Scrum VS Kanban

The success of a project depends in a good way on how teamwork is considered. Finding the most suitable routine and rhythms helps a team achieve its goals more easily, but this is not always easy. As an organization manager, you should be aware of the characteristics of your employees and the type of work they do to know which of the two most popular agile techniques will give you the best results: Kanban or SCRUM. Both options have very defined characteristics, which condition the proper implementation of these systems in one frame or another of work. Therefore, it is worth knowing them more in depth.

Kanban and SCRUM are used every day in development teams, but, increasingly, also in other sectors. Between the two terms, Kanban is the one that has always been closer to other industries, such as the automobile industry.

The SCRUM methodology seeks to establish a work framework adaptable to the tasks that must be carried out in a period of between 1 and 4 weeks of intensive work. Once the product is finished and launched, another cycle begins the same. What are the advantages of working like this? Essentially, speed and flexibility when combining work processes. Anyway, we must also bear in mind that a calendar so marked and strict can condition some teams, who will feel their activity restricted by the strict guidelines set at the beginning of each intensive work cycle.

For its part, the Kanban is a concept of work organization similar to the Scrum, although more flexible. This methodology accepts the possibility of rethinking the priorities of the work as the needs of the moment change. The team helps the workflow to be much better, and prevents stagnation in predefined patterns. Moreover, in this case it is possible to decide to reject the initial proposals of the project organization, if the team members perceive that it does not work properly.

Kanban vs. SCRUM: What work methodology is better?

Using agile methodologies to manage your projects can greatly improve your productivity and that of your company. Which is the best and how to choose the right one according to your needs and your development model?

When dealing with the management of a project, the main difficulty for both those responsible for organizing and distributing the tasks and those responsible for carrying them out, is to achieve specific objectives and organize them according to previously established priorities and delivery periods. The traditional approach consisted in facing the whole project as if it were a single task, elaborating a single and rigid plan of action that was not susceptible of being modified according to the contingencies that might appear. This entails many logistical and organizational problems. First, a business project cannot be carried out by a single individual or a very small group. On the other hand, the business environment, the needs of customers, the economic context. They are constantly changing. An effective and agile project management must be able to adapt to all these eventualities and start from a principle of constant improvement.

To be more efficient, it is very useful to divide a large project into smaller tasks that are more manageable, assigning each of them to a small group of individuals, establishing short delivery periods and carrying out constant controls to ensure the adequacy of the objectives and actions to the needs and circumstances of the moment.

This is the goal of Scrum. A business project is divided into blocks of tasks that can be carried out by small groups of individuals and that have an estimated duration of approximately two weeks, with intermediate controls and at the end of the assigned period.

But is it possible to be even more efficient?

Here the Kanban methodology comes into play. It consists of taking one more step towards the fragmentation of the project, turning it into tasks as small and simple as possible that are distributed on a colorful board according to an order of preferences.

In this case, the tasks can involve a single individual during periods of time as short as a few hours. This not only allows an immediate adaptation to the circumstances, but also manages to improve the sensations perceived by the workers. Far from feeling overwhelmed by a huge project that surpasses them, they feel occupied in carrying out small tasks, so they constantly obtain the satisfaction of the objective accomplished when making each delivery.

That is why the visual distribution of tasks is so important. A Kanban board consists of three columns. In one of them, the pending tasks are placed, in another of the tasks that are being carried out at this moment and in the third, the tasks that have already been carried out. The satisfaction of changing tasks from one column to another is a small dose of optimism that can make big differences at the end of a work day. Likewise, the visual distribution of the tasks allows to know immediately which are pending and their order of priority.

Scrum vs Kanban: benefits and points in common of both methodologies

More than Scrum vs. Kanban, what must be considered is what aspects of Scrum and Kanban can be used in each project to effectively develop products and services. For this, it is necessary to know the advantages of both approaches:

Are you still having doubts about the differences and similarities between Kanban and Scrum? Keep these considerations in mind in order to distinguish them.

  • Srum’s workflow focuses on work intervals, in which tasks must progress steadily.
  • Kanban conceives the work based on individual items, which can be added or eliminated from each phase of the project, according to the needs of each moment. Precisely because of this, and to avoid gaps between the various team members, it requires a monitoring of the entire process.

Consequently, the Scrum organizational scheme can fit much better in team projects that remain constant throughout its execution, while Kanban will fit much better in a high-level process of work, carried out by a mature team and able to evolve according to the needs of the moment.

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