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Agile methodologies: Kanban Vs Scrum – Advantages and Disadvantages?

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a well-defined process framework and one of the most popular Agile methodologies. It is an adaptive, iterative, incremental, flexible and effective methodology designed to focus on delivering the highest business values in the shortest time throughout a project.

When using Scrum methodology, you work in:

· Short iterations

· Cross-functional team

· Have a Product Owner

· Have a Scrum Master

· Regular meetings

· Iteration planning

· Sprint reviews

What is Kanban?

Kanban methodology is less structured than Scrum and can be applied on any other methodology which you are already running.

In Kanban, you use a Kanban board which tracks activities in terms of Work in Progress (WIP)

· To Do

· In progress

· Done

Similarities in Scrum and Kanban

· Both methodologies have several similarities:

· Both are Agile

· Both limit WIP

· Both use “pull scheduling”

· Both are focus on delivering minimal viable product as soon as possible

· Both use transparency to drive process improvement

· Both need breaking the work into pieces

· Both are based on self-organizing and cross-functional teams

· Both release plan is continuously optimized and based on the empirical data (lead time/velocity)

Scrum Characteristics:

The benefits of Scrum are real, it can very easily accelerate time to market:

· Increase the quality of the deliverables

· Delivers products in short iterations

· Scrum Prescribes 3 roles

-PO (Product owner),

-SM (Scrum master)

- Scrum Team

· Scrum team commits to a specific amount of work in an iteration

· It adds value to the business

· It allows the client to change the priorities and demands very quickly

· In scrum you cannot add new items to ongoing iteration

· Scrum team is Cross-functional

· Promotes a better working environment for management

· Promotes transparency and improved client relations

· Enhances the credibility with the client due to the higher product quality

· Creates motivated and inspired team members

· Scrum uses Velocity as default metric for the planning and the process improvement

Kanban Characteristics:

· Timeboxed iteration is optional

· event-driven instead of timeboxed

· Kanban has separate cadences for planning, process improvement and release

· Commitment is optional in Kanban

· Kanban does not prescribe any particular item size or Diagram

· WIP limited Kanban directly

· Estimation is optional in Kanban

· Kanban allows you to add new items whenever the capacity is available

· The Kanban board can be shared by individuals or multiple teams

· Kanban does not prescribe any specific roles

· The Kanban board is persistent

· Prioritization is optional in Kanban

Advantages of Scrum

Scrum framework is highly perspective. It has specific roles and ceremonies. Scrum has a lot of advantages, some are listed here.

· Scrum has more transparency and visibility than any other methodology

· It increases the team accountability

· Scrum is easy with changes. It accommodates changes

· Scrum is a cost saving development methodology

Disadvantages of Scrum

Scrum is a methodology for usually high level and experienced team members and so has some distinct disadvantages:

· Scrum team requires experience and omitted team, lack of experienced persons scrum process has some risk of scope creep

· Less experienced scrum master can ruin the whole process

· If the task is defined poorly then the project can be lead to inaccuracies

Advantages of Kanban

· Scrum team requires experience and omitted team, lack of experienced persons scrum process has some risk of scope creep

· increases the process flexibility

· focused on continuous delivery

· reduces wastes from the process

· is easy to understand

· improves the delivery flow

· reduces the time cycle of the process

· increases productivity and efficiency

Disadvantages of Kanban

Most of the disadvantages is due to misuse or mishandling of Kanban board and include:

· Outdated Kanban board

· Overcomplicated Kanban board


Both methodologies have their pros and cons. If your company is not using Agile methodology and you think this may help, or you would like more information then please contact 3PCubed via our website or details below.


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