Differences Between Scrum and Kanban

Differences Between Scrum and Kanban

Scrum vs. Kanban discusses two diverse, agile development approaches for software. The practices are diverse, but the principles are the same. To choose the best from the two is to go for the one that fits your business. Scrum, Kanban, and Agile are closely related terms. Agile refers to a single set of principles that build better products as scale and speed. Scrum and Kanban are the ways to manage software development processes.

It’s easy to differentiate between Scrum and Kanban by looking at the surface levels. However, going deeper, things change and become confusing.

Kanban and Scrum are all different practices, yet they use the same principles. Even the product of the two is the same. As per confusion, you can use Scrum and Kanban interchangeably. It’s possible to get teams using Kanban boards for Scrum.

How can you differentiate between Scrum and Kanban and decide which one fits well in your business?

Introduction to Scrum, Agile, and Kanban

Here, you will learn an overview of the three.

  • Agile

It’s a de facto and iterative approach for building and deploying products to allow continuous delivery. The foundation is in creating self-organizing teams that can learn and make quick adjustments at any step to produce software faster.

  • Scrum

It’s an agile framework that develops, delivers, and maintains products in complex environments. It permits teams to build incrementally and iteratively products and respond quickly, effectively, and efficiently to changes.

  • Kanban

It’s an agile development methodology aiming to create visual process frameworks for faster product building by limiting WIP (work in progress). The methodology aims to swiftly make small independent tasks move to the proceeding steps for faster business value realization.

The difference between Scrum and Kanban

difference between Scrum vs Kanban

The Scrum vs. Kanban principles

Kanban approaches focus on managing and optimizing workflows. It has six principles that it operates on, which are in two main types.

Kanban principles

They are into two groups: change management and service delivery principles.

Change management principles

  • Begin with what you are familiar with
  • Agree to deal with incremental, evolutionary change
  • Encourage leadership acts in your organization

Service delivery principles

  • Don’t manage workers but manage the work
  • Review service networks often
  • Concentrate on client expectations and needs.

Scrum principles

The Scrum development approach is based on three strong pillars: adaptation, inspection, and transparency.

  • They control empirical processes via evaluation, transparency, and adaptation.
  • Aid the team to be self-reliant by supporting their performance.
  • Ensure clarity, collaboration, and awareness between teams.
  • Based on the importance and value for users to prioritize tasks
  • Schedule and allocate time for every activity (scrum meeting, sprint planning, sprints, sprint reviews).
  • Often revise software development tasks to create a better software product.

Scrum vs. Kanban: frameworks

Kanban framework

Principles, team members, and vital practices have a major role in this framework. The framework has models that identify avenues for improvement. Do you know how to incorporate the Kanban framework in the product development process?

  • Kanban relies on a continuous workflow structure. Self-driving teams with the capacity to pull new works from the work-item pool.
  • Work in progress, to do, and done are all standard workflow stages. It’s possible to develop custom columns relying on the team’s work.
  • Scrum is dependent on everyday planning and feedback sessions. Kanban technique is independent, and daily it stands up and gets removed only when it’s important.
  • Include Kanban principles demand level of discipline and awareness (it’s missing on teams with new to agile)

Scrum framework

These are the ways to incorporate the scrum framework in product development.

  • The project starts with clear sets of requirements that the business provides.
  • Product features get aligned as per their importance and then become part of the product backlog.
  • Decide the number of sprints needed to accomplish selected features.
  • Self-organized teams pick the tasks from the product backlog that given sprints can complete and begins task work.
  • The team concentrates on meeting sprint goals to protect them from interruptions.
  • Don’t change sprint backlog. While preparing the subsequent sprint, change the product backlog.
  • There is a 15 minutes team meeting (scrum meeting) in each sprint to assess the daily progress.
  • At each sprint end, teams gather feedback based on next week’s sprint.

Scrum vs. Kanban: roles and responsibilities

Kanban roles

The Kanban doesn’t have a specific role. The entire team owns the process, and each member is responsible for working in collaboration. There is an agile coach in the Kanban team, but there isn’t a Kanban master like Scrum. All this ensures the team follows all the set principles.

Certain organizations that use the Kanban approach have two roles: scrum request manager and scrum delivery manager. The two are optional.

Scrum roles

There are three defined roles in Scrum in a team: scrum master, development teams, and product owner.

  • Product owner – acts as the client’s voice and communicates the vision to the team. Product owners own the products backlog and work with teams daily to prioritize work.
  • Scrum master – strictly ensures the team follows all the scrum principles. It facilitates team collaboration and communication, removes bottlenecks, and plays as the spokesperson of self-organizing teams.
  • Development teams – owns product delivery. They make task commitments, deliver increments, and meet daily to check the work status in a daily scrum.

Scrum vs. Kanban: planning

Kanban planning

  • The probabilistic approach in planning
  • Categorized and optimized tasks based on past workflow data.
  • Since there is continuous workflow, you can elongate the Kanban approach request section by adding sections like next month or this month for planned work visualization.
  • It’s easy to plan for each task based on task size, type, and the number of tasks a team finishes in a week.

Scrum planning

  • It’s an iterative approach in planning
  • At the start of every sprint, you plan a task in a meeting that the scrum master, product owner, and dedicated development team break down the user stories into the tasks.
  • After starting, make changes in sprints. If changes happen in the mid-sprint, a team aborts current sprints and replans the process again.
  • Scrum master dedicates and prioritizes tasks to every team member.
  • After completion of sprints, the observations made aid in improving the coming sprints.

Scrum vs. Kanban: commitment

The Kanban approach delivers timely value and favors the approach. Kanban’s commitment relies on the capacity of the team. Every team member commits to finishing the task started before picking another one.

In Scrum, you can decide commitment by use of sprint forecasting. The team predicts the work amount and commits to beat the deadline. The problem here is that if a team fails to anticipate its capacity accurately, the sprint will fail, or they will strain to get it done.

Scrum vs. Kanban: board

Both scrum and Kanban approaches use visual boards in tracking work progress though there are some differences.

Kanban board

The Kanban board aids in tracking the workflow structure at the same time balancing the activities in progress. Work quantity in progress isn’t important, and it doesn’t include unworthy tasks.

Kanban works like relay races where you hand over at one point, and the team aims to reduce the timeline between all the handovers.

Scrum board

It’s an extension of the product backlog in which a team commits to working. When work gets added into the scrum backlog, teams start to work independently. The scrum board’s goal is to do everything before a sprint ends.

Scrum works like an exam. You need to complete the syllabus (the backlog items) in a specific time frame.

Scrum vs. Kanban: advantages and disadvantages

Kanban advantages

  • It’s flexible in the structure, allowing quick implementation of changes.
  • It has visual workflow charts to ensure progress transparency and visibility.
  • It aims to reduce work under progress to limit overloading members with work.

Kanban disadvantages

  • It needs a cultural shift to get to its full potential.
  • Only focuses on outcomes and not people.
  • At times it’s easy to ignore conceptional intricacies behind projects due to the simple visuals.

Scrum advantages

  • The inbuilt durations offer predetermined iteration structures.
  • It has clear expectations of what to do and when.
  • Daily retrospection and standup meetings provide frequent feedback to help the team’s performance evaluation.

Scrum disadvantages

  • Fear of failure to meet deadlines leads to under commitments by the teams.
  • As a result of preplanned sprints, there is a slow response to stakeholders’ changes.
  • Fixed roles prohibit members from tapping their full potential.

What’s the best choice between Kanban and Scrum?

None of the two is superior to the other. Choose the one that fits your team to boost productivity and efficiency.

Contact software development company for more information.

Written by:

Muzammil K

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.