Kanban versus ScrumA comparison of Scrum and Kanban

Kanban versus Scrum

Scrum versus 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 tasks, 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, often including a stakeholder (the product owner). The last necessity is holding daily Stand-Up meetings, which are your 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 the 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 of them apply 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 they are most popularly used, they both promote reusable software (as it is fully usable after each sprint)
  • They both need the team to be well organized and to stay organized.


  • The speed of the implementation of changes - 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 of 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 the teams need to be multi-functional, in Kanban they don't
  • The preciseness of the WIP limits - with Scrum the work in progress is limited per one sprint, while in Kanban the limits apply to any given point of the project.

To sum up, then..

Scrum, with its complex rules, applies best to large software development projects, which require a lot of time for its completion.
Kanban, thanks to the simplicity of its implementation, as well as the ability to improve continuously, allows for prioritization, helps to bring employees across many departments closer together (since they can all happen to work on the same project). This, in turn, contributes to perfecting the whole process, which equals overall improvement. The size of the project doesn't really matter, as Kanban puts very few constraints on the shape of the project, allowing to customize and make it to order.

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