Kanban vs Scrum vs Agile: A Detailed Comparison to Find Differences

The Detailed Comparison of Kanban vs Scrum vs Agile

Do you want to complete your projects efficiently, in time? Are you stuck in a complex project? Circling around in a fast paced and ever changing environment? Did someone tell you to follow an agile methodology to end all these hiccups?

When it comes to an agile methodology, different people have different sets of opinions. Some say, Kanban; some say, Scrum. There you go! Another confusion.

Well, this post is to eliminate the confusion.

We are going to talk about Kanban and Scrum in this topic of ours. We will see what the Kanban framework is, what is scrum and how they are so different from each other.

What You Will Learn:

What is Kanban?

What is Scrum?



Now that we know what Kanban and Scrum individually, we can proceed to the comparison/versus question.

Kanban Vs Scrum

As we have seen in the above descriptions, both of them share the same [mostly same] ideology. But the way the things are done in both of these processes is very different.

ScrumKanban
The iterations/Sprints are fixed in duration. That normally varies from 2 weeks to 1 month.This does not work on the duration. This is measured in terms of Cycle times.
Team basically estimates or plans each sprint based on the Backlog sheet.This is tracked in terms of the Workflow/Work item/Kanban card
This process floats on the basis of three roles;

The Product Owner

The scrum master

And the Development
This doesn’t work on the basis of roles.
No changes are allowed once the Sprint has startedThis is flexible here. Changes are allowed at any moment
As Sprint is done in batches, the total work is done/achieved in batches/SprintsWork is done based on the movement of single threaded work item flows

Some companies/teams choose Scrum where others chose Kanban. Sometimes, both are combined together which is hailed as Scrumban. The best of the both are chosen in Scrumban.

For e.g. Fixed lengths Sprint cycles and roles from Scrum with the focus on work in progress limits and cycle time from Kanban. All I am saying is, both are robust in their own way and can also be tweaked/combined together if needed. It is all up to the team/company/requirement.

Now, how about Scrum vs Agile?

What is the difference between Scrum and Agile?

Wondering about the differences between Scrum vs Agile or Agile vs Scrum is like seeking for the differences between the words “Red” and “Color”. Red is a  type of color and use of it depends on the specific taste and comfort level of their users. The same could be said about Scrum vs Agile.

Scrum is a type of agile methodology. It is essentially an agile process framework. In fact, Scrum and Kanban in software development terms are both specific flavors or types of an agile software methodology.

While we can compare Scrum vs Kanban or Kanban vs Scrum  (just like we can compare the colors “Red” and “Blue”) as we’d be comparing two agile methodologies, however comparing Scrum vs Agile would be like comparing the words “Red” and “Color”.

Scrum is just one of the many iterative and incremental agile software development method. You can find here a very detailed description of the process.

Conclusion

There is a significant difference between Kanban and Scrum agile methodologies. Hope we are able to explain the difference in simple words.

About the author: Subhasis has over 8 years of corporate experience working for Fortune 500 IT companies in the field of Software Quality Assurance, Software Development and Testing experience. He currently heads the QA team of a top-tier IT company and loves to write about his experiences on Software Testing Tricks and here on Software Testing Help.

If you have any queries about Kanban and Scrum methodologies, let us know in comments.