Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development
Many agile teams subscribe to a development approach which Corey Ladas describes as craft production. A team of generalists is working together on user stories from an incoming queue, usually a product backlog. Each idle team member (or each idle feature crew) takes ownership of one user story at a time until there are no idle team members or no pending user stories available. This approach allows a team to control the flow of work and achieve a level of predictability in the process. However, it provides limited knowledge transfer and division of labour and, thus, often results in high variability in deliverables.
In this book, Corey offers a different approach to managing work items. A team of specialists uses kanban scheduling and other lean techniques in order to maintain a smooth and continuous flow of business-valued work items and maximize their throughput into production. What I like about this approach is that it recognizes the area of expertise of each worker and provides clear leading visual indicators of project health (as opposed to a lagging indicator such as velocity).
The book is thought-provoking and very interesting to read. If you have been thinking about introducing a more formal engineering workflow within your team, this book is for you.