For what type of projects Kanban and Scrum better adjusted compared to each other?



  • For which type of projects Kanban is better suited for? For which type of projects Scrum is better suited for?



  • The two approaches actually solve different problems and are fairly compatible with each other if you happen to have both problems.

    Scrum

    Scrum is designed to solve complex-adaptive problems. That is, problems that are difficult or impossible to quickly identify the best solution for, moving targets, and problems where you understand the problem better the more you work on it. It creates rigid timeboxes that the team should have a shippable increment for because the nature of the problems it is designed to solve are a high risk for run-away work. For example, making a new mobile experience for a bank might be a prime candidate. A team could debate forever what the best new mobile experience is without getting closer to building it. However, as they iterate through and review real software with users, they will better understand what those users need.

    Kanban

    Kanban is all about flow of work and optimizing a system toward a certain goal (usually throughput and speed of delivery). Kanban is applied to any existing process, so it can also be applied to a Scrum team. In Kanban, you visualize the flow of work and apply constraints to it in order to discover bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and challenges that you can then improve on. A common challenge teams face is that Kanban is not a process, method, or framework by itself. You have to layer it onto another process. This can be Scrum, XP, waterfall, or any other process you happen to practice.

    One warning would be that, though you can use both together, adopting both at once can be overwhelming. I usually recommend starting with one, based on the problem you are trying to solve.

    Also, it is true that Scrum uses timeboxes and Kanban does not prescribe them. However, Kanban uses other constraints such as WIP limits. Kanban is not a good alternative for when Scrum sounds hard. Kanban is less overtly disruptive to the status quo than Scrum, but I'd argue it is actually harder.



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