KANBAN – What It Is and How It Compares To SCRUM
In today’s world, most of us are tasked with the responsibility to manage a range of projects in one way or the other, and of course, everything needs to be done on time and within budget. That said, you would have to figure out the right project management system that can guide your work and of course, make it possible to achieve your goals. Among other effective methods at your disposal, Kanban and Scrum are two agile methodologies that are sure to work great for you — they help to organise work for the sake of efficiency, and that’s huge.
So what’s next?
Well, in this post, we’re going to shed more light Kanban framework and proceed to explore how it compares to Scrum.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
What is Kanban?
Kanban is a well-known framework used to implement agile software development. The system makes it possible for work to be broken down into smaller, manageable chunks and also help you to visualise the process as well as the actual work passing through that process. In a nutshell, Kanban puts a limit on the amount of work allowed in a particular condition. The primary goal of Kanban is to identify possible bottlenecks in your workflow and of course, fix them so that everything can go as smoothly as can be.
Three Core Principles of Kanban
- Visualize the workflow
A visual representation of your project gives you the chance to get a better understanding of what needs to be done and at the same time, see how the workflow progresses.
- Limit work in progress (WIP)
When you put a limit on work in progress, you’ll get to know the minimum and maximum amount of work for each workflow. What’s more, you’ll be able to increase speed and flexibility and even reduce the need to prioritise tasks.
- Enhance the flow
Essentially, the workflow throughout the Kanban board should be monitored and if necessary, optimised. As we know, the primary target is to have a perfect flow of work which shows that the team is making progress towards achieving their goal.
Similarity Between Kanban and Scrum
Perhaps, the biggest similarity between these methodologies is that they allow complex tasks to be broken down and completed in the quickest possible time. What’s more, they both place emphasis on continuous development and work optimization. It’s also good to know that both Kanban and Scrum focus on an incredibly visible workflow that ensures all team members are aware of the work in progress as well as the tasks that are yet to come.
Difference Between Kanban and Scrum
Now that we’ve taken a sneak peek at the similarities between Kanban and Scrum, it’s time to learn about their differences.
Note: There are quite a number of differences between these two agile methodologies, but in this section, we’re going to group them into three buckets.
Let’s get to it!
Scheduling and Iteration
Right off the bat, Scrum processes are more focused on schedule. Essentially, the scrum team receives a prioritised list of story points that must be completed to deliver a shippable product. What’s more, it’s the responsibility of the team to figure out the specific amount of points that can be completed within a single sprint. That said, the team is not allowed to go beyond the agreed scope but can implement new changes in the next sprint. For the most part, an efficient scrum team is likely to learn more about their capabilities as they complete several sprints. Even better, their estimates will get better and more optimised in the long run. In a nutshell, Scrum uses an iterative process to ensure accurate estimations of workflow and efficient management of multiple projects.
On the flip side, there are no fixed length iterations in Kanban. Everything is based on the cycle times. Essentially, the cycle time is the time that’s required to move a task from ‘To Do’ state through the ‘done’ state. It’s also good to mention that Kanban is flexible — it allows for changes at any point in the work process.
When we talk of roles, Scrum typically has three including the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team. As you probably guessed, each role comes with a unique set of responsibilities, and of course, it’s crucial for them to work in tandem to achieve an orderly and efficient balance. What’s more, the Scrum team must have all the required resources to complete the sprint’s work. In other words, they must be cross-functional.
On the other hand, the Kanban method don’t work with roles — this is just how it is. What’s more, there’s no need for the team to be cross-functional. Why? Well, it’s only because the Kanban workflow is meant to be used by all teams involved in the project.
You might know this, but the Scrum board is pretty different from that of Kanban. First off, the columns on the Scrum board are labeled to display the periods in the workflow right from the sprint backlog to the team’s primary goal or whatever it is that fulfills their definition of “done.”
Essentially, the final column should reflect all the stories added to the board at the start of each sprint — this is a way of saying that a particular sprint was successful. The board is eventually cleared after the sprint retrospective and of course, prepped for the next sprint.
On the flip side, the Kanban board also displays workflow states like the Scrum board, but the big difference is that they publish the maximum amount of stories allowed in each column for any given condition. What’s more, Kanban doesn’t require time boxes, and there’s no need to reset the board as the work keeps progresses. In other words, it’ll keep flowing as long as the project is underway.
An excellent free digital Kanban board that we use all the time at work across all of our projects is Trello. I have even used it as a time management tool and to help organise my personal life!
To sum it up, both Scrum and Kanban are powerful and of course, effective enough to improve your project management. Just focus your attention on learning more about them and if possible, create a hybrid of both — you’ll definitely be stunned by the results!