Over a million developers have joined DZone.
{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Scrum vs. Kanban

DZone's Guide to

Scrum vs. Kanban

Scrum and Kanban focus on releasing software early and often. Both require highly collaborative self-managed teams. However, there are differences between the approaches.

· Agile Zone ·
Free Resource

You've been hearing a lot about agile software development, get started with the eBook: Agile Product Development from 321 Gang

In Agile software development, different methodologies of work are used. Here at Apiumhub, depending on the project we are working on, we usually use one of two frameworks. We either go for the Scrum methodology or for Kanban project management. Sometimes, we like to mix it up and go with Scrumban. 

In this post, you will find more information about Scrum, Kanban, some key terms, and the differences between both. If you are interested in knowing more about Scrum in general, we’ve got a great article explaining Scrum Sprints

What Is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile framework that is used to work on complex projects. This methodology implies working with a cross-functional self-organized team with three roles. The Product Owner creates the product backlog, which serves as a list of things that need to be done, with each item on the list having an importance and a priority ranking.

There are regular meetings that are organized to ensure successful results. Each Sprint (each usually two weeks long) starts with a Sprint planning meeting and has a Sprint backlog. The team will choose items that will be worked on and how they will be done. During the Sprint, the team will have daily meetings to inform each other about the progress of the project.

The Scrum Master has to be sure the team is on its way to reaching its goal. At the end of each Sprint, a potential product has to be delivered, on which iterations will be done in the next Sprint. To end the Sprint, the team goes through a Sprint review and retrospective, pushing them to continuously improve.  

After that, the next Sprint starts!  

What Is Kanban?

Kanban is another framework used in Agile that helps teams work more efficiently together. Here, the planning is quite flexible. The work in progress can change without having an impact on the rest of the team. The idea is to match the amount of work in progress to the team’s capacity on a Kanban board.

On that board, it’s very important and helpful to always visualize what has to be done (what is the workflow) via visual cards and to limit the amount of work that is in progress. In fact, a common error is that teams overcommit and end up facing a situation where they can’t deliver what was promised or planned. The board has columns that represent the status of a task. Every work item or task has to pass through a different stage or status — for example, going from "in progress" to "testing" to "ready-for-release" and finally to "released."

Once a task or item or card is finished, we move the next prioritized item from the backlog into the work in progress. A key to success with Kanban is to analyze the workflow to ensure continuous collaboration and improvement. 

What Is the Difference?

Both Kanban and Scrum focus on releasing software early and often. Both require highly collaborative and self-managed teams. There are, however, differences between the approaches.

In general, Kanban is much more flexible than Scrum and fits very well with teams that don’t need as much management and deadlines. In fact, there is no time that is set for Sprints, roles are not assigned to the team, and the general focus is more on the task that is being worked on. Of course, teams should ensure efficiency and for that, it’s important to follow the pillars of Kanban and not assign more work than what can be handled. 

In general, Scrum is better than Kanban when it comes to projects where you need to ship a product quickly and where you have deadlines from the third party. Also, when you have a project where people from other departments and industries are working together, working with Scrum can be a big advantage to be sure everyone is on the same wave because of the fact that there are so many regular meetings. 

The following infographic can serve as a good reference if you are hesitating about whether Scrum or Kanban is better for your team.

scrum vs kanban INFOGRAPHIC

Download the free agile tools checklist from 321 Gang. This guide will help you choose the right agile tools to position your team for success. 

Topics:
scrum ,kanban ,agile adoption ,agile methodology ,agile development

Published at DZone with permission of

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}