Do any agile methodologies have a place in the following setting:

  • Small web development team, working on a mixture of frontend, backend, design work, with a mixture of new projects, inherited bad projects and day to day maintenance/support of existing sites
  • Team of 2 developers with a pool of around 4 external freelance resources as and when required
  • 1 project manager

The difficulty in doing sprint based development for me is the support tasks which can come in daily and priorities change from day to day.


3 Answers 3


As pointed out by Bart van Ingen Schenau: The Kanban development method might work well for you.

Kanban is a fairly "minimal" method; in particular, it prescribes much less than Scrum.

The basic principles are:

  • Visualize the workflow - typically by having (physical or virtual) cards for each task, that move across a board with different phases/steps
  • Reduce work in progress (WIP) - do not work on too many cards in parallel
  • Learn and improve continuously

Kanban emphasizes a constant "flow" of work and results, not working in sprints or iterations (though the approaches can be combined). It works fairly well in situations where work often comes in unexpectedly and priorities change often.


scrum methodology would be one good option for your scenario, with small modifications. When doing the sprint planning,

  1. Either exclude n number of persons from sprint and dedicate them for support tasks over the sprint if possible, and in the next sprint rotate the persons who's doing support

  2. Or allocate certain amount of effort based on past experience for support tasks. So you are allowed to burn some effort on fixing support tasks.

Since you have external resources, following proper sprint will help you to determine how much time you need from them.

  • 2
    You seem to imply that "agile methodology" is necessarily Scrum. I think this is misleading; there are other agile methodologies beside Scrum.
    – sleske
    Feb 3, 2015 at 17:16

We have a similar setup and Kanban works fine. You can add/remove tasks from boards as needed. It would be difficult to involve external freelancers in Scrum activities, such as sprint planning, daily scrums and review.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.