Some background: despite having an Engineering formation (I hold a Software Engineering degree) I ended up more in the “management” side (which I still like). That was before dropping “everything” and going back to code.

I’ve been a Scrum user for almost three years now. I embraced it despite my uni formation on “waterfall-y” processes (which they still teach). It’s such a good way of enforcing a framework of work without too much hassle. It helps harmonising team structure, team communication, team commitment and even more important, it helps breaking things down to a manageable size.

I never really realised of the last until very recently. We take grooming and story breaking for granted in Scrum, therefore it’s difficult to acknowledge that you have lost them. That happened to me, and almost killed me.

Did Scrum make me dumb ? Maybe

Aprox six months ago, we changed our team organization and dropped Scrum in favour of Kanban. The main reason was that Kanban will help us focus more on the quality of the product we where building.

What this really meant for me, was: bigger stories to manage, more responsibility and more self management. But I didn’t realise it till it was late. I was given more freedom and power, but nobody told me (I should have known better).

With great power comes great responsability. Uncle Ben

What does Kanban mean ?

It means I was taking bigger stories without breaking them down mentally. That’s been historically (for me) one of my bigger problems. You can’t take stuff that is too big or broad, because you lose focus. Losing focus means losing quality.

Also by getting bigger stories I was taking longer to deliver and I was touching too much at the same time. Which translated in worse merges over time and more regressions. Which almost killed me.

What now ?

It took long, but I guess no pain comes without reward. I hope realising about all this will help being more self aware and organising myself better. I hope is a next step on my apprenticeship to a senior Engineer and prevents me of committing professional suicide.

Wrap up

I’m not a lover or hater of Kanban nor Scrum. Each team should find his best approach, each person must learn and evolve.

My opinion:

Scrum is better for big projects that need to be broken down. I also believe it’s an easier approach for Agile freshman teams.

Kanban is better for bug management or support where there’s a lot of changes and you need to keep up, but each individual task is small on itself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Grab me on twitter.