Scrum and Kanban — Two Kings in the Agile Castle

photo credit:

In this article, we’ll look at two commonly used Agile methodologies, namely SCRUM and Kanban. The goal of this article is to give a very brief introduction to each so that you can compare and analyze them side by side.


How does SCRUM work? Here’s a quick summary:

  • A team works in short cycles (called sprints) that are typically 2–4 weeks long.
  • A prioritized list of requirements called the product backlog is created.
  • Before each sprint, a number of features are chosen from the product backlog to be part of the cycle. The team will choose a list of features they believe they can complete during that sprint.
  • Each day, the team meets briefly in a stand-up meeting to discuss progress.
  • The completed work should be in a condition ready for release at the end of the sprint. The team then review the sprint and talk about what they’ve learned and what they can improve upon for the next cycle.

Here’s a visualization of this process :

credit: SCRUM process diagram by


Kanban is an Agile methodology that encourages flow and seeks to keep work items from being stuck, blocked, or delayed.

The idea is that the team works on fewer items at a time focused on reducing the amount of time spent on each development stage. This way, there is not much time between starting and finishing tasks or apps.

Here’s a visualization of this process :

Kanban Board Diagram. Photo credit:

There are key guidelines for implementing Kanban:

  • Limit “works in progress.” Kanban’s key is to limit the number of items (tasks or features) in development, not so you do less, but rather to start and complete more items.
  • Visualize workflow. Place all pieces of work on a wall and use columns to indicate their status. It helps to see the success of the team and the whole office.
  • Manage flow. By analyzing the point at which items get stuck, blocked, or slowed down you can identify (and then remove) bottlenecks.
  • Improve collaboratively. Continuous improvement and teamwork are vital concepts in Kanban.


  • SCRUM and Kanban are all varieties of Agile frameworks for product development and can find application in project management.
  • They are all consistent with the principles in the Agile Manifesto.
  • While there are some significant differences between the two, several similar elements are shared: short coding cycles, improved communication, just-in-time preparation and prioritization, learning and development facilitation, and adaptation to respond to changes in the business environment (i.e. requirements).
  • The framework to be used is dependent on the team and nature of work to be delivered



Developer Relations: Working at the intersection of engineering, marketing and community management • @beacamphq @bunzzdev

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Developer Relations: Working at the intersection of engineering, marketing and community management • @beacamphq @bunzzdev