Scrum and Kanban: Differences and Similarities

Scrum and Kanban methodologies are very close as part of the agile movement in management. In Scrum the implementation of the project is done in iterations or sprints, which last from 1 to 4 weeks, most often lasting 2 weeks.

The idea is to deliver a working prototype of the customer’s product at the end of each sprint, and if there are any comments on the development, we will receive them faster and be able to process them before the final product is completed. In this way we focus on what is important for the customer, we save time by avoiding working on unnecessary functionalities of the product and we have a satisfied customer after the 2nd sprint. Reference:

Scrum roles

There are also roles in Scrum. These are:

  • Development team – the team responsible for managing daily work;
  • Product Owner – responsible for communicating with customers about the products we work on so that the team brings maximum value to customers;
  • Scrum Master – responsible for the effective and efficient interaction in the team to achieve the work goals. Helps the organization understand and successfully apply Scrum principles. Source:

During sprints, teams gather daily for a maximum of 15 minutes for a so-called Daily Scrum meeting to discuss what was done the day before, what is planned to be done today, and what obstacles or difficulties they expect to face. The Scrum Master is responsible for removing any obstacles.

And at the end of each sprint, the teams look back at how the iteration went, analyze the problems and decide how to work more efficiently. This ensures a process of continuous improvement and self-improvement, which is our only advantage. Reference:

There are no sprints or roles in Kanban

On the other hand, there are no sprints or roles in Kanban. Kanban is a Just in Time (JIT) ongoing production planning system. Requires communication about the capacity of the teams in real-time and full transparency of the work. The tasks of the teams are presented visually in the “kanban board”, which allows team members to see the state of work at any time. This is an advantage. Read more:

In Kanban, there is a limitation of work in the process, which is limited to the number of tasks (maps) in a column. Teams determine the limit according to their capacity, which is a plus, but on the other hand, it can take a long time to establish.

Whether we choose to work with Kanban or Scrum is entirely up to us as a team. Since both methodologies are new to our organization, I would suggest to management take the time to experiment with each without disrupting the production process to determine which one best suits the nature of our work and will ensure your comfort in the performance of daily tasks. More on the topic:

Kanban or Scrum: What to choose

Since I find advantages in both methodologies, I suggest that we take the time to test in a work environment and after analyzing the results make a final decision on which of the two methodologies to apply in our organization.

For the needs of this experiment we do not need to involve the whole organization, it will be enough to form two small test teams to work on a real project, first with one and then with the other methodology, to have a basis for comparison. Both methodologies offer great transparency and we will be able to monitor the implementation, progress, and problems that arise in the process of work. At the same time, we will not waste time in the production process (in fact, I expect to win one). Finally, we will discuss in detail with the teams the pros and cons of both and we will be able to make a decision based on maximum awareness of the topic.

There is also a variant for the so-called Scrumban, which is characterized by the fact that it uses the visualization of processes, as in kanban (pipeline), but the construction itself is done in iterations, as in Scrum. Reference:

Support with a business value from the teams and the management

If the model involves the implementation of specific and consistent steps, then I think it is good that the people in the team are first good performers – people who can be led, follow instructions and goals, set specific tasks, to be consistent in this what they do. Be disciplined/strict and able to meet deadlines so as not to delay the next downstream. Reference:

Management, in turn, must, in my opinion, first plan the processes/tasks properly. Then be able to select qualified staff for the project that is suitable for work on this model. There must be regular traceability and quality/time checking, maintaining the pace of work.

The organization can plan regular targeted training if the business value is, for example, achieving more speed, cooperation in the team, or something else directly related to increasing the competence and skills of employees. Another may be to do a detailed study and analysis of the market, competition, and consumer needs so that they are better, more accurate, more innovative, and more necessary for the end customer.