Kanban versus Scrum Methodology: The Difference You Should Know

Similar to the challenge of determining the best Star Wars movie, selecting the ideal project management framework for your team can also be daunting. Kanban and Scrum are two widely adopted frameworks that have effectively aided teams in achieving organisation and effective collaboration, whether working remotely or in a hybrid manner. The question then arises – which of these two frameworks proves to be the most beneficial? In order to establish an answer, we will assess the differences and advantages of each in a side-by-side comparison.

Looking for more information about Kanban?

The Kanban system was created by Toyota’s industrial engineer, Taiichi Ohno, to improve the efficiency of the company’s production processes. This technique aims to increase productivity by simplifying the visualization of workflows. Although it was initially designed for the manufacturing industry, it has since been implemented in various sectors. Teams using the Kanban system strive to expedite the entire product development process.

For those who are interested, Kanban is a Japanese term that refers to a billboard or signboard.

Begin by illustrating the process:

Observing the present workflow can shed light on the status of ongoing tasks and identify any bottlenecks that must be addressed.

Restricting work in progress

The objective of this concept is to encourage teams to complete their current task before switching to a new one.

Managing the Flow of Tasks

Micromanagement has been criticised by many, and the Kanban system provides a useful alternative to this approach. While it is the duty of management to oversee the workflow, team members should not be subjected to excessive supervision or control. Instead, emphasis should be on managing work processes and seeking ways to refine and speed them up. This should be the primary focus of any team.

Enhancing transparency through clear process policies

All team members must be informed of and agree to the rules and principles that govern the group’s operation. This creates a cohesive and efficient work environment, as every member has a clear comprehension of what is expected and what the boundaries are.

Reiterative processes involving feedback loops

The success of Kanban is heavily reliant on feedback loops. These loops typically consist of brief, daily meetings where team members can share status updates on their tasks and daily goals. This method helps keep everyone on the team informed about each other’s progress and allows them to offer assistance if necessary.

Enhancing collaboration

The primary goal of Kanban is to assist teams in establishing an efficient and streamlined project delivery system. When teams have a shared understanding of their objectives, steps, and processes, they can collaborate more effectively, resolve issues, and make steady progress towards their goals. The key is to encourage people to regard teamwork as a means of becoming stronger, more efficient, and more unified.

Utilising the Kanban Method

Kanban is a powerful technique for visually representing current work using a board with cards that represent individual tasks. These cards are tracked as they move through the numerous stages of a project, and columns, work-in-progress (WIP) limitations, a commitment point, and a delivery point are included on the board to enhance its usefulness.

The Kanban board can either be a physical or digital rendition. Many on-site organisations employ whiteboards with post-it notes to visualise their workflow. Although teams may use various types of boards, they all share a similar basic structure.

The decision to employ Kanban is dependent on your team’s requirements. Regardless, it is an excellent choice for remote teams since it can be implemented virtually using platforms like Trello. The content marketing team, for instance, has effectively used a Trello board to visually coordinate and monitor both their ongoing and future projects.

Pros and Cons of Kanban

Pros Cons
Emphasises the constant
Teams risk making the board too difficult to play on.
Boosts efficiency and output. Time constraints might be an issue (there are no timeframes in each phase)
Helps shorten the process’s time frameInsufficient paperwork
Methodology that is quickly and easily implementedNot adhering to WIP restrictions might lead to overburdening of team members.
Flexible methodology
Streamlines the process of delivering

In simple terms, what is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile technique developed to help teams produce and distribute complex products. Although it was originally created for the software industry, it is now widely used in other fields. In rugby, for example, a “scrum” is a formation of players who work together to collaborate and achieve success. Collaboration is a crucial aspect of the Scrum approach and is fundamental to its effectiveness.

Scrum is an Agile approach that fosters teamwork and self-organisation among teams. It motivates individuals to consistently strive for improvement by reflecting on their accomplishments and shortcomings.

What is Scrum all about?

The Scrum methodology comprises several components. To begin with, it is crucial to comprehend that a team operates in brief, successive periods known as ‘sprints‘. A sprint is a limited timeframe during which the Scrum team concentrates on achieving a specific set of objectives. Each sprint (or iteration) includes elements such as…

Concise planning sessions

A full-team gathering to discuss and prepare for the objectives of the sprint. Once sprint planning is finished, teams should be able to respond to questions such as:

What can be achieved in this sprint? The issue now is how to execute the chosen task.

To ensure that all team members understand the sprints, teams tend to focus on the following aspects:

  • What:

    The product owner explains the aim of the sprint.
  • How:

    The team arranges the necessary tasks to attain the sprint objective.
  • Who:

    The Sprint Planning process is critical for the Product Owner and Development Team. In this situation, the Product Owner will express the desired outcome, while the Team will evaluate the feasibility of accomplishing it.
  • Inputs:

    As the product backlog contains potential items for the ongoing sprint, teams begin by reviewing it.
  • Outputs:

    By the end of the sprint planning session, the team should define their sprint objective and the measures they will take to commence accomplishing it.

Frequent stand-up meetings

A daily stand-up is a concise meeting where each team member discusses:

  1. The tasks they participated in the previous day
  2. What are their plans for the current day?
  3. Whether they are encountering any challenges

The purpose of standup is to synchronize the team and be informed of what each member is working on, while also obtaining a broader understanding of the sprint’s progress.

Rapid-fire example

During the review session, the team presents the completed items from the product backlog for the sprint. Each team member provides a concise and informal overview of their work. Attendees may discuss their thoughts, express any concerns they have, and propose new features to be tested throughout the session.

Reflect on the sprint

During this concluding debrief, the team will evaluate the preceding sprint and recognise the areas where they excelled and the areas that require improvement. The purpose of the meeting is to ponder over the sprint and ascertain which aspects of the sprint need refinement for forthcoming sprints. This will enable the team to grow and advance, ensuring that the work produced is of the highest quality.

Scrum Operations

In contradistinction to Kanban, Scrum assigns roles throughout the sprint’s processes. There are three primary operations:

  • The product owner is accountable for determining product decisions and prioritizing tasks based on the product backlog and user feedback.
  • The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring everyone adheres to the schedule and implements the Scrum framework.
  • A team of individuals uses Scrum to collaborate and determine the optimal approach to achieve the objectives established during each sprint’s planning phase.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Scrum

Working together There will be several gatherings
Breaks down lengthy tasks into manageable chunks called “sprints.”There will be detrimental effects on the development process as a whole if a team member leaves.
Constant commenting that aids with the development of new items In the absence of a time limit, it may lead to a never-ending cycle of product iteration and improvement.
Using sprints, groups may identify and fix issues before a product is released.It follows a fairly rigid technique.
Cost-effective and provides instant benefitsIt works well for smaller groups.
Teams can adapt more quickly to new situations.

What are the main distinctions between Scrum and Kanban?

Following a comprehensive evaluation of each technique, we have obtained a superior comprehension of their intended goals, benefits, and impact on the team. Both methods are effective resolutions and can be adopted depending on the targets your team seeks to accomplish.

Which Agile Framework Will Prevail: Kanban or Scrum?

It is crucial to acknowledge that neither Scrum nor Kanban is inherently better when comparing them. Both can effectively steer teams in completing projects and reaching their goals. However, priority should be given to the targeted objectives instead of the methodologies. Some teams have already implemented Scrumban, which integrates the most beneficial elements of both methodologies. Before making a final decision, it is advisable to evaluate current assignments and get acquainted with your team’s dynamics.

Overseeing and administering remote teams can pose a challenge, particularly regarding the tools required. We comprehend that in the current climate or in general, it can be arduous to supervise and coordinate a remote workforce. Check out our blog post on managing remote teams.

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