Scrum vs Agile? Asking for the differences between Scrum vs Agile or Agile vs Scrum is like asking for the differences between “Water” and “Ice”. Ice is water in a specific physical state. The same could be said about Scrum vs Agile. Scrum is agile in a specific shaping. It is an agile process framework. Scrum and Kanban in software development are both specific shapings of an agile software methodology. While Scrum vs Kanban or Kanban vs Scrum is comparing two agile methodologies, Scrum vs Agile is comparing a concrete example with its fundamental principles.
what is Kanban? Again, scratching the surface, Kanban is also a tool used to organize work for the sake of efficiency. Like Scrum, Kanban encourages work to be broken down into manageable chunks and uses a Kanban Board (very similar to the Scrum Board) to visualize that work as it progresses through the work flow. Where Scrum limits the amount of time allowed to accomplish a particular amount of work (by means of sprints), Kanban limits the amount of work allowed in any one condition (only so many tasks can be ongoing, only so many can be on the to-do list.)
How are Scrum and Kanban the same? Both Scrum and Kanban allow for large and complex tasks to be broken down and completed efficiently. Both place a high value on continual improvement, optimization of the work and the process. And both share the very similar focus on a highly visible work flow that keeps all team members in the loop on WIP and what’s to come.
The board itself While very similar, the Scrum Board and Kanban Board are different animals. On a Scrum board, the columns are labeled to reflect periods in the work flow beginning with the sprint backlog and ending with whatever fulfills the team’s definition of done. All the stories added to the board at the beginning of each sprint should be found in the final column at the end of that sprint or the sprint was unsuccessful. After the sprint retrospective, the board is cleared and prepped for the next sprint. On a Kanban board, the columns are likewise labeled to show work flow states, but with one vital difference: they also publish the maximum number of stories allowed in each column at any one time. This enforces the team-determined limitations Kanban prescribes for each condition. Since each column has a limited number of allowed stories and there are no required time boxes (such as sprint length), there is no reason to reset the Kanban board as work progresses. It will continue to flow for as long as the project continues, with new stories being added as the need arises, and completed stories being re-evaluated should it be necessary.
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