Transition of software maintenance teams from Scrum to Kanban

Software companies are increasingly moving to use Kanban after Scrum since Kanban claimed to offer improved project visibility, software quality, team motivation, communication and collaboration. However, empirical studies are needed to verify these effects and companies’ real motivation for the transition. In particular, underlying reasons leading software companies to start using Kanban in software maintenance must be understood. A multiple-case study was conducted to investigate why two experienced Scrum maintenance teams transitioned to Kanban. We conducted 17 semi-structured interviews with two different teams from two large Finnish software companies. Thematic analysis was applied to identify the most common challenges in Scrum and their solutions in Kanban. The results showed that Scrum maintenance teams faced challenges, such as lack of work visibility, task prioritisation, communication and collaboration, over commitment of sprints, work synchronisation and changing people. We discuss how maintenance teams mitigated these challenges with Kanban and present the lessons learned.

Muhammed Ovais Ahmad, Pasi Kuvaja, Markku Oivo (University of Oulu), Jouni MarkkulaTransition of software maintenance teams from Scrum to Kanban

Presented at the 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, At Hawaii