Kanban versus ScrumA comparison of Scrum and Kanban
As far as Agile process tools go, Scrum and Kanban are both popular and easily implemented. What exactly makes them different, though?
Scrum was originally optimized for software development teams. The idea is to split large tasks into small, well manageable items, and complete them within a specified amount of time - one sprint. Also, you should divide your team into a couple of smaller, cross-functional teams, each ideally including a stakeholder - the product owner. The last necessity is in holding daily Stand-Up meetings, which are your team's time for communicating.
Kanban, on the other hand, is concentrated on making the workflow visually self-explanatory, and on limiting the amount of work in progress. By utilizing its analytical functions, you're able to be always improving your performance: to achieve kaizen.
They both apply a limit on the amount of work in progress.
Both utilize transparency within the team, which helps to achieve an overall process improvement.
Both are implementations of a pull method, which means, that employees are able to pull work from previous stages, rather than it being pushed onto them, no matter how busy they are.
Both these methods require for the work to be broken down into smaller portions.
In software development, where these methods are most popularly used, both promote reusable software, as it is fully usable after each sprint.
They both need the team to be well organized, and to be able to stay that way.
The speed at which changes are implemented - high in Scrum, low in Kanban.
Time frames - Scrum has got to be based on iterations, Kanban can, but works just as well when isn't.
Demand for commitment from the team - they need to apply themselves to Scrum in order for it work, but committing to Kanban is optional.
The way the teams are compiled - in Scrum, teams need to be multi-functional, in Kanban they don't.
The preciseness of WIP limits - with Scrum, work in progress is limited per one sprint, while in Kanban, the limits apply to a given point of the project.
Scrum, with its complex rules, applies best to large software development projects, which require a lot of time for their completion. On the other hand, Kanban, thanks to simplicity of its implementation, as well as to the ability to improve continuously, allows for easy prioritization and helps to bring employees across many departments closer together. This, in turn, contributes to perfecting the process in general, bringing about an overall improvement. The size of the project doesn't really matter, as Kanban puts very few constraints on the shape of a project, allowing to customize it, make it to order.
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