Kanban vs Scrum: Which is best for you

When it comes to business organization and putting things into its rightful context, it’s very important to understand the various methods of preparation, planning and management available out there to pick the most adequate for your needs.

Having a knowledge basis of all the options will help improving your chances of success, especially when it comes to the Kanban vs Scrum debate!

So, what are the similarities and differences between Kanban and Scrum?

Kanban vs Scrum

If you’re set on figuring out which alternative suits your needs best, these are the biggest philosophical differences among Kanban vs Scrum:

Kanban

  • Kanban is best known for being the best alternative when a business is sick of making big changes and shifts and seeing no results, so it decides to go for incremental and small, accountable progress;
  • Rather than trying to change everything at once and expecting to see fast results in the short-term, Kanban allows things to be incrementally changed on the go and as the changes make themselves needed, and is far less structured and rigid than you can normally expect to find when using Scrum;
  • Kanban is also fairly more versatile in that it can be implemented into a service that is already running, without having to scrub up and start again from the top;
  • Everything passes through each other in a Kanban planning system, creating an easy to follow and well-illustrated grouping of images that show what is in progress, where any hold-ups are required, and the requirement for resources in any sector;
  • In the Kanban vs Scrum debate, most of the people that decide going with Kanban argument towards the flexibility in using it, in terms of steering your business towards the direction you want to go to;

Scrum

  • Scrum is built differently from the textbook basic model of Kanban. In the Kanban vs Scrum debate, you’ll constantly hear that Scrum is the most forceful and regimented of the two;
  • It’s very well defined in that it sets up key frameworks to structure the entire organization, and can be a bit of a shock to the system for some members of the team;
  • Teams have to start working with things like iterations as well as ensure that teams can work across various platforms. A Scrum master also has to be appointed for every project, as well as a product owner;
  • Daily updates through fast staff meetings and regular, defined reviews have to be put in place to ensure that things can progress as they are supposed to;
  • However, the benefits of Scrum are quite clear: less product handover and a lot more specification and planning is put into every single task that is undertaken;
  • That being said, deciding to go for Scrum is far more serious than deciding to use Kanban, and it will most likely take a lot longer to prepare for and change into.
  • Looking at the Kanban vs Scrum scenario, Scrum comes as a serious philosophical shift for the entire organization and will probably require an adjustment period as the company changes its habits and improves the way that it operates;

The epic Kanban vs Scrum battle is heavily marked by their differences, but what you’ll most likely hear is that Scrum, through its detailed descriptions and strong set rules is a very good alternative for project management, for it allows thorough planning from the early steps of a new project, while Kanban is the way to go when it comes to task and process management, with its simple, easy to understand structure and rules.

Kanban, as a task management tool, can be highly beneficial for teams using Scrum, since Kanban Boards offer a simple and practical way to visualize the way work is flowing during your sprints (without the need for greater chances). It also helps with limiting the work in progress, resulting in shorter lead times and higher productivity.

It can take some time to get used to the changes both of these systems bring alongside with them, as well as a lot of beforehand planning.

If you decide Kanban is the one for you, try Pipefy!

Try Pipefy! We help companies keep organised and more productive by running their processes and day-by-day routines on an easy and intuitive tool, making them leave in the past inefficient manual forms, spreadsheets and email threads.

Pipefy’s Task Management Template was specially developed to help you manage yours and your team’s tasks without breaking a sweat. This template shows you in an organised and simplified manner what everyone is currently doing, what they have to do, and what is already done.

It also highlights what are the priorities, what’s on time, what’s late and what’s potentially creating bottlenecks.

Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.