Kanban vs Scrum: What’s the Difference?

Kanban vs Scrum: What’s the Difference?

Kanban gives a lot of freedom and personalization, it gives room for teams to be more flexible in production and at the same time takes away the complexity of the process. Your team can decide to keep the retro sessions but schedule them every 10 items shipped, for example. Waterfall is a traditional approach to project management in which tasks are completed in a set order until the project is finished, just as water might flow down a series of rocks in a waterfall.

  • The Scrumban methodology is part of an agile framework, a hybrid of scrum and kanban.
  • Teams are given collaborative scrumban tools to work more effectively.
  • The Kanban framework adopts a different perspective of project-based work based on finding the best workflows and processes for the job.
  • Agile is better for teams that want to use “story points” instead of dates & times to set deadlines, and want to use retrospectives for constant cycles of feeback.
  • In today’s world, there is no way for product development to continue for years or months in recent times; rather, it is very important to get things corrected.
  • Gantt charts help teams to plan work around deadlines and properly allocate resources.
  • Traditional project management methods are less and less able to cope with such a rapidly changing environment.

But in the end, it comes down to beliefs and probably testing which system meets your specific needs the best. Kanban and Scrum metrics are useful in their own ways, helping teams keep track of success according to what each Agile method chooses to prioritize. The most important part of a Product Owner’s job is making sure the Scrum team collaborates efficiently and that they’re delivering high-quality results. They do this by monitoring and adding to the Scrum backlog and helping to determine what items will be pulled from it and assigned to the development team. Comparing Scrum and Kanban makes it easy to see what each method emphasizes and where they strongly differ. But to understand further, you’ll need a better understanding of the philosophical breakdown of each and how teams typically approach one or the other.

Spot Snags with a Scrumban Board

It is a scheduling method that includes Scrum and Kanban elements to streamline workflow and maximize efficiency. Sprints are flexible by design, allowing priorities to change on the fly and ensuring team members are equipped to pivot as needed as unforeseen complications arise. Some Scrum ceremonies may run for hours or a few minutes; it typically depends on the nature of the meeting and the allotted time for the sprint in question. Scrumban takes from scrum such decision-making as figuring out how much work can be done in a sprint and prioritizing what is the most important task to work on next.

Kanban teams often work on independent tasks, products, or deliverables. So, once a piece of work is completed, it can be delivered to the customer right away. Procurify, a purchasing software startup in Canada, found that they saved 70% of their time by planning their sprints using a collaboration tool. They now have visibility into one another’s work and can collaborate across different teams.

Kanban vs. Scrum: Similarities and differences

The stages that appear on the Kanban board are all dictated by your team. For example, some teams choose not to have their product backlog on their Scrumban board, and instead keep just their sprint backlog on the board. WIPs continue to be limited to ensure consistent quality in the team’s output. The simplest way to describe Kanban is the process of visualizing your workflow. It is one of the more popular project management methodologies used today, and can apply to teams in many different industries.

scrumban vs kanban

It usually happens when a part of the product is finished or when the planning trigger activates. Either way, at this time, the team sits down and fills the backlog with new tasks to complete. Here, they can also choose to use estimation to have more predictability for the process. Kanban teams estimate in two ways – using time units or making all the tasks the same size and then calculating the time needed using lead and cycle time metrics. There is a Scrum Master assigning work, managing schedules, and troubleshooting challenges that arise, and there is often a Product Owner, who represents the business and the customer.

Scrumban vs Scrum

As for the limitations, the focus on collaboration can be seen as a strength but it can also represent a drawback. With lots of moving parts on a project, an over-reliance on effective communication between departments can lead to misinterpretations or issues with timing. Scrumban is a combination of the aforementioned frameworks, so let’s start with a high-level overview of each. Task size In Scrumban and Kanban, any task size can be pulled and worked on, as there are no time-boxed Sprints. New roles Scrumban and Kanban do not require the team to change and adapt to the new roles like in Scrum.

Thanks to such a person, teams won’t experience any unnecessary breaks or chaos. There are no sprints in Scrumban, planning is done once in a while, usually in 1-year, 6-month, or 3-month buckets. Tasks are scheduled on an ongoing basis, and What is an Embedded System estimation is optional. There are no specific roles, so when implementing Scrumban, you don’t have to change the existing positions. Scrumban is quite easy to implement compared to Scrum, but it is more difficult to implement than Kanban.


When you reach your WIP limit, a tool like Jira Software caps that column, and the team swarms on those items to move them forward. A great value piece of software that’s ideal for tech, software development and engineering teams. For one, flexibility is an advantage, but this does mean the board will need to be constantly updated with changes. If changes to the project take place, but no one updates the board, then you’re going to run into some very significant issues further down the line.

scrumban vs kanban

To visualize your process with a Kanban system, you will need a board with cards and columns. Each column on the board represents a step in your workflow and each Kanban card represents a task or work item. Jira Software comes with two different roadmapping features, each with a slightly different focus. Jira Roadmaps is designed to track work assigned to a single team while Advanced Roadmaps is designed for larger, cross-organization project planning. Project planners also use Gantt charts to maintain a bird’s eye view of projects. They depict, among other things, the relationship between the start and end dates of tasks, milestones, and dependent tasks.

Modifications and changes

Just be aware that Kanban doesn’t solve any pre-existing workflow issues, like Scrum may be able to, since it’s really more of an organizational tool. If the top card in your “To Do” list falls behind and the remaining cards in the list can’t start until the top card is completed, it will still cause delays. Teams that initially adopted scrumban wanted to stop executing their work in agile sprints, and are naturally attracted to scrum boards because of their pull-based system. By extracting the best of both agile methodologies, scrumban teams are more flexible in their ability to adapt to changes as they arise. It’s a visual project management system for managing work as it goes through a production cycle or process. The kanban method consists in using a kanban board to visualize workflow and manage tasks.

scrumban vs kanban

In this scenario, your lead time was five days (Monday to Friday), and your cycle time was three days (Wednesday to Friday). Kanban was originally created by Toyota for car manufacturing, and it is often used for tackling a lot of the same tasks or pieces of work. In this type of scenario, where products are interchangeable, the emphasis is on delivering a certain volume rather than a certain piece. So, when a product is found to be damaged, defective, or in need of rework, it’s usually pulled out of the workflow to be scrapped or modified. The Kanban framework was designed to help maintain a continuous flow of productivity while ensuring no one on the team is overworked or overwhelmed. It helps project teams reduce bottlenecks, improve efficiencies, increase quality, and boost overall output.

What are the advantages of Scrumban?

While a Scrum Board can be a physical board with notes or cards attached, they tend to be digital, online boards included in many project management platforms. Scrum is an iterative, incremental work method that provides a highly prescriptive way in which work gets completed. Scrum teams have defined processes, roles, ceremonies and artifacts. In IT Scrum, all activities happen on the same cadence according to the project plan. Everyone agrees on a larger plan, which is broken up into smaller segments. The team does the same set of activities in cycles, or iterations performed in a prescribed manner.

The resulting small tasks are scheduled on the Gantt chart’s timeline, along with dependencies between tasks, assignees, and milestones. Passionate content marketer looking to bring better solutions to the project management space. When comparing Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban, it is important to understand not one of these methods is better than the others.

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Rachaelle holds a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Florida. Since Scrum is one of the most popular forms of Agile project management (if not the most popular), Scrum is sometimes confused with Agile or used interchangeably with it. But Scrum is simply a project framework that fits into the Agile philosophy. Scrum can be considered agile, but Agile as a philosophy includes many more approaches than Scrum.

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