Project Management

Scrum vs Kanban

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Scrum is the most popular framework used within an agile environment to convert complex problems into valuable products and services. In this blog, we will examine all things Scrum to shed light on this wonderful organizational tool that is sweeping the globe. There will be engaging articles, interviews with experts and Q&A's. Are you ready to take the red pill? Then please join me on a fascinating journey down the rabbit hole, and into the world of Scrum.

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We all love Scrum right? It provides a great framework for providing valuable solutions in an Agile way. When it comes to adopting an Agile framework within organizations, it really has no competitors. But often I get asked the question: "What about Kanban; is that a better way of doing things?"

Of course, this depends on how you define "better". If we are to understand these two powerhouses in the Agile world, it would be prudent to take a brief look at their similarities and differences:



Has specifically defined roles

Does not have mandatory roles

Uses Velocity, Burndown Charts to            manage and measure performance

Uses Lead Time, Cycle Time, WIP, Cumulative Flow Diagrams to manage and measure performance

Agile approach

Lean approach

Uses time boxes

No time boxes, just continuous flow

Work is based around capacity

Work is based around capacity

Daily meeting

Daily meeting

More structured framework

Less structured framework

Uses a product/issue backlog

Uses a product/issue backlog

More concerned with productivity

More concerned with efficiency

No changes allowed during Sprint

Changes can occur as needed

As Shakespeare might have said: "To Scrum or to Kanban, now that is the question." Actually, your organizational strategy or specific business requirement will answer that question better than Shakespeare could ever do. In reality, the two can exist together, and often do.
Take a software upgrade and rollout across an organization for example. Many projects such as this begin with Scrum (delivery of the solution), then transition to Kanban for support and issue logging (maintenance of the solution). This example might be closer to DevOps, but that is another buzzword for another buzztime!
Can you think of any other similarities or differences between Scrum and Kanban?

Thank you for your interest in the Scrumptious blog. If you have any ideas for Scrum topics, please message me here. Until next time, remember, projects can be Scrumptious!
Sante Vergini Signature

Posted on: April 30, 2019 11:49 PM | Permalink

Comments (30)

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Well Explained. Very interesting and useful Post. Thanks for sharing it.

Good overview, Sante!

A key difference between the two is that implementing Scrum is highly disruptive for most traditional delivery teams whereas Kanban respects the current processes and roles and encourages incremental, continuous improvement.

As such, from an OCM perspective, Kanban can sometimes be an easier sell.


Hi Sante,

Nice work in presenting in a neat way the common grounds. I've seen Kanban as the no-brainer choice for operational support software projects whereas Scrum is often used for projects where new features are to be implemented.


Thank you Sante for the valuable topic. The elephant vs hippopotamus is a nice depiction!
Scrum is geared toward cross-functional teams, whereas Kanban may have specialized teams.

Thanks Shadav, Kiron, Ricardo and Pang.

Kiron, I agree with the disruptive effects of Scrum in traditional settings. For those that are wondering, OCM = Organisational Change Management.

Thanks for putting this together. I personally gravitate more towards Lean and Kanban, but there is no question Scrum is the most widely used Agile approach.

good discussion! tks for sharing!

I see Kanban in use with no consideration of the amount of WIP least I got the Daily Meeting right !!....:)

To Scrum or to Kanban.. !!!

A great post Sante, thanks for sharing

Very interesting thanks for sharing

Very good comparison. I use many Kanban techniques in my organization when managing hybrid waterfall/Agile projects.

Thanks all for your posts. It's good to see the PM community keeping Scrum alive.

Good information, Thank you

Easy to understand with your comparison table - thanks

Thanks Steve and Sean.

ScrumBan isn't a bad idea Deepesh. I think a lot of companies are doing that now.

@Sante and Agile training included both Scrum and to my small brain they were kind of one and the I go to the top of the class?.....:)

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