Scrum Vs. Kanban In Project Management

Scrum Vs. Kanban In Project Management: Which is Better for Which Project?

Which method is more effective, Scrum or Kanban?

If you are about to embark on managing an entirely new project, we are sure that this question must be playing on your mind.

Scrum and Kanban have become quite popular and have supplanted the formerly prevalent waterfall model. This is not surprising given that both frameworks have been shown to improve performance through enhancing work efficiency and communication.

In this post, we will investigate the unique characteristics of the subject “Kanban vs. Scrum” to assist you in selecting the best methodology for your project management.

What Is Kanban?

What Is Kanban?

Kanban is a method for visualizing and monitoring the process. Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, established the framework in the 1950s to increase production performance.

Several big companies have switched to Kanban, three of them being Zara, Pixar, and Spotify.

Kanban may be linked back to a Japanese phrase that means “visual or signboard indication.” This is not surprising given that its goal is to maximize throughput using cards and a board with activities that display the delivery flow. Moreover, the board is often classified into three basic columns.

These columns might be labeled as follows: to do, in process, and completed. Nevertheless, extra columns may be added to meet the demands of a specific software engineering organization or team (e.g., review, Testing, deployment, etc.). In addition, cards are often moved from column to column, depending on their progress.

Is Kanban Agile?

Kanban is an Agile-based method that is visible, well-balanced and adds significantly to work organization for even large teams. Moreover, since it is highly adaptable, Kanban may be easily tailored to the demands of a team, particularly if situations change often.

How Kanban Is Used

To use a Kanban system for your projects, you would divide it into component tasks. As a result, Project X would include:

  • Mission A
  • Mission A
  • Mission C
  • Mission D

A developer would have been assigned to every task (or developers’ team). Initially, each work would be listed in the board’s To Be Done section. Then, when every team begins working on the particular assignment, the status would change from Will Be Done to In Progress.

When the assignment is finished, it will move to the Peer Review section. The work might be transferred to Testing when it has been evaluated. After Testing is completed, if it is prepared to continue, the job is marked as Done. If necessary, the work can be returned to In progress.

When all operations in the Done category are complete, the project is implemented and ready for deployment.

What Is Scrum?

What Is Scrum?

A rugby match inspired the Scrum project management architecture. Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, the creators, characterized Scrum to increase the flexibility and speed of a development cycle. However, it took several years for Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland to execute it for the first time entirely.

Scrum’s three pillars are adaptation, inspection, and transparency.  Transparency guarantees that all stakeholders accountable for the work’s outcome understand and see crucial components of the procedure on an equal footing.

The inspection entails reviewing progress to ensure that nothing impedes the team’s progress toward a particular objective. Finally, adaptation is in charge of modifying the procedure based on the evaluation results, which helps to enhance it.

Also, don’t forget about Kaizen, which indicates the group must learn from experience and try to improve the processes and outcomes of their job.

How Is Scrum Used?

Scrum is based on the scientific technique of pragmatism, which substitutes an algorithmic methodology with a heuristic one. The Scrum method is structured as follows:

  • Backlog of products
  • Sprint preparation
  • Backlog for Sprint
  • The daily Scrum
  • Increment
  • Sprint evaluation
  • Retrospective sprint

If the work is finished after the last stage in the process, it can exit Scrum. If additional work is required, the job returns to the Sprint Planning step, and the procedure restarts.

Are Scrum and Agile the Same Thing?

Scrum is among the structures used in the Agile methodology. Agile vs. Scrum is analogous to soccer vs. a sport. Moreover, Scrum is an Agile structure, similar to how football is a sport. Scrum was utilized and seemed to work well, ultimately becoming the core of Agile programming.

Similarities Between Kanban And Scrum

Scrum and Kanban are closely connected with the concepts of the Agile Manifesto and the Lean Philosophy. This implies they share some characteristics that are specific to an Agile development process. Let us discuss a few of the similarities:

Limiting Work In Progress

Kanban restricts the amount of Work in Progress (WIP). Scrum tracks the pace and restricts every sprint’s tasks depending on estimation, such as in timelines. During the sprint, the tasks will be developed.


The Agile Manifesto’s first premise is “Interactions and Individuals over Tools and Processes.” Both structures allow for modification and are incredibly adaptable. However, if you’re wondering “Kanban vs. Scrum,” Kanban is a lot more flexible.

Pull Scheduling

A pull scheduling mechanism is used in Kanban and Scrum.  This signifies that there are a plethora of activities that must be completed. They are referred to as a backlog in Scrum. In collaboration with the business owner, the specialized project team picks items from the backlog, prioritizes and analyzes them, and puts them on schedule for every sprint.

A product backlog is not required in Kanban, yet it is virtually always employed in projects. Typically, the Kanban group and the customer agree just to draw tasks from the very first column (e.g., relatively new tasks, or activities with specific markers initially, etc.).

Empirical Process

Kanban and Scrum are empirical methodologies that promote continual optimization. For example, assume that WIP is a variable capacity metric in Kanban. As a result, you may modify the framework to enhance your process.


Boards are utilized to monitor work progress, including both Kanban and Scrum.  Once you consider how well these boards are managed, the question “Kanban vs. Scrum boards” is simple to answer. In a nutshell, a Scrum board is deleted for each latest project, while a Kanban board contains tasks (in multiple columns based on stage) preserved throughout the development phase.

Early And Continuous Delivery

Kanban and Scrum are both concerned with delivering potentially “shippable” bits of work quickly and frequently. This may occur after every iteration in Scrum, generally after a demonstration.

Dividing The Effort Into Small, Clear Activities

Large undertakings are always split into little, more manageable chunks that can be made reasonably rapidly. This is among the characteristics that separate Agile from the waterfall approach.

Despite their apparent similarities, the subject of Kanban vs. Scrum remains unanswered.

Self-Organized Teams

Kanban and Scrum frameworks assume that development teams are self-organized.

Difference Between Scrum And Kanban

Difference Between Scrum And Kanban

Following are the differences between the two systems:


Three distinct roles define a Scrum team:

  • Product proprietor
  • Development team
  • Scrum master

Aside from a project manager, there seem to be no specified responsibilities on the Kanban side.


Scrum divides scheduling into two to four-week phases. On the other hand, Kanban does not adhere to a timetable. Moreover, Kanban employs continuous delivery via Kanban boards.

Task Progress Measurement

Scrum teams track progress using reports like burnup and burndown charts. On the other hand, Kanban teams employ a continuous flow chart to track the progress of a project.


Scrum has four “scrum rituals” that are listed below:

Kanban does not have such rituals.

Scrum Vs. Kanban

As you may have guessed, Scrum is a sophisticated and rigid technique with many rules and a very specialized structure to which teams must comply. On the other hand, Kanban has a flexible software strategy with fewer rules and a more straightforward structure. Both, however, assist teams in adhering to the fundamental Agile values of cooperation and adaptability.

Choosing the best approach for your team necessitates taking a few essential aspects into account:

  • How many frameworks do you require for your team? Scrum is generally the superior technique if your staff works better using defined guidelines and requirements. Kanban is more adaptable.
  • Are you reliant on other workgroups? When your work is dependent on individuals and teams beyond your Scrum team, the precise planning methods of Scrum are more productive. In contrast, Kanban works best when your team can finish all of your tasks.
  • Do your operations depend on one another? For example, Scrum’s scheduling performs great when certain things in your list must be finished before someone can begin. On the other hand,  Kanban works best when every job can be done independently of others.

Neither technique is fundamentally superior to another. The “best” option for your team is determined by your organization’s structure, group preferences, and the nature of your task and project.

You do not even have to stick to one strategy or the other all the time. In reality, teams who have been operating together for some time may effortlessly move between the two techniques for different sorts of projects and work.


Each of these tools is excellent for project monitoring and maintaining developers’ pace, so they deliver on time. However, which you use will be determined by your goals, teams, and needs. Choose correctly, and your project development lifecycle will thrive.

You also might have interest in our article outlining the differences between Scrum and SAFe.

Ryan is the VP of Operations for He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
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Ryan Nead