Kanban vs Scrum vs Scrumban

scrum vs kanban

It is interesting to understand the differences between Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban. I have decided to write an article because this question comes up regularly during my coaching.

Although I used the word vs (versus), the idea is mainly to understand the differences in order to understand why and how the both can complement each other.


What is Scrum?

Scrum is a light agile framework that is relatively easy to set up. Here are the 3 key points that could characterize it:

  • sprints (iterations) and their events
  • the 3 key roles: scrum master, product owner and development team
  • the backlog with functional requests

Don’t hesitate to see our article to know all the details: Scrum.


What is Kanban?

Kanban is an approach that is not considered an Agile framework because it doesn’t meet the founding principles of the Agile Manifesto.

The kanban is a management of pulled flow represented by boards; Some boards can become very complex to answer the different needs of the teams. The notion of “intermediate stock” can be used to optimize the workflow.

Here’s an article that explains: Difference between the pushed flow and the pulled flow.


Board kanban avec plusieurs types de demandes
Kanban board with several types of requests

Kanban purposes to optimize the workflows: we will use the pulled flow but also the limitation of the work at some steps. For example in the board bellow, we limit the number of items in test to 6; when there are 6 items in the test, the whole team have to test the items.

The kanban doesn’t bring any notion of iteration although close to the Lean, it is recommended to limit the size of the lots. However, this doesn’t bring directly notion of iteration.

Kanban also doesn’t define any role unlike the scrum.


What is scrumban?

The Scrumban is a mixture of the two concepts “scrum” and “kanban”. We will benefit of the notions of backlogs, roles and pillars of scrum and the strong notion of pull flow of kanban.

Scrumban can be a good response for certain teams having the real planning constraints: support, infra, TMA teams …

Here’s a complete article about scrumban: What is Scrumban?


Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban

Now, You know these 3 concepts; You can easily apply one of this 3 concepts. Don’t try to find out which one is the best! Find out which one will best meet your issues.

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About Judicaël Paquet 235 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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