Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban

Iterations1-4 week sprints Continuous work alongside releases shorter than one week or bigger iterations like goalsContinuous work with short cycles for planning and longer cycles for release
Work routinesPush and pull principle mixed with early binding to team members Pull principle with late binding to team membersPull principle with late binding to team members
Scope limits Sprint limits total work amount Work in progress limits current work amountWork in progress limits current work amount
Planning routines Sprint planningRelease/iteration planning, demand planningPlanning on demand for new tasks
EstimationMust be done before start of sprint OptionalOptional
Performance metrics BurndownCumulative flow diagram, lead time cycle time Average cycle time
Continuous improvement Sprint retrospective OptionalShort Kaizen event as an option
MeetingsSprint planning, daily scrum, retrospective Can be avoided Short Kaizen event
RolesProduct owner, Scrum master, teamTeam and other work specific rolesTeam and other work specific roles
Team membersCross-functional team membersCross-functional team members, specialization is allowedSpecialization or preference to tasks
Task sizeThe size that can be completed in sprintAny sizeAny size
New items in iterationForbiddenAllowed whenever queue allows itAllowed whenever queue allows it
OwnershipOwned by a team Supports multiple teams ownershipSupports multiple teams ownership
BoardDefined/reset each sprintPersistentPersistent
PrioritizationThrough backlogOptionalRecommended on each planning
RolesScrum master, product owner, teamNot defined, may varyNot defined, may vary
RulesConstrained process Only a few constraints, flexible process Slightly constrained process
Fit forEnterprise maturity for teams working on product or especially project which is longer than a yearSupport and maintenance teams, continuous product manufacturingStartups, fast-pace projects, continuous product manufacturing

Kanban Board example

A classic Kanban Board should contain essential entities:

  • Colored kanban cards to symbolize and describe work
  • Columns to define and describe process flow to work completion
  • WIP limits to define throttling or discover bottlenecks
  • Swimlanes to separate work by additional aspect, like priority, project group, work¬† category or similar

Kanban Boards are the most visual technique to represent work and related information. Main goal to use colors and layout is to reduce informational overload and amount of text to comprehend which is common to classical project and work management systems.

Kanban Boards are universal and can be used by any industry. Each industry can define unique templates for process specifics.

Kanban tasks

Learn more about Kanban, Scrumban