Scrum vs. Kanban

24 Jul 2018

Scrum vs. Kanban
The successful completion of any project is always tightly related to the quality of the project management activities. While Agile is the most popular project management approach used worldwide, Scrum and Kanban are frameworks, built on the agile principles and describe how you and your team learn and collaborate. The reasons for these choices are many and ultimately, they are all about their proven efficiency in the software development lifecycle management.
Being Agile means being flexible to adapt to changing scenarios, while being able to deliver high-quality software solutions. Both Scrum and Kanban strive to increase quality along with productivity and bring efficiency in the organization. However, there are a few key differences between them.
 
What is Scrum?

Scrum is a well-defined process framework meant to structure work, used often by smaller teams in sprints, made up of tasks of a shorter duration, to make the project more flexible and adaptable to change. Usually, a sprint is two-weeks long and it is led by a Scrum Master.
 
What is Kanban?

Kanban is also used to organize work in purposes of efficiency. Like Scrum, Kanban also breaks down work into manageable parts and uses a Kanban Board - like the Scrum Board. Kanban methodology allows continuous small incremental and evolutionary changes to the current process.
 
How are Scrum and Kanban the same?

Both are Agile based methodologies and they both allow for large and complex tasks to be broken down and completed efficiently. Both Scrum and Kanban place a high focus on continuous improvement, optimization of the work and of the process. They also share a similar focus on a highly visible work flow that keeps all team members on the same page.
  
How are Scrum and Kanban different?

Both Scrum and Kanban strive to increase quality along with productivity and bring efficiency in the organization. However, there are several differences behind the practical application of Scrum and Kanban.
 
Roles and Responsibilities

In Scrum, every team member has a role and well-defined responsibilities. They can be Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team member or Stakeholder, and, ideally, each person should not have more than one role at a time.
In Kanban, there are no pre-defined roles, although there may still be a Project Manager. Kanban provides complete flexibility in terms of individual responsibilities. In the absence of roles, individuals are assigned work according to their specialization or preference.
 
Intervals

While Scrum is time-boxed, and the work needs to be done is a defined period of time, Kanban has no time restrictions.
 
Changes

In Scrum, changes during the sprint are strongly discouraged, while in Kanban changes and iterations are expected to occur as work is continually completed.
 
Ownership

A sprint backlog is owned by only one team at a time as Scrum encourages cross functional teams. Each team has all the necessary skills to successfully complete all the tasks during the sprint.
Kanban boards have no ownership. They can be shared by multiple teams as everyone is dedicated to their own relevant tasks.
 
Measurement

Scrum measures production using velocity through sprints, each sprint is laid out back-to-back and/or concurrently so that each additional sprint relies on the success of the one before it. On the other hand, Kanban measures production using cycle time or the exact time it takes to complete one full piece of a project from beginning to end.
 
Best use

While Scrum is suitable for teams with stable priorities that may not change as much over time, Kanban suits best projects with widely-varying priorities.
 
Which one to choose?

There's really no way to answer this question. They are both powerful, proven process tools that can improve your project management. While each methodology has the same goal of project completion, their secondary aims make them truly distinct. Your goals can help you decide which methodology is the best fit for you. Get familiar with them, test them and make the choice according to your unique needs.
 
Arnia's approach on Project Management

We embrace Agile methodologies in most of our projects. Many times, it is our customers and partners who ask us to use Agile methodologies - Scrum and Kanban - from the inception of the project. When the choice is left to our engineers, we carefully analyze the project specifics, and we propose a project management methodology based on Scrum or Kanban which best fits the specific project needs and context.
 
With hundreds of successfully completed projects for clients ranging from Fortune 500 to Forbes 50, spanning on 3 continents and more than 10 countries we can offer excellent software development opportunities for any business. Our main area of expertise covers web and mobile applications, web design, big data solutions, database management systems, e-commerce solutions, cloud-enabled solutions, content management solutions, business intelligence and R&D.