So Long Scrum, Hello Kanban

Ce0757bfe3bc1b9cfa788b2dfbf6d236?s=47 Stormpath
March 20, 2014

So Long Scrum, Hello Kanban

Last year, Stormpath made the big shift from Scrum to Kanban. While we love Agile principles, the Scrum process wasn’t working for us. Kanban made our team more efficient, happier, and increased our focus on quality software. More importantly, it has become a core part of our company culture, and is now used by non-technical teams like Marketing and HR.

Kanban software development focuses on continuous delivery and drives high efficiency by limiting how much work can be done at once. Invented by Toyota and modified by David J. Anderson for software development, Kanban can have a huge impact on modern teams delivering cloud software in continuous environments.

Learn More About Stormpath:



March 20, 2014


  1. So Long Scrum, Hello Kanban Alex Salazar, @SalaTzar Founder &

    CEO, Stormpath
  2. About Stormpath • User Management API for Developers • Registration

    and Login • User Profiles • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) • Permissions • Password Security

  4. About Agile Scrum • Most popular Agile process • Drives

    efficiency thru timeboxing (Sprints) • Sprint Planning defines features • Daily 10-minute Stand-ups • Sprint Retrospective meetings to fix inefficiencies • Well-defined and rigid process Learn more at
  5. High Overhead of Sprint Planning • Half day event for

    entire team • Hours of prep for product team • Long debates on priority/scope • Engineers sitting through unrelated issues Learn more at
  6. Good Estimates are a Myth • Sprint planning relies heavily

    on good estimates • 100% of us are bad estimators • Effort divining estimates felt wasted • Work needs to get done regardless Learn more at
  7. Bad Estimates Break Sprints • Bad estimates throw off Sprint

    Plans • Bigger-than-expected items overload Sprint • More meetings to fix Sprint and “commitment” • “Gaming” feature scope to fit into Sprint Learn more at
  8. Change Management Sucks • Sprint planning locks in feature set

    • Changes to priorities and scope are hard • Even if work on a feature hasn’t begun • Changes = more freaking meetings! Learn more at
  9. Morale Suffered • Bad estimates led to unrealistic expectations •

    Team missed sprint commitments • Retrospective meetings turn into finger-pointing • Biz felt Eng missed their targets • Eng felt Biz kept moving the ball Learn more at
  10. Spikey Productivity Drove Burnout Learn more at

  11. Learn more at ENTER KANBAN

  12. About Kanban • Pioneered by Toyota manufacturing • Modified by

    David Anderson for software dev • Simple and flexible • Growing software community support Learn more at
  13. What is Kanban? • Continuous flow process Issues are “pulled”

    through steps • Often visualized as a board Columns are steps in the process Rows/Swimlanes can show priority • Workers “pull” work right to left on board. Learn more at
  14. Efficiency through WIP Limits • WIP: Work-in-Progress • Forced limit

    on concurrent work capacity • Time estimates no longer part of process • Cycle Time measures velocity at item-level • Work furthest along is highest priority • “Stop multi-tasking and context shifting” Learn more at
  15. Sample Kanban Board Learn more at

  16. Sane Change Management • Biz owns “To Do” column Means

    engineering work has not started Change “To Do” items as much as you want • Eng owns the rest of the board Once item leaves to “To Do” it means engineering work has already started Hard to change items outside of “To Do” column • Engineers insulated from business changes Learn more at
  17. Kanban = Happy Team • Flexible & Process-Driven • Kanban

    owned by team, not management Sense of ownership and pride across team • Smooth transition from Scrum (2 days) Learn more at
  18. Productivity Went Up • Swap Deadlines for Velocity pressure •

    Fewer meetings, more doing • Reduced multi-tasking and context shifting • Self-documenting process (thanks to Board) Learn more at
  19. Structural Focus on Quality • No deadlines = less temptation

    to cut corners • Less tech debt • No skipped code reviews • 95% code coverage • Code quality baked into process • Team fights to ensure quality in their process Learn more at
  20. Near Zero Overhead • Sprint Planning? Gone. • Project Management?

    Minimal. • Estimation Poker? None. • Short Stand-ups • Engineering spends their time doing Learn more at
  21. Kaizen vs Retrospectives • Kaizen: Continuous Improvement • Forward Looking

    Less critiquing Focused on process improvement No “right” way, just new ideas to try • More Collaboration Ideas are experiments to be tested Upbeat, creative feel Learn more at
  22. Kanban Isn’t Perfect • Nascent Tools Atlassian Jira and Greenhopper

    Lack of customization • Urgency is Abstract Less pressure to move fast (no deadlines) Sense of urgency comes from culture Learn more at
  23. Keep Calm and Kanban • Efficiency through WIP Limits •

    Not right for everyone • Helped Stormpath Happy team Less Overhead Higher productivity and quality WIN! Learn more at
  24. Resources • Read the full article on our blog:

    • Agile Chalk Talk: Kanban and Scrum • Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business Technology-Business/dp/0984521402 • Atlassian’s “Do Agile Right”: • What is Kanban?
  25. About Stormpath • User Management API for Developers • Registration

    and Login • User Profiles • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) • Permissions • Password Security
  26. Follow Us on Twitter @SalaTzar @goStormpath Learn more at