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Kanban vs Scrum – which method to choose?

In order to implement the project effectively, an appropriate work methodology should be adopted. Otherwise it will be ineffective and chaotic. In software development, Agile is the preferred method of operation. In its scope, you can use, inter alia, Kanban or Scrum. What is the difference between them?

What is Kanban?

Kanban is one of the most popular project management methodologies and allows you to present activities in a visual form. Thanks to this, you can track tasks and increase the efficiency of work.

It is based on a Kanban board where project phases are divided into columns. Tasks are written on cards that move from one column to the next until the task is completed.

Kanban board

The advantage of using Kanban methodology is that it makes it easier for the team to carry out the work. All its members know what tasks they should perform and in which order, which allows them to prioritize. Thanks to the graphic representation, the project is easy to understand. Each team member can access the board through software, it is also often hung in an "analog" form in the office.

What is Scrum?

Scrum was the first version of Agile methodology. It does not make a division into analysts, testers and developers. All these functions are performed by the developer. Scrum team members are to have interdisciplinary competences and work closely together.

The process is supervised by the Scrum Master. However, he does not act as a project manager, but only oversees the course of work. Scrum Owner is the client who is involved in the project and provides feedback.

Scrum is based on iterations in the form of sprints where all stages are performed. Each sprint is tested and evaluated. In the following stage, next activities are determined or those that require improvement or repeating are indicated.

The SCRUM table is reset at the end of each sprint.

Scrum board

Kanban vs Scrum

Both Kanban and Scrum are agile methodologies, but there are significant differences between them. Being aware of these differences, you can decide which management method to choose for a given project.

Work rhythm

Kanban allows flexibility as results are delivered continuously. Of course, managers often set deadlines for the entire project, but it is possible to complete certain stages only when all the necessary activities are properly performed. The time constraints are less.

In Scrum, we deal with a fixed time to complete the entire sprint (usually 2 to 4 weeks), which favor a more precise schedule. Project participants have to stick to it, so you can count on greater productivity. The results of the work should be delivered in accordance with predetermined deadlines.

Kanban meetings are optional.

Meetings in SCRUM are essential. It includes sprint planning, daily "briefing" before tasks are completed (aimed at assigning tasks and reviewing them), and sprint retrospectives.

Roles and duties of team members

Scrum requires the appointment of the right people for specific activities. There are the Scrum Master, Scrum Owner and Scrum Team, i.e. a team of developers. The Scrum Master determines the scope of activities for each person from the Scrum Team. Nevertheless, members of the Scrum Team, i.e. developers, should be interdisciplinary.

In Kanban, assigning roles is not mandatory. You can flexibly decide on the set of responsibilities for each project participant as the project progresses. The team should cooperate and its members can take over the responsibilities of others (e.g. when they are overwhelmed by too much work). However, the entire team should have competencies appropriate to a given product.

Introducing changes

In Scrum is not advisable to make changes during sprints. Its effects should be submitted for evaluation after a specified period of time without evaluating the results of the work in progress.

Kanban allows you to make changes and iterate stages to evaluate their results. The steps are repeated as necessary.

Kanban or Scrum

The choice of the best methodology for a given project depends on the nature of the project. Overall, Kanban supports team improvement, but the road to evaluation takes longer.

Scrum promotes higher productivity, faster delivery and lower costs. It works well in projects that may require frequent changes. It will work well if we create, for example, software whose development, due to the industry, must flexibly respond to the needs of the market and consumers, as well as the activities of the competition

Both methodologies are also used through Scrumban. It uses visualizations of Kanban workflow and Scrum processes. So if our product requires both flexibility and productivity, we can choose it.

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