The Scrum vs Kanban debate is analogous to deciding whether to eat with a fork and knife, a spoon, or chopsticks.

Of course, it depends on the food you’re about to consume!

The same logic holds true when selecting whether Scrum or Kanban is the best approach for your project. Each process tool provides you with everything you need to execute a task efficiently; nevertheless, each tool has limitations that make it less appropriate in some situations.

Without a question, the best solution to resolve the Scrum vs Kanban issue is to ensure that the professionals who utilize them are familiar with both methodologies and can choose the one that best matches the project requirements.

In this essay, I discuss how Scrum and Kanban compare and contrast each other, including how they are similar and how they differ.

Introducing the two methodologies: Kanban vs Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework that divides work into smaller tasks that are placed on a product backlog and then implemented progressively in a series of short, fixed-duration iterations called sprints.

People working on these sprints are also divided into small, cross-functional, self-organizing teams with well-defined responsibilities like Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team Members.

Scrum is a flexible framework that encourages team cooperation throughout the development process with the goal of optimizing the process through feedback and regular meetings, such as daily stand-ups, sprint demos, and retrospectives, where stakeholders can openly discuss their work.


Kanban largely focuses on visualizing work with the help of a board that is separated into several columns that indicate various levels of job completion (e.g., to do, doing, done). Each task is put on a card and placed in the column that corresponds to its workflow status.

Kanban emphasizes minimizing the number of incomplete tasks in the queue by employing work in progress (WIP) limitations, which clearly limit (?) the number of tasks that can be in progress at any given time. This system is intended to improve workflow by smoothing it out and reducing lead times as much as feasible.

Round #1 – Scrum vs Kanban: the similarities

Before we get into Kanban vs Scrum, let’s have a look at what they have in common:

  • Both approaches are flexible.
  • Both employ measurements to identify the ideal quantity of work in progress, and they both promote continual development through transparency and cooperation.
  • Both are focused on releasing new content on a regular basis.
  • Both revolve around self-organizing groups.
  • Both necessitate breaking down the work into smaller chunks.
Round #2 – Scrum vs Kanban: the differences

We’ve gone through the similarities between Kanban and Scrum, and now we’ll jump right into Kanban vs Scrum:



Time-boxed iterations are an essential part

Time-boxed iterations are optional

Team commits to a specific amount of work for each iteration

No such commitment is required

Velocity is the default metric for planning and managing the project

Lead time is default metric for planning and managing the project

Cross-functional teams prescribed

Specialist teams allowed

Items must be broken down so they can be completed within a single sprint

No particular item size is required

Burn-down chart used

Only the board is used

Implicit WIP limits in a sprint

Explicit WIP limits per workflow

Estimation necessary

Estimation optional

Cannot add items to ongoing iteration

Can add new items whenever capacity is available

The sprint backlog is owned by the team

The Kanban board may be shared by multiple teams or individuals

Has definite roles

Doesn’t have any roles

Uses a prioritized product backlog

Prioritization of tasks is optional


Deciding which one to use

Given the benefits and drawbacks of both techniques, it is up to the team to select which framework will work best for the circumstance at hand on a case-by-case basis.

As a result, the main question isn’t whether to use Scrum or Kanban, but rather which features of these two approaches would help us produce our product more efficiently.

Instead of being based on subjective desire, the choice becomes more of an objective exercise that the team may accomplish collectively by studying the requirements and resources available.

There are a few simple factors that a team should keep in mind to assist them in making a decision:

  1. Start-up time: With Kanban all you need is a table/board and the relevant columns where you can map the statuses of your tasks. Unlike Scrum, Kanban is pretty much an out-of-the-box project management solution.
  2. Level of detail: Scrum comes with an assortment of tools that lets you analyze a project at different levels and from different perspectives. Kanban does not share this level of sophistication.
  3. Versatility: Scrum has a much wider scope than Kanban and offers more of functionalities.
  4. Ease of use: Scrum has a lot more moving parts to keep track of, whilst Kanban revolves almost entirely around managing the board.
  5. Size of the project: Kanban is more suitable when working on a smaller scale, whereas Scrum can tolerate more complexity.
Scrumban: combining both frameworks

Given the merits of both Scrum and Kanban, it’s no wonder that individuals have attempted to integrate the two into a single framework known as Scrumban. (Think of Scrumban as the agile equivalent of a “spork,” to continue the cutlery comparison from the beginning of this essay!)

Teams can increase their productivity and collaborate more effectively by incorporating best practices from each technique. The most typical way to accomplish this is to combine Scrum’s fixed-length sprints and roles with Kanban’s focus on working in progress constraints and cycle time.

I recommend that teams that are still learning how to work agile stick to one technique at a time and then experiment with another once they’ve mastered the first. For such “cross-trained” teams, combining the two will be much easier.

Wrap Up

Scrum and Kanban are unquestionably excellent tools for requirements analysts, testers, and developers. Both have evolved to extremely high degrees of complexity over time, and there are numerous resources available that synthesize and summaries the absolute best practices in both to assist you in getting started quickly. It’s never been easier to teach teams how to use both methodologies and provide them with the tools they need to eat from the agile buffet however they want.

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