Scrum Vs Kanban: What Are The Major Differences?


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When choosing agile methodology to serve as your visual process and tool for managing a project, you need to find one that is reliable. Both Kanban and Scrum are widely used by software and web development teams to organize workflows including builds, commits, and deliveries. Differentiating between Scrum and Kanban can help a website development team determine which approach to use in visualizing their work. Here are the differences inherent between the two project visualization methods:

Roles and Responsibilities

When using Kanban, there are no set roles of the individual team members. There may be a project manager, however, the team works by collaborating and communicating so that the multi-skilled developers can take the place of another developer when he or she becomes overwhelmed by work. On the other hand, Scrum allows the developers to have predefined roles. The Scrum master oversees and dictates the timelines while the Product owner outlines the objectives and goals the team should achieve. The team members will then execute their work to achieve the desired results.

Delivery Timelines

In Kanban, processes and products are continuously delivered on an as-needed basis meaning that the due dates of delivering the products is determined by the business needs. In Scrum, deliverables are based on sprints or predefined period of time meaning that a set of work should be finished and ready for testing and deployment within the stipulated timeframe.

Delegation and Prioritization

Employing Kanban iteration work system allows the teams to use a pull system. The team applies a systematic workflow, allowing them to only pull the next task once the current task is complete. You cannot move on to a different task without first attempting and completing the present task. In Scrum, there is also the pull system put in place, however, the whole batch becomes pulled for every iteration in web application development.

Changes and Modifications

When you use Kanban, changes or alterations can be made to a software mid-stream making the iteration process to take place in the middle of a project. There is continuous improvement done to the software product before it is completed. This way, issues of concern are looked at and corrected as the project progresses. On the other hand, changes in sprint are not encouraged when using Scrum methodology. A sprint refers to a regular, repeatable cycle of work within the Scrum methodology in which a task is completed and availed for review and testing. Scrum sprints comprise less than 30 days and are considered the basic units of product development by a team.

Measurement of Productivity

Kanban measures production with use of cycle time or the time required to complete a full project piece right from the beginning to the end. On the other side, Scrum measures production with use of velocity via sprints. Every sprint is out concurrently or back-to-back so that every additional sprint is pegged on the success of the previous one.

Scheduling, cadence, and iteration

Scrum processes emphasize on schedule, the team is provided with a set of prioritized list that needs to be done to deploy a shippable product. The teams looks at the points listed and decides how many they feel can be done within a single sprint. If there is something outside the scope the team commits to, it has to wait until the next sprint begins. An efficient Scrum team quickly learns their work completion capabilities from several successive sprints they attempt. They will be able to estimate what they can handle and what they can’t in a particular sprint. This way, they can project what amount of work is likely to be accomplished with a single sprint without being overwhelmed or causing trouble. The best web development team understands how Scrum should be applied.

The sprints are typically from 2 to 4 weeks, so after every two weeks or say four weeks, the team releases a shippable product that is delivered. The team also does a retrospective to help discuss ways to optimize the process before they can move into the next Scrum print. If there are any loopholes that were witnessed in the just ended sprint, they are brainstormed to find the way forward and how to eliminate them. The iterative process applied within the Scrum environment allows for the teams to make accurate estimates of their workflow while also ensuring effective management of multi-projects.

On the side of Kanban, the team doesn’t have time boxes to tick or iterations. Although Kanban approach is iterative in nature, there is continual improvement occurring in an evolving way as work is continually finished. The limitations likely to occur in various conditions within the workflow are controlled early enough until an optimal number of limits are reached to allow the teams remain steady and efficient in their work.

The Boards

Kanban Board and Scrum Board are different animals. On Scrum Board, the column labeling reflects periods in the teams workflow starting with sprint backlog and winding up with whatever fulfills the definition of “Done” from the teams perceptive. All the stories included in the board at the start of a print need to be displayed in the final column at the finish line of the sprint, otherwise the sprint will be regarded as unsuccessful. After a retrospective discussion of the sprint, the board will be cleared and the team prepared for the forthcoming sprint.

When you examine the Kanban Board, columns are labeled to indicate the state of workflow; however, there is one big difference inherent in the board. The team also publishes the optimal amount of stories that are allowed in every column within any given time. In this case, the team-determined limitations prescribed by Kanban for every condition are enforced. Because every column comprises a limited amount of allowable stories and there aren’t time boxes required like sprint length, there remains no reason for resetting the Kanban Board when the project progresses. As long as the project goes on, the work will continue to flow with new stories being put as the need arises while the finished stories are re-evaluated when necessary.

Organizations use Kanban as a tool for offering website development solutions, they use it in projects that have widely-varying priorities. For Scrum, organizations use it in teams that have stable priorities, which may not change so much over time.

Paula Williams
I, Paula Williams, the Product Manager eSignly. I have been publishing technology content for the last 8 years. Being inquisitive towards technology and management strategies has impressed upon me the mantra of success is to gain knowledge to share it.


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