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Kanban vs Scrum: Comparison, Pros, and Cons

If you’re trying to bring Agile into your organization, you may have heard of Kanban and Scrum. These are two methods of Agile development that can have the same effect—building products that people want. Both methodologies help improve software development processes. Although the Scrum methodology was conceived after Kanban methodology it is not a rule that Kanban methodology works only in organizations that invented it. 

Scrum and Kanban are both frameworks that product managers use to manage a product. Under these frameworks, you can use similar PM tools and practices to define, plan and deliver products. They both have their own advocates, but which one is the best for you? Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the two approaches.

What Is Kanban?

Kanban is the visual management system that works by taking your workflow and breaking it up into to-do, doing, and done. Your Kanban board consists of lanes and each lane is responsible for one step in the workflow. As work progresses from left to right across each lane, the number of tasks in each lane increases. It does this by breaking down the tasks being performed and visualizing them so that it’s easy to see who should be working on what and when. This helps keep projects flowing more smoothly and efficiently.

Kanban is a Japanese word, meaning “billboard” or “sign” and was first used in the Toyota Production System. It eliminates bottlenecks by breaking down your workflow and visually tracking your progress.  Kanban provides clarity about who should be working on what and when enabling you to load balance workflow.

What Is Scrum?

Scrum is a rigorous Agile framework for project management, with a vision of individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Based on principles of self-organizing, cross-functional teams and extreme focus on high-quality output and working software, Scrum is designed to avoid the pitfalls of traditional top-down, autocratic project management models. Its flavor is eminently practical, rooted in theories of human psychology. And backed by lessons learned from thousands of projects over decades of software development and delivery.

A Scrum Master assigns work, manages schedules, and troubleshoots challenges that arise, while also ensuring that decisions are quick and effective. They especially facilitate close communication between the customer or Product Owner and cross-functional development teams. They are semi-autonomous, with the Scrum values of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Kanban And Scrum Differences

Kanban and Scrum are two product development methodologies that have become quite popular recently. But what’s really the difference? I mean, they both have a board—right? And they both seem to want to deliver something valuable—but how different could they be, really? 

The most striking difference is the approach to the development process. Scrum uses a more formal approach, that includes planning, scheduling the development process, and holding meetings for daily feedback. On the other hand, Kanban relies on informal communication between all parties involved in a project – managers, specialists, testers. By doing so it creates an environment for more effective decision-making and fast response times.

While Scrum focuses primarily on organizing a process around short-term projects, or sprints. Kanban operates on a longer perspective, making it more suitable for functions that are better with a long-term striving for continuous improvement. Understanding the how and why of each framework can help you make a better-informed decision when choosing which to use for your product team’s needs.

Kanban And Scrum – Which Is Best For You?

Confession time: we love both. Kanban and Scrum are the two biggest entries in the product management methodology field, and each has its pros and cons. Yet for the most part, you’ll find that the explainer piece on whichever methodology you’re reading starts out by explaining one and contrasting it with the other. They are just too different, they say, and your needs depending on which one is right for you, but let us help you understand each so that you can apply it depending on what you need right now.

When comparing Kanban versus Scrum, an important distinction to note is the perception of visualizations. Kanban sees visualizing work as an essential function that produces value for the team’s work. Scrum may not see it as a requirement of the methodology. But rather a way to help visualize work external to the team. 

Best Kanban Tool

Kanbanchi is the ultimate project management software for teams and individuals. You can create templates to organize new projects, assemble your team, define tasks or subtasks, set due dates, and start to work. Kanbanchi is easy to learn and easy to use. It integrates with Google Workspace so you’ll never have to switch between sites again. With Kanbanchi you’ll be able to focus on the most important thing: your projects.

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