed that knowledge is mostly experience and observation driven rather than textual and that software development must also focus on reducing waste while delivering on the essentials.
These guiding principles have been the bedrock on which Scrum Framework has prospered and become an everyday parlance in the vocabulary of software developers. Transparency, inspection and adaptation are important tenets or pillars of the Scrum Framework. These three pillars of the framework ensure better visibility, help to detect undesirable deviations and enable correction and minimization from those deviations. The values embedded in Scrum methodology are commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage.
An understanding of how Scrum works at a practical level must begin from its most fundamental unit, that is, a Scrum team. This team comprises essentially a small group of people with a Scrum Master, a Product Owner and Developers. A remarkable feature of this team consists in the fact that there are no further divisions in it as also, it does not have any particular hierarchical structure. This directed and focused team works with only the end result of the product goal in its mind. This cross-functional group of 10 or lesser people is self-organized and self-sufficient, capable of performing all the product-related activities. The stage of Scrum where the real action happens is called Sprint. The various events that occur within the umbrella event of a sprint are Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
So, what is Professional Scrum with Kanban certification?
A pertinent question with regard to the Professional Scrum with Kanban certification is that where does Kanban fit within the whole framework of Scrum?
Kanban initially started within the broader area of lean manufacturing as a scheduling system. With an increasing focus on higher efficiency and reduction of waste, Kanban methods were progressively adopted by more and more players across the various segments including IT and software. While the Kanban system is a whole practical framework utilizing agile, lean, less waste and higher efficiency mindset, it can also be plugged in within the Scrum framework to optimize the process. Kanban boards provide a visual representation of project management that can very smoothly be integrated within the whole Scrum model.
Scrum teams can add certain elements of the Kanban framework to enhance their projects by adding an additional visibility layer. Scrum teams using Kanban visual management technique are more adaptable as there is a guide in the form of visual cues provided by the Kanban board. An important parameter to consider over here is the proper designing of the Kanban board itself. There are various factors that go into designing the most optimum and efficient board and Scrum teams must work out the best design that adds value to their framework and helps in a better execution of Sprint.
All things considered; Agile mindset has changed the way product development is looked at at an industry level. There is a growing realization that development teams are most efficient when they are approaching the product goal through utilization of agile frameworks like Scrum and Kanban. Scrum certification with Kanban can work not only as a test of your ability in understanding Scrum teams and Kanban techniques but will also embellish your resume with an in-demand skill that can help give your career the desired boost that you may be looking for.