Scrum is a tool that organizes a team to deliver value to a customer. Along the way, the team is expected to improve the product and also the way they work together. Kanban is a tool to improve the flow of work through your existing process. As a famous ad from the ’70s suggested, they work better together.
Scrum doesn’t solve all problems: see Limits of Scrum. It’s most effective when it’s used to build a team that learns to deliver value. Scrum is a revolutionary change, often radically different from the past way of working, which can be good since breaking old habits can sometimes form better habits.
Since Kanban evolves from an existing process, it’s a gentle change, simply helping the current process become more effective.
The best Scrum teams adopt Kanban practices because they make Scrum better. But doing either Scrum or Kanban well requires discipline. Without discipline, no process will be effective. I’ve heard it said that Bad Scrum beats Bad Kanban. Bad Scrum will be painful and people will be forced to act to improve. Bad Kanban may look enough like the existing system that people still accept it as normal.
Don’t Inflict Scrum or Kanban on Teams
- Kanban vs Scrum: best Agile frameworks for the age of uncertainty
- Scrumban – Blending Agile, Scrum and Kanban into a methodology that works for you
- Scrum vs Kanban – Two Agile Teams Go Head-to-Head (Youtube)
- Dive into Kanban (6) – Scrum vs Kanban – I don’t agree with many of the authors assertions, however the article is good at provoking deeper thought
- When Kanban is the Better Choice
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.
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