One result of the growth in popularity of Agile in software development is the emergence of a few variations of the core methodology. Some of these specialized frameworks include Lean, Scrum and Kanban. Choosing one of these flavors of Agile makes perfect sense depending on the needs of your project, or the direction of your application engineering team.
Let's look more closely at what Scrum and Kanban bring to the table, including a high-level overview of their differences to help you make a better choice for your development shop. Leverage these insights to help your next project result in a success.
Scrum is Great for Organizations Moving From the Waterfall
The Scrum framework focuses on a more formalized process compared to other Agile frameworks, including Kanban. As such, it is suitable for software development teams used to more traditional methodologies, like the Waterfall. Accurate time estimation is a must, as development cycles – known as sprints – occur over a specific timeframe, usually anywhere from two to four weeks.
The Scrum Master serves in a role somewhat similar to a project manager, but concentrates more on facilitating communication between the software engineering team and project stakeholders, like the Product Owner and clients. As such, a Scrum's development staff tends to be self-organizing; able to assign and manage their own tasks within a sprint. This allows multiple projects to be managed more easily compared to other frameworks and methodologies.
Kanban Provides Flexibility to Foster Software Engineering Innovations
Organizations looking for a measure of flexibility not always provided by Scrum or other methodologies need to check out Kanban. This Agile framework is perfect for more innovative undertakings, like product development or experimenting with newer technologies. Traditional project team roles, like a project manager or Scrum Master, also aren't present in Kanban.
In a similar fashion, the management of time is underemphasized. There are typically neither formalized sprints nor the rigorous meeting schedules used in other project methodologies. Beyond the initial agreement on a project direction and the number of stories, meetings are on an as-needed basis, giving extra time for engineers to formulate innovative solutions and/or experiment with state of the art tools.
Hopefully, this overview of Scrum and Kanban offered some insights on the right framework for your team's next project. Both have their unique strengths, making each suitable for certain technology initiatives.
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