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Agile, SCRUM or Kanban Boards: Is There a Right Answer?

“Agile, SCRUM or Kanban Boards: Is There a Right Answer?” on CMS Wire, May 22, 2019.

What Are the Best Use Cases for Scrum and Kanban?

Alan Zucker, founding principal at Project Management Essentials, said scrum is best for when your organization is “developing or upgrading applications that require strong, regular interaction between the product owner and the team. For example, if you are designing a new website the product owner would sit with the development team and provide input and feedback as they are developing the [application]. This greatly shortens the feedback loop.”

Scrum does require a degree of restructuring of your software development team since you need to follow a set of well-defined principles. But with Kanban, no restructuring is required and it can be “easily adopted and does not require a team to reorganize or introduce new ways of working. It can even be overlaid on top of existing waterfall development practices. Kanban also focuses on delivering value quickly, but is not constrained to the 2 to 4 week sprint cycle [of scrum]. So when a piece of work is complete, it can be deployed immediately into production,” said Zucker.

Is There a Natural Preference Between Scrum and Kanban?

According to Zucker, “Scrum has about 55% market share. Kanban has about 5% share as a standalone process, but it is often combined with Scrum and other methodologies.” Zucker based his finding on a report entitled “State of Scrum 2017-2018” that was published by the Scrum Alliance.

Based on these findings, one would automatically assume that Scrum is the more preferred choice. However, Zucker iterated that there should not be a “natural preference” between Scrum or Kanban. “The choice [between Scrum or Kanban] depends on the circumstances and situation. Organizations that want a more dramatic organizational transformation may look to scrum. Organizations that prefer stability may tend to [go with] Kanban. Applications or projects that require a lot of interaction between the product owner and the development team may lean toward scrum. Projects where the requirements are well understood may do better with Kanban,” Zucker said.