As a hybrid agile software professional, I have spent many years working with various agile methodologies, including Scrum and Kanban. One thing that often surprises people is that these frameworks were not originally intended solely for software development. In fact, Scrum was created as a framework for any type of work, and Kanban was not used for software at all upon creation. Let’s explore this in more detail.
Scrum was developed in the early 1990s by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber as a way to improve the productivity and quality of work. While their initial focus was on software development, they soon realized that the framework could be applied to any type of work that involves a team working towards a common goal. This includes fields such as marketing, sales, and even healthcare.
At its core, Scrum is a framework for managing complex work through iterative and incremental development. It emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and frequent inspection and adaptation. These values and principles are applicable to any type of work, not just software development.
Similarly, Kanban was not originally intended for software development. It was created in the 1940s by Taiichi Ohno as part of the Toyota Production System. The system was designed to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality by minimizing waste and optimizing flow. Kanban boards were used to visualize the flow of work and limit work in progress, allowing teams to focus on completing work before starting new tasks.
Today, Kanban is used in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, education, and finance. Its principles of flow, visual management, and continuous improvement are applicable to any type of work that involves a process or workflow.
So why are Scrum and Kanban so commonly used in software development? One reason is that software development is a complex and rapidly changing field that requires a high degree of collaboration and adaptation. The values and principles of agile frameworks such as Scrum and Kanban are particularly well-suited to this environment.
Another reason is that the software development industry has embraced agile methodologies more fully than many other industries. This is in part due to the influence of the Agile Manifesto, which was created by software developers in 2001. The manifesto helped to codify and promote the values and principles of agile development, and it has had a significant impact on the way software development is done today.
In conclusion, Scrum and Kanban were not originally intended solely for software development. They are frameworks for managing complex work through teamwork, collaboration, and iterative development. While they are particularly well-suited to software development, they can be applied to any type of work that involves a team working towards a common goal. As hybrid agile software professionals, we should strive to understand and apply these frameworks in a way that maximizes their benefits for our teams and organizations.