Kanban and Scrum are two different strategies for agile development, but which is better?
Here's the catch, they're both great! Each strategy involves a different approach. Kanban methodologies are continuous and fluid whereas scrum is based on short structured, work sprints. Having two capabilities is great, so teams can choose the best agile approach for them.
What is Kanban?
Kanban is all about visualization, along with limiting works in progress and maximizing flow. So what does this really mean? In short, Kanban teams want to reduce the time it takes for a project from start to finish. To keep track of this, a Kanban board is used to continuously improve work-flow. The board uses cards, columns, and improvement to help all teams get the right amount of work done. Kanban is based on a continuous work-flow structure:
Works items are represented by cards flowing from one column to the next (to do, in progress, in review, blocked, done). The columns can be customized based on how a team works.
There is no fixed time to complete a task, if it's completed earlier or later it will not affect the outcome of the board.
All team members own the board, meaning it's a collective responsibility to complete tasks.
What is Scrum?
At ezTagile, we use Jira Scrum, which works great for all our team members. For this strategy, teams commit to a sprint to plan and prioritize work. Our sprint is planned for two weeks, so at the end of the two-week mark, all tasks should be marked done. Scrum is all about organization, generating value for all team members. To break it down, scrum requires a fostered environment where:
The work is ordered into a Product Backlog.
The team creates an increment of tasks for the specific time frame, moving the work into appropriate categories as completed (to do, in progress, in review, done).
The team inspects the results and adjusts for the next sprint.
After the two-week sprint, a new one is started and the work cycle continues.
To sum it all up, Kanban and Scrum are both great agile strategies. One is no better than the other, as long as the system brings the best approach for your team!
Some teams are also getting the best of both worlds by combining techniques from Scrum and Kanban, by using "Scrumban" or their own unique methodology. Agile experts may have differing opinions on specifics, but regular reflection and constant improvement are something that they all agree on.
If you are interested in learning more or would like some training, check out our ezTagile Agile training services here.