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Does Kanban integrate into a Scrum environment?

Integrating Kanban with Scrum: Enhancing Your Workflow


Kanban is not just a standalone strategy; it integrates seamlessly with various methodologies, including Scrum. This blog post explores how Kanban can complement Scrum, providing the necessary metrics and insights to answer critical questions like “When will it be done?” and “Are we on track?”

Kanban and Scrum: A Perfect Pair

Kanban can integrate with any environment, be it Scrum, Waterfall, or a custom workflow. Here’s why combining Kanban with Scrum is beneficial:

  • Enhanced Visibility: Kanban brings transparency to your workflow, making it easier to spot bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
  • Effective Metrics: Unlike Scrum, which lacks built-in metrics, Kanban provides essential data to monitor and optimize performance.
  • Continuous Improvement: The iterative nature of Kanban helps teams continuously refine their processes for better outcomes.

Why Scrum Needs Kanban

Scrum is a fantastic framework, but it has its limitations, particularly in terms of metrics. Here’s how Kanban addresses these gaps:

  • Lack of Metrics in Scrum: The Scrum Guide doesn’t specify metrics like velocity, story points, or time. Teams often use these metrics, but they can be misleading and ineffective.
  • Answering Critical Questions: Customers often ask, “When will it be done?” or “What will I get by this date?” Scrum alone doesn’t provide clear answers. Kanban’s probabilistic forecasting can help.

Key Metrics from Kanban

Kanban provides several valuable metrics that can transform your Scrum practice:

  • Cycle Time: Measures the time it takes for a work item to go from start to finish. It helps identify delays and inefficiencies.
  • Lead Time: The total time from when a request is made until it’s delivered. This metric is crucial for understanding overall delivery performance.
  • Throughput: The number of work items completed in a given period. This metric helps gauge team productivity.
  • Work in Progress (WIP) Limits: Controls the amount of work in progress to prevent bottlenecks and ensure a smooth flow.
  • Aging Work in Progress: Tracks how long work items have been in progress. It highlights potential delays and areas that need attention.

Implementing Kanban with Scrum

Here’s how to effectively integrate Kanban into your Scrum environment:

  1. Start with Metrics:
  • Collect Data: Use tools like JIRA or Azure DevOps to gather data on cycle time, lead time, throughput, and WIP.
  • Visualize: Create visual representations of your workflow and metrics using Kanban boards.
  1. Run Workshops:
  • Define Workflow: Conduct workshops to define your current workflow. This helps create a shared understanding among team members.
  • Set WIP Limits: Establish WIP limits for each stage of your workflow to manage capacity and prevent bottlenecks.
  1. Analyze and Optimize:
  • Review Metrics: Regularly review your Kanban metrics to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • Continuous Improvement: Use the insights from your metrics to make data-driven decisions and optimize your workflow.
  1. Answer Critical Questions:
  • Probabilistic Forecasting: Apply probabilistic forecasting to provide more accurate answers to questions about delivery times and project progress.

Practical Application

For instance, during a retrospective, you might notice that certain tasks take significantly longer than others. By analyzing cycle time and aging work in progress, you can pinpoint the causes and make informed decisions to address these issues. This continuous feedback loop ensures that your processes are always improving.


Integrating Kanban with Scrum enhances your workflow by providing the metrics and insights necessary for continuous improvement. If your current system of work is failing you, it’s time to consider adopting a Kanban strategy. Our professional Kanban trainers and consultants are ready to help. Don’t wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll improve. Get in touch below.

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