Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark

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11th Oct, 2022
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Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark

Today in the rapidly changing market, software development is changing its list of requirement every now and then. As we all know, Agile is one form of software development methodology which mainly focuses on the continuous delivery of project with client satisfaction. Agile always accepts the change and works on complete specifications to turn the project into a deliverable product. In the recent times, Kanban software development methodology is in the limelight for its ability to enable DevOps. Many of the organizations are moving from Scrum to Kanban for better results. So the question arises, which Agile methodology works better?

Scrum saying

And  Scrum vs Kanban becomes the essential question today. The key differences between Kanban and Scrum depend on the rules for using the Scrum methodology and the Kanban workflow.

When the organization implements any methodology which is not flexible and useful, this can make the organization inefficient. This leads to the introduction of an Agile methodology in the organization. So, the first step while implementing the Agile methodology in the organization is to decide which Agile framework will be the best for you and your team.

Suppose, you have chosen a Scrum framework and Kanban workflow, then what is the difference between Scrum and Kanban? Is Kanban Agile? What is Scrum vs Agile? And so on.
Scrum vs Kanban

Both Scrum and Kanban have a list of mandated and optional rules for their implementation. According to the Agile advice list for implementing Scrum, there are around 23 mandatory and 12 optional rules. Here are the few examples:

  • Teams are functioning in a  cross-functional manner
  • During sprints, Interruptions are strictly avoided
  • Work is always time boxed
  • Scrum meetings are held on a daily basis
  • To measure the progress a burndown chart is used

Firstly, the problem arises when organizations follow “Scrum-But”- which is basically ignoring some specific set of rules for internal reasons. The next issue arises with timeboxing, which forms the core of Scrum. It allows the developer to define milestones for the Stakeholders to evaluate and guide their project.

Now, in the case of Kanban, the rules are comparatively less restrictive. The principal rules are-

  • Limiting the work in progress
  • To Visualize the workflow

In terms of Kanban overview, it is a flexible and an open methodology that can add rules as needed, borrowed from Scrum depending upon the requirement. In Kanban, the focus is mainly on the flow and not on the timebox. This feature makes Kanban a very appealing choice to use with DevOps.


For Scrum:

Scrum board

If we take the case of Scrum, every feature is decided before and it is ensured that it will be completed by the next sprint. After that, the Sprint is locked and work is finished over a couple of weeks, that is, usual sprint duration. The locking of the sprint is done to make sure that the team is getting enough time to make last minute changes depending on the requirement. There is a feedback session for reviewing the work accomplished. This helps to ensure that the delivered amount of work is approved by the stakeholders and is enough for directing the project as per business requirement.

Implementing Scrum is not as easy as learning its principles. It requires to change the team members’ habits. The team members have to raise the quality of coding, take up more responsibilities, increase a speed and many more factors need to change. Scrum allows team commitment as the team commits to the Sprint goals, they always stay motivated to get better and fast results as per the user requirements. 

For Kanban:

In the case of Kanban, the priority is to focus on the workflow and not on the time. The limitation is only regarding the size of the queues. The main aim behind implementing Kanban is the productivity and efficiency of the product. This allows them to deliver superior quality work items. In addition to this, concentrating on the workflow will keep things moving. In Kanban, there is an extended feature known as stakeholder participation.

In Kanban board, it is mandatory to define a “Work-In-Progress-Limit (WIP Limit)”. This helps to know the status of the work items to be delivered. If a status reaches the fixed WIP-limit, no new task is allowed at that state. This board helps to resolve the bottlenecks, as it makes the progress visible for further improvements. So, these WIP Limits acts as a change agent in Kanban.

The Workflow of the Kanban

Comparison of Scrum and Kanban

Change agentLeverages as a change agentLeverages WIP Limits as a change agent
CommitmentRequires CommitmentCommitment is not necessary
CadenceRegular fixed length sprints(ie;2 weeks)Continuous Flow
Release MethodologyAt the end of each sprint if approved by the product ownerContinuous delivery or at the team's discretion
RolesProduct owner, scrum master, development teamNo existing roles.
Some teams enlist the help of an agile coach.
Key MetricsVelocityCycle time
Change philosopyTeams should strive to not make changes to the sprint forecast during the sprint.
Doing so compromises learnings around estimation.
Change can happen at any time.

Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding between the duos

If your team is responsible for enhancing the feature development feedback of the Stakeholder, then go for Scrum. But, if your team is in charge of maintenance and requires to be more reactive, you have to consider Kanban. Eventually, the need for every team is different and depending upon the requirements, methodologies need to be decided for the achievement of the goals.



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