Being Agile: Switching from Scrum to Kanban

February 28, 2014

Intland-Software-Scrum-Kanban-336x336 Being Agile: Switching from Scrum to Kanban agile When companies go Agile for the first time they tend to adopt Scrum. For enterprise the key benefit of using Scrum in software development projects is to be flexible enough to manage changing requirements and develop better products faster. Scrum enables teams to package the development work into short periods called sprints and include the client within the development process. Teams benefit from constant feedback and it creates a quick turnaround from initial identification of problems and bugs or additional requirements for new features, – to final implementation. It increases the rate of production whilst reducing the cost of production and it produces a better featured product.

Scrum or Kanban: Which One Is Better?

No question about it that Scrum is a great Agile software development framework, however its performance can be beaten by Kanban due to bottlenecks in work flow for testing and deployment. By using Scrum product owners can determine the user stories and turn these into sprints. Small stories often fail to produce a shippable product by the end of the sprint and as a result, multiple sprints are required and this results in increased complexity that can be difficult to manage. Kanban addresses these weaknesses of Scrum.

How Does Kanban Improve Decision Making?

Kanban is all about real-time decision making and visualization of workflow. As a result Kanban is suited to specific areas of business that requires quick decisions, where there is no time to talk endlessly about the consequences.

For a development team working with Kanban, every team member is trusted and empowered to take make quick decisions. Scrum is great to practice for Agile working and team building, whereas Kanban greatly improves on Scrum by assisting developer teams to act more quickly to avoid delayed decisions and unnecessary expenses.

Quick comparison of Scrum and Kanban

  • Work commitments required by Scrum, are optional in Kanban
  • In Scrum work items should be broken down to be completed within 1 sprint as opposed to no size limits in Kanban.
  • Recommended use of Burndown Charts in Scrum whereas in Kanban no particular diagram is prescribed.
  • Estimation necessary in Scrum whereas in Kanban estimation is optional.

Many of the requirements of working with Scrum are optional in Kanban. This is because Scrum represents an earlier idea of Agile and Kanban removes many of these requirements but retains many of the features of Scrum as optional, only to be implemented if the project requires it. The good news is that there is no need to switch entirely from one to the other but rather a partial transition process by process from Scrum to Kanban is possible as the team becomes more experienced.

Check out how to practice Scrum or Kanban with codeBeamer ALM solution.

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Eva Johnson

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Eva is an Economist (MSc) and also holds an MBA in Marketing Communications. She has over 10 years of experience in journalism, digital media communication and project management working with several multinational companies and governmental institutions. You will find her blogs posts on a variety of subjects from Agile-Waterfall Hybrid, Scrum to DevOps.

Eva Johnson has written 131 posts for Intland Software.

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