In recent years, project management has evolved significantly, and plenty of new tools have been developed to facilitate those changes as well. But anyone who follows trends related to project management knows that technology is just a part of the discussion. Project management methodologies still dominate the conversation, particularly Kanban vs Scrum.
What is Kanban?
The Kanban methodology focuses on work visualization, maximizing efficiency, and reducing work in progress. Teams following this method are all about limiting the time it takes to bring a certain project from beginning to end. They accomplish this goal through the use of a Kanban board and improving the workflow constantly.
Presently, the Kanban method is used by knowledge workers to improve various areas including cycle time, efficiency, quality, and productivity. Kanban also works well when used alongside Scrum or other Agile frameworks.
Related Content: An Overview of the Agile Kanban Methodology
What is Scrum?
Scrum project management is defined as an incremental and iterative work process that offers a highly prescriptive way in which the project gets finished. In the Scrum framework, teams have specified roles, artifacts, ceremonies, and processes. Work is divided into sprints – periods of time in which a task should be completed before another sprint can start.
A sprint has no particular length of time, but two-week and 30-day sprints are those most commonly used. Scrum Masters are in charge of leading prioritization meetings and Scrum status updates. These team leaders make sure that the team adheres to the standards set by the methodology.
Related Content: What is Scrum Management in Software Development?
In an efficient scrum team, members quickly learn their roles as time goes on. Their estimates are expected to improve and become more optimized over the course of multiple sprints. Then, depending on the length of the sprint, the team comes up with a shippable product and carries out a retrospective meeting. This helps them make the process better as they move to a new sprint. With such an iterative process, workflow estimations in a scrum framework are more accurate and multiple projects are handled effectively.
On the other hand, a Kanban team doesn’t have a required iteration or time box. Although it’s iterative in nature, constant improvement is expected as work is completed on a regular basis. In the use of Kanban, limitations on certain conditions in the workflow are regulated, at least until an improved set of limits happens to ensure efficient and steady workflow.
Kanban vs Scrum: Choosing a Methodology for Your Project
When deciding between these two agile methodologies–or whether you should actually invest in an agile framework at all–it’s important to evaluate your business requirements first. Figure out if your priority is to complete a project faster or if you want to improve the overall process. For faster production, scrum would be your best bet. Kanban, on the other hand, works well for improving the process of production.
Scrum and Kanban both have the advantages that come with the Agile methodology, and they both help with project management in a tried and true fashion. However, your decision does not have to be so black and white. Instead of seeing it as kanban vs scrum, you can use hybrid models influenced by both frameworks for a more effective workflow.