Managing any process means having to constantly look for ways of improvement. Which often entails trying out new practices and approaches.
Since my team has experimented with the best ways of managing tasks, I thought of sharing the biggest differences of Scrum and Kanban, as well as which I would choose for what process.
Agile project management
As you may know, implementing Agile practices can mean different things for different teams. There are various applications and frameworks to choose from as well as simply upholding the principles and creating your own rules. The manifesto does not specify any particular way of implementation, thus allowing you to choose which path to take.
Having said that, a few of implementations seem to be the most popular and today I want to explore 2 of them - Scrum and Kanban.
Scrum is an Agile project management framework that organizes the teams work into iterations called Sprints. This approach defines specific roles and responsibilities for the team members, meetings to be taken as well as their duration. Teams working in fixed-time iterations to deliver the result.
Kanban is another Agile framework that is based on visualizing the teams work on a Kanban board. Contrary to Scrum, there are no specific roles or meetings to be taken. Instead, the team plans on the demand basis. Plans when the backlog is empty and finishes an iteration when substantial value is delivered.
Choosing between Scrum and Kanban
When starting out with Agile, many of newcomers pose the question "So which should I choose?" Or even more often, we can hear something like "Which is the best?"
The answer to this question really depends on the team, but in most cases, Scrum is easier to start with. as it offers more rules and structure. Kanban on the other hand, is more suited to those that already have some experience and want to have more freedom over the process. And most teams will try both before deciding which is best for their needs.
So, what are the strengths of each? Let's see.
Choose Scrum For
- Predictable delivery dates. Working with predefined Sprints allows to estimate more precisely.
- Formal process to organize your team and project around.
- Steady pace for delivery, planning, and all other activities.
Choose Kanban For
- Continuous work that does not have predefined pace or delivery dates that must be followed.
- Process visualization and monitoring on a Kanban Board with swimlanes and WIP limits.
- Support or any client-related operations where there is a need to react quickly.
Here is a full story on why our development team chose to move from Scrum to Kanban. And if you are looking for Agile tools, here is a review of the best Kanban board software.
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