Some people refer to the various tools, processes, methods, and approaches to agile as flavors of agile. To us, they are quite a bit more complex and nuanced than simply flavors. Like choosing the right tools for the job, we strive to use the most appropriate approach and methodology for the task and environment.
Kanban. For example, when we discover that three or more sprints must be canceled mid-way due to changing priorities then we might suggest a switch to Kanban to accommodate such fluidity. Although, ordinarily, we would apply Kanban to post-deployment application operations, support, and maintenance.
Lean Startup. We have found Lean Startup to be most appropriate when building an application that has never been built or deployed before and there are many uncertainties associated with demand and user preferences. If you feel like you are building an airplane while in flight, you might want to think about a Lean Startup approach.
SAFe. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is most appropriate when we are managing several programs and/or a portfolio of projects with interoperable requirements and dependencies that need to be aligned. If you discover that you are juggling several teams in various stages of progress and some of these teams are depending on the outcome of other teams, you might want to think about SAFe.
XP. eXtreme programming is very much like Lean Startup in that it focuses on satisfying the user and could involve several pivots along the way. EP can be performed along with Scrum, SAFe, and Kanban and does not necessarily stand on its own. It is more of a process than a methodology.
Scrum. And, of course, Scrum is best used when we have a well-defined product backlog of prioritized user stories and a self-organized Scrum team that is able to start and finish a sprint without interruptions or distractions. If you have a dedicated team that is isolated from the rest of the world and funded for a specific period of time, and you have a reasonably good idea of the priority of features that need to be built, you might want to think about Scrum.
If you need help with your agile transformation or are looking for a bit of agile coaching to determine the right flavor of agile for you, give us a call.