Scrum vs Kanban

Project management techniques like Kanban and Scrum focus on continual improvement and put high emphasis on dividing a task into smaller tasks to finish it effectively. However, the methods they employ to accomplish those objectives vary a lot. Kanban emphasizes continuous flow and task visualization, whereas Scrum focuses more on establishing delivery cycle schedules and designating predetermined roles. Although Scrum is frequently more closely connected with Agile, both Kanban and Scrum use elements of Agile and Lean methodologies. Thus, both Kanban and Scrum are flexible, fully accessible, and help to cut down on project planning bottlenecks. There may be moments when neither of them is chosen and also when both of them are combined together.

What is Scrum?

Software is developed using the agile Scrum approach, which is focused on iterative and incremental development procedures. Scrum is an agile methodology that is quick, adaptable, efficient, and meant to offer benefits to the users all through the project's development. 

The main goal of Scrum is to meet the needs of the customer by fostering a culture of open communication, shared accountability, and constant improvement. The development process begins with a general understanding of what must be created, developing a list of qualities that the owner of the product wishes to achieve.

The three pillars of Scrum are as follows:

  • Adaptability: Scrum is adaptable, which means it welcomes change. Scrum makes it simple to adapt to a project's shifting operational trajectories.
  • Transparency: Transparency makes certain that everyone in the team is aware of what is happening and why.
  • Inspection: Teams and stakeholders regularly conduct project inspections. This promotes an improvement-oriented environment.

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What is Kanban?

Kanban is a visual management methodology used to keep track of progress and cut down the unnecessary bottlenecks in a project. 

Numerous advantages have been connected to Kanban. Kanban enhances transparency in a project by making it visually clear which activities must be finished and where they are accumulating. This visual assistance reduces inefficiencies by making it simpler to allocate resources where they are needed.

The Kanban Method is basically a technique for creating, overseeing, and enhancing knowledge workflow systems. Additionally, the approach enables enterprises to promote rapid evolution by beginning with their current workflow.

Scrum vs Kanban: The Comparison

Both Scrum and Kanban aim to boost productivity, improve organizational efficiency, and enhance quality. There are a few significant differences between them, though. Let us look at the various parameters through which we will be making comparisons:

Cadence

In Scrum, there are time-boxed iterations throughout the procedure whereas, in Kanban, the method is based on events.

Release Methodology

Releases happen at the conclusion of each sprint in Scrum. On the other hand, there are constant releases taking place in Kanban.

Changes

No changes are permitted mid-sprint in the case of Scrum whereas one can make changes whenever they want in Kanban

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Metric

In Scrum, planning & process optimization employ velocity while on the other hand, in Kanban, Planning & process optimization utilize lead time.

Adding new items

Items cannot be changed mid-iteration in Scrum. However, new things can be added at any time in Kanban if space is available.

Roles & Responsibilities

Although there are cross-functional teams, every individual of a scrum team has a definite job role and responsibilities that go along with it, such as the Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Members, or Stakeholders. No one should, in theory, fulfill more than one position at a time.

In terms of specific responsibilities, Kanban exhibits maximum flexibility and lacks predefined roles. Individuals are given tasks based on their expertise or desire in the lack of roles.

Teams & Commitment

Scrum Teams need their members to agree to a certain amount of time and effort. It is crucial to list every activity, organize it, and determine the time allotted for each one as well as the story points that will go toward it. This estimate should then be used to formulate a commitment.

For organizations using Kanban, commitment is a choice rather than a must. These teams thus operate at their comfortable speed. They may occasionally produce more and sometimes deliver less within the same time span.

Addressing Challenges

Scrum requires a particular amount of dedication, thus any problems or difficulties must be resolved right away. To keep up its pace and meet the deadline, the team seeks to commit as soon as feasible.

Because Kanban workflow and performance are totally transparent, teams may instantly identify roadblocks and inefficiencies. As a result, they are able to circumvent these obstacles and guarantee efficient workflow.

Iterations

You cannot include new things in existing iterations since Scrum places a great focus on scheduling. A scrum team cannot begin a new sprint until the current sprint is finished. Teams eventually get proficient at forecasting and planning sprints appropriately.

Because there are no time constraints, Kanban is much more iterative in nature. Therefore, any time an extra resource is available or the project requires it, new components can be regularly added. A new task can be started as soon as one advances from the in-progress stage to the finished stage of any task.

Ownership

The backlog is only owned by one team at a time because Scrum promotes cross-functional teams. Every team has the expertise required to finish any assignment throughout the sprint.

Boards used for Kanban have no ownership. Since each person has a specific duty assigned to them, numerous teams can utilize them.

Types of Teams

Cross-functional teams are essential in Scrum because they can handle disruptions far better than traditional teams. Disruptions could result in a process bottleneck. A cross-functional team does not, however, imply that everybody handles every responsibility. It refers to providing members of various teams with a variety of other crucial competencies.

Kanban promotes the use of specialized teams rather than cross-functional teams. The process can be used by any team or by all teams working on the project; this is how Kanban is intended to work.

Delegation & Prioritization

Kanban uses a "pull system," or a structured workflow, to limit team members' ability to "pull" new tasks until the completion of the current task.

Scrum employs a "pull system" as well, however, for each iteration, a whole batch is pulled.

Due Dates/Delivery Times

In Kanban, continuous as-needed deliveries of products and procedures are made (due dates are determined by the business as required).

Whereas in Scrum, Deliverables are based on sprints or predetermined time frames during which a body of work must be finished and prepared for review.

If you want to Explore more about Scrum? then read our updated article - Scrum Tutorial

How Does Scrum Work?

Team members are encouraged to assess what is functioning and what is not by using the Scrum methodology. A critical component of the scrum methodology is communication. Events are meetings used to carry it out. Scrum Events consist of:

Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum is a brief meeting that takes place every day at the same time and location. Each meeting concludes with an assessment of the task that was accomplished the previous day and a plan for the work that needs to be done during the following 24 hours. Members of the scrum team discuss any issues that could prevent the project from being completed during the daily scrum team meeting.

Sprint planning meeting

Sprint is the term used to describe the deadline, which is typically 30 days. Everybody in this sprint plan meeting should contribute to setting the objectives. The goal should be to generate at least one software increment.

Sprint Retrospective

After one Sprint is over, there is a Sprint Retrospective meeting. Everybody in the meeting takes time to consider the Sprint procedure. This phase could involve a team-building exercise. Continual improvement is one of a sprint retrospective's primary objectives.

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How Does Kanban Work?

Every step of the Kanban process, including software development, staffing, marketing, sales, and procurement, is gradually enhanced. The Kanban Method manages and enhances the flow of work by adhering to a specific set of rules.

Here are the Kanban Method's four guiding principles:

Visualizing the Work

It is easier to examine the flow of work progressing through the Kanban system by generating a visual model of the work and process.

Limiting work-in-progress

It enables team members to shorten the duration that items take to travel throughout the Kanban system.

Put flow first

You may optimize the Kanban system to enhance the efficient flow of work by leveraging work-in-process limits and creating team-centric standards.

Constant Improvement

When a Kanban system is implemented, it serves as a base for ongoing development. Teams can evaluate their efficiency by looking at monitoring flow, lead times for quality, etc.

Most frequently asked Scrum Interview Questions and Answers

Pros Of Scrum

  • Easy-to-understand- It makes sense because Scrum has a tonne of thoroughly defined and recorded procedures, nomenclatures, processes, and schedules.
  • Quick feedback- Since sprints are relatively brief, there is plenty of time to release items, gather feedback, and integrate it into a subsequent sprint. In addition, up until the start of the following Sprint, the team can change what it will work on.
  • Daily meetings- Scrum's rituals, such as daily standups, ensure that problems don't linger for very long because everybody is talking about them every day.

Cons Of Scrum

  • Rigid- Real Scrum is quite rigid regarding what can and cannot be done, and who is allowed to participate.
  • Relentless pressure- Sprints' short duration and frequent repetitions can be taxing and prevent time for "breathing."

Pros Of Kanban

  • Alignment- Kanban boards help everybody be on the same page and in alignment.
  • Identifying inefficiencies and bottlenecks- When columns start to become excessively lengthy, they signify a mismatch between supply and demand.
  • No strict guidelines- True versatility in decision-making, prioritization, and the procedures required to enter or depart each stage
  • Flexibility- Without changing the overall product development workflow, the workload can be adjusted and prioritized in response to new information and tactical inputs.

Cons Of Kanban

  • Timeless- There are no timeframes on Kanban boards. Furthermore, within a specific stage, there is no way to determine if an item is a day or 3 months away from moving on to the next column.
  • Out of date- The Kanban Board is not accurately representing events if it is not updated, much like any other artifact.

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Conclusion
So, which one to go for? Scrum or Kanban? You don't have to make a clear-cut choice. Numerous teams use hybrid models that combine elements of kanban and scrum. Jira Software's team-managed projects were developed with the intention of assisting teams in accomplishing this.

Scrum or Kanban have been used by many large firms for project management and product development.

Teams at organizations like Apple, Google, and Amazon use Scrum, whereas others at Pixar, Zara, and Spotify choose Kanban. It is obvious that both Scrum and Kanban have advantages and disadvantages. So, you can make the final decision by looking at your needs and requirements.

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Amani
Amani
Research Analyst
As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.

Scrum vs Kanban FAQ'S

While Scrum is a methodology that organizes workflow and team environment to produce projects in a short amount of time, Kanban is concentrated on visualizing activities. While Scrum offers pieces of deliverables over one to four weeks, Kanban delivers work constantly until the project is completed.

Prior to selecting either technique (Kanban or Scrum), it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what you intend to accomplish. It is recommended to use Scrum for time-sensitive tasks, but you might want to think about utilizing Kanban for workflow-focused tasks. Use Scrum for feature-driven assignments with important achievements or goals in terms of public exposure.

Kanban evolves into a flow optimization and enhancement approach. When necessary, Scrum teams can use Kanban for Sprint Planning before switching back to feature-driven Sprint Planning once their flow has been optimized.

In Agile software development, process techniques like Kanban and Scrum are frequently employed. The objective of both of them is to increase the effectiveness of the software development processes.

Additionally, the Scrum Master attempts to eliminate any barriers the Developers may experience. Choosing a "process coach" for the team is a good idea from a Kanban standpoint, regardless of whether you call that person a Scrum Master, Kanban Flow Manager, or Agile Coach. Lean management calls for managers to lead processes.