Kanban versus Scrum Methodology: The Difference You Should Know

Deciding which of the Star Wars films is the best can be just as difficult as deciding which project management framework is the most suitable for your team. Kanban and Scrum have both demonstrated their value in helping teams to become organised and work collaboratively, regardless of whether they operate remotely, in-person or in a hybrid format. The question is, which is the better option? In order to answer this, let us compare and contrast these two popular project management frameworks, Kanban and Scrum, and explore the advantages of each.

Where can I find out more about Kanban?

Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota, developed the Kanban system in order to enhance the efficiency of the company’s production processes. This methodology is designed to bolster productivity by visualizing workflows in a more efficient manner. Originally developed for the manufacturing industry, this approach is now widely adopted in a variety of different sectors. Teams employing the Kanban system strive to accelerate the entire process of creating a product.

For those curious, Kanban (Japanese term) implies billboard or signboard.

Start by drawing a picture of the process:

Keeping an eye on the existing workflow might provide light on the state of ongoing activities and any bottlenecks that need to be overcome.

Limit work in progress

The purpose of this idea is for groups to finish what they’re doing before moving on to something else.

Control the Flow of Traffic

The concept of micromanagement has been met with much opposition, and this idea provides a valuable source of support for those dissenting voices. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that the workflow is managed, but employees should not be subject to excessive monitoring or control. Instead, the focus should be on managing work processes and discovering ways to optimise and expedite them. This should be the primary concern of any team.

Improve transparency by stating process policies explicitly

It is essential that all members of the team are aware of, and in agreement with, the regulations and guidelines that determine the manner in which the group functions. This will enable the team to work together in an efficient and harmonious manner, as they will all have a clear understanding of the expectations and parameters.

Iterative processes with a resulting feedback loop

Kanban is heavily dependent on feedback loops to be successful. These feedback loops typically take the form of short, daily meetings where team members can give each other updates on their tasks and objectives for the day. This approach enables everyone in the team to stay abreast of what everyone else is doing and offer any help if needed.

Strengthen teamwork

Kanban’s main aim is to support teams in setting up an efficient and swift system for delivering projects. Teams that have a common knowledge of their objectives, steps and processes are in a better position to collaborate and find effective solutions to any issues and make consistent progress towards their aims. The key is to get people to think of teamwork as something that can help them to become stronger, faster, and more cohesive.

Leveraging the Kanban Process

Kanban is an effective method of visualizing ongoing work utilizing a board, with cards representing individual work items. These cards are then tracked as they progress through the various stages of a project, with columns, work-in-progress (WIP) restrictions, a commitment point, and a delivery point supplementing the cards on the board.

The Kanban board can take the form of either a physical or digital iteration. Many organizations that are based on-site utilize whiteboards with post-it notes as a way to visualize their workflow. Even though different teams may employ a different type of board, at their core, they all essentially look the same.

The rationale for using Kanban is contingent on the needs of your team. In any case, it is an excellent approach for remote teams, as it can be implemented virtually using platforms such as Trello. For example, the content marketing team have successfully utilized a Trello board to coordinate and track both their current and upcoming projects in a visual manner.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Kanban

Pros Cons
Emphasises the constant
delivery
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

Simply said, what is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile methodology which has been developed to facilitate the production and distribution of complex goods by teams. Initially created for the software industry, it is now widely used in other domains. As an example, in rugby, a “scrum” is a formation of players designed to work together in order to achieve success. Co-operation is a key component of the Scrum methodology and is integral to its success.

Scrum is an agile methodology which promotes collaboration and self-organization within teams. It encourages individuals to continuously strive to improve by reflecting on their successes and failures.

What’s the Deal with Scrum?

The Scrum framework is a process which consists of various elements. To start off, it is important to understand that a team works in short, consecutive cycles referred to as ‘sprints’. A sprint is a finite period of time in which the Scrum team focuses on meeting a specific set of objectives. Each sprint (or iteration) will contain elements such as…

Brief strategy sessions

An all-team meeting to discuss and plan for the sprint’s goals. With sprint planning complete, teams should be able to answer:

How much can be accomplished during this sprint? The question now is how to carry out the selected task.

In order for the sprints to be understood by all team members, teams tend to concentrate on the following details:

  • What: In this sprint’s context, the product owner explains its purpose.
  • How: To reach the sprint objective, the team organises the tasks that will be required.
  • Who: The Product Owner and Development Team play an essential role in the Sprint Planning process. In this context, the Product Owner will articulate the desired outcome, while the Team will assess the feasibility of achieving it.
  • Inputs: Since the product backlog contains prospective items for the current sprint, teams begin by reviewing it.
  • Outputs: At the conclusion of the sprint planning meeting, the team should outline their sprint objective and the steps they will take to begin achieving it.

Regular stand-up meetings

A daily stand-up is a brief meeting where each team member shares:

  1. The activities they engaged in the day before
  2. What are their plans for the day (?)
  3. If they are experiencing any problems at all

The standup’s purpose is for the team to sync and be aware of what each member is up to and to get a bigger picture of how the sprint is going.

Quick-fire sample

At the review meeting, the team members present the items from the product backlog that have been completed during the sprint. Each team member gives a brief, informal overview of their work. Participants have the opportunity to voice their opinions, raise any worries they may have and suggest the addition of new features to be tested during the session.

Look back on the sprint

At this final debrief, the team will review the prior sprint and identify its successes and areas for improvement. The goal of the meeting is to reflect on the sprint and determine which aspects of the sprint need to be enhanced for future sprints. This will allow the team to develop and progress, ensuring the highest quality of work is achieved.

Scrum Functions

Scrum, in contrast to Kanban, defines responsibilities throughout the sprint’s procedures. Three primary functions:

  • The product owner is responsible for making decisions about the product and establishing priorities based on the product backlog and user feedback.
  • The scrum master is in charge of keeping everyone on schedule and executing the scrum methodology.
  • A group of people who use Scrum to collaborate and figure out how to best meet the goals set during each sprint’s planning phase.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Scrum

ProsCons
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.

When comparing Scrum with Kanban, what are the key differences?

After conducting an in-depth analysis of each approach, we have gained a better understanding of their respective objectives, advantages, and effects on the team. Both of the approaches are credible solutions, depending on the objectives that your team is aiming to achieve.

Which Agile Methodology, Kanban or Scrum, Will Triumph?

When evaluating Scrum and Kanban, it is important to note that neither approach is necessarily superior. Both can be used to successfully guide teams in completing projects and achieving their objectives. That said, the objectives that have been set should be the primary focus rather than the methodologies themselves. Scrumban is a framework that incorporates the best elements of both Scrum and Kanban and some teams have already adopted it. Before deciding on a final course of action, it is recommended that you assess the current tasks and familiarize yourself with the dynamics of your team.

Managing remote teams can be a complex process, especially when it comes to the equipment that is needed. We understand that it can be difficult to monitor and manage a remote workforce in the current climate, or just in general.

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