Is Your Data Warehouse New to Agile?
If you’re beginning to use Agile in your Data Warehouse, you might wonder which approach to try: Scrum or Kanban.
Of course, I let him know I am happy to help from afar, and I sent him my perspective on Scrum and Kanban for a team new to Agile. Now, I know how it is with us coaches. We often reply to questions like this, “Well, it depends.” But, not this time! Here’s how I counseled him:
When it’s up to me to recommend a good approach to start with, I usually suggest a team use Kanban to manage workflow and limit work in process (WIP), and add the roles, cadence and ceremonies of Scrum (but not the time boxes – which are a different way of limiting WIP). By the way, I’ve heard people call this ScrumBan – but I’ve also heard the term “ScrumBan” used to mean something completely different (and harmful!), so I’m careful what I call it. I don’t call this ScrumBan. It’s simply using Kanban with aspects of Scrum.
My good friend, Ken Collier, describes the difference between limiting WIP in Scrum and limiting WIP in Kanban with this nice illustration:
As data professionals, the measuring and metrics inherent in a good Kanban approach should be attractive to us. That’s really where the power of Kanban lies – in measuring how you are doing, using the data to clarify the bottlenecks and issue spots, focusing improvements there, and continuing to get better and better at delivering high-quality, frequent results! A great side benefit of embracing the data side of Kanban is that the team can calculate the average time it takes to complete any request that comes to them – and therefore provide a data-based estimate for planning and do away entirely with “estimating.”
All, of course, honoring and holding the agile values and principles along the way.
For those interested in learning more about Scrum and Kanban, along with the foundations of all Agile approaches, I recommend my on-site course, Introduction to Agile Analytics.