Infrastructure Teams: Scrum Or Kanban?

The purpose of this presentation is to overview a case study related to Scrum practice for infrastructure teams in an enterprise level and how moving to Kanban addressed their challenges.

In this overview our infrastructure teams consists of different engineering discipline such as Network and System engineers, DBAs and deployment engineers responsible for providing infrastructure support to multiple application teams practicing Scrum and Waterfall simultaneously.

Scrum process challenge -Team never fully committed scrum:

  • Frequent Priority changes impacted the sprint plan.
  • They never finished what they planned for.
  • They never had a defined sprint backlog ( stories coming to sprint everyday)
  • They didn’t have the ability to plan in release level because they didn’t know all application requests at the time of planning.
  • They had more user stories added during sprint than when the sprint started.
  • Metrics in Sprint Reports were not effective. They were mainly based on velocity of entire team capacity but in reality each engineering practice had it is own capacity and velocity.


  • When priorities change very frequently commitment to two weeks delivery is not feasible. 
  • When team members  work on different projects, having a planning meeting for all of them together would be considered as waste.
  • When you don't have any control on demand, the only way you can increase capacity is by identifying and eliminating source of waste.

Our Action Plan:

We transform team from scrum to Kanban/lean practice as follow:

  • Removing Sprint backlog and just have a general backlog
  • Removing sprint planning meeting.
  • Continue with weekly story huddles and backlog grooming
  • having a 10 minutes scrum of scrum with 2 product owners just before daily stand ups to make sure "to do" list is prioritized.
  • Continue with Retrospective meetings every two weeks.
  • Started weekly "working agreement" sessions
  • Measured Cycle time as main metrics instead of Velocity.
  • Measured Cycle time for small and repeated tasks such as "building Windows Servers" to be able to look at historical data for understanding actual SLA data to be able to improve it.
  • Defined Workflow and created Kanban board 
  • Defined WIP limit for different columns 
  • Inspect and adapt every two weeks at retrospective meeting.

After 7 months of practice Kanban, the process improved by %35.


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Outline/structure of the Session

1. Purpose

2. Outcome

3. Agenda

4. Case Study and result

5. Question and answers

Learning Outcome

By the end of this session:

  • You will understand challenges of scrum practice for infrastructure and how Kanban practice might solve some of them.
  • Opportunity for you to ask question about Kanban.


Target Audience

Agile practitioners, Managers, Executives

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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