Scrum vs. Kanban: Deciding the New Agile Benchmark

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Today in the quickly changing market, software development is changing its list of requirement every now and then. As we all know, Agile is one form of software development methodology which mainly focuses on continuous delivery of project with client satisfaction. Agile always accepts the change and works on complete statements to turn the project into a deliverable product. In the recent times, Kanban software development methodology is in the limelight for its ability to enable DevOps. Many of the organizations are moving from Scrum to Kanban for better results. So the question arises, which agile methodology works better? And Scrum vs. Kanban becomes the essential question. The key differences between Scrum and Kanban depend on the Rules of using the methodology and the workflow.


Scrum teams commit to ship working software through set intervals called sprints. Their goal is to create learning loops to quickly gather and combine customer feedback. Scrum teams create special artifacts, adopt specific roles, and hold regular ceremonies to keep things moving forward. Scrum is best defined in The Scrum Guide.

Roles & Responsibilities

Each team member has a predefined role, where the Scrum master dictates timelines, Product owner defines goals and team members and objectives execute the work.

Due Dates / Delivery Timelines

Deliverables are determined by sprints, or set periods of time in which a set of work must be completed and ready for review.

Delegation & Prioritization

Also uses a “pull system” however an entire batch is pulled for each iteration.

Modifications / Changes

Changes during the sprint are strongly discouraged.

Measurement of Productivity

Measures production using velocity through sprints. Each sprint is laid out back-to-back and/or concurrently so that each additional sprint relies on the success of the one before it.

Best Applications

Best for teams with stable priorities that may not change as much over time.


Kanban is all about visualizing your work, maximizing efficiency, and limiting work in progress. Kanban teams focus on reducing the time it takes to take a project from start to finish. They do this by using a kanban board and continuously improving their flow of work.

Roles & Responsibilities

There are no pre-defined roles for a team. Although there may still be a Project Manager, the team is encouraged to collaborate and chip in when any one person becomes overwhelmed.

Due Dates / Delivery Timelines

Products and processes are delivered continuously on an as-needed basis.

Delegation & Prioritization

Uses a “pull system,” or a systematic workflow that allows team members to only “pull” new tasks once the previous task is complete.

Modifications / Changes

Allows for changes to be made to a project mid-stream, allowing for iterations and continuous development prior to the completion of a project.

Measurement of Productivity

Measures production using “cycle time or the amount of time it takes to complete one full piece of a project from beginning to end.

Best Applications

Best for projects with widely-varying priorities.

Scrum tools vs kanban tools

  • The agile community believes this conversation should not be about the tools. We often see the tool of choice driving the framework of choice and the framework driving the principles the team adopts. We believe the decision should flow the other direction.  
  • Once you’re aligned on scrum principles and happy with the scrum framework, then it’s time to find a scrum tool that serves you well. The same goes for kanban. We’re influenced, but as the number 1 software development tool used by agile teams, we think Jira Software has you covered.
  • With Jira’s dedicated project types for kanban and scrum, you can realize the principles of each framework. We’re also here to help you get started with our guides on how to do scrum with Jira software and how to kanban with Jira Software.

Kanban vs scrum: What if you can’t choose?

  • Scrum and kanban are “agile by-the-books.” They work in a tried and true fashion that is quite frankly hard to argue against. Borrowing from another famed catch-phrase, you might say that, “No one gets fired for choosing scrum.”
  • But your decision doesn’t need to be so black and white. Hundreds of teams are using hybrid models influenced by both kanban and scrum. We set out to help teams do so in Jira Software and recently released next-gen projects.
  • Next-gen projects allow teams to pick and choose the agile features that make sense for them; whether that’s kanban, scrum, or a mix of both. Instead of implementing one framework on day one, next-gen projects allow you to progressively layer on more and more powerful features as you learn what works for your team. 
  • You can confident choose next-gen Scrum or next-gen Kanban knowing that both templates can evolve to suit the needs of your team. 
  • Regardless of what you choose, stick with it for a little while. Take some work from the backlog all the way to done and then ask your team what went well and what went poorly. By trying kanban and scrum and asking these questions, you’re well on your way to agile bliss. 


It is clear that both Kanban and Scrum have their demerits and merits. It should be noted that Kanban usually works well with smaller projects whereas Scrum is much more beneficial for large projects. It depends on the team which framework it believes will be best suited for achieving the end goal.

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Aleph Technologies is a premier IT training and staffing group with state of the art facilities based in Dallas, Texas. Aleph Technologies specializes in providing hands-on classroom based and onsite IT certification training courses taught by expert instructors with practical industry experience.

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