Similarities and differences between Scrum and Kanban in Agile management

In Agile project management, the most popular workflows are Scrum and Kanban.

The choice of workflow an organization chooses to implement depends on the type of work the teams do and whether the teams are interrupted during the work they do. Also, an organization may have several teams that do Scrum and other teams that do Kanban, or both. The entire organization doesn’t need to adopt one workflow.
When choosing a suitable workflow for each team, the following should be taken into account:

  • Predictable delivery schedule
  • Scope of planning
  • Unplanned Urgent tasks interrupting the workflow


Kanban is a continuous production planning system to improve production efficiency. The purpose of Kanban is to limit the accumulation of excess inventory at any point in production, as its philosophy is that exceeding limits leads to inefficiency. Kanban is primarily used with the idea that reducing and limiting the tasks that teams work on should reduce the potential number of defects and reduce team distractions, which in turn should increase their productivity. Team tasks are presented visually on a “kanban board”, allowing team members to see the status of work at any time. Reference: “Kanban System VS Scrum Framework“,

Each column of the board refers to a logical step of the workflow. An important aspect of Kanban is that it aims to reduce work in progress.

Advantages of Kanban

Kanban gives the flexibility to select urgent new requirements, have a high priority, or the delivery schedule cannot be predicted. Also, when adequate planning cannot be done in advance for a given duration and priorities keep changing, Kanban is the best choice. Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: Similarities and Differences in Agile Development“,

While Kanban emphasizes the visualization of processes, with the idea being to deliver everything on time without overburdening one unit while another is idle, Scrum emphasizes the execution of the processes themselves, as a team decision, not a decision that came “from above” “.


Scrum is convenient for larger projects because of the limitation of unfinished tasks and the implementation of the project is done through iterations lasting from 1 to 4 weeks, most often lasting 2-3 weeks. The other reason for using Scrum in larger projects is that at the end of each iteration, there is already a working prototype that can be used without waiting for the full product. An important aspect of implementing Scrum is customer involvement. The organization is divided into small, multifunctional, self-organizing teams. The work is planned for short periods (2 to 3 weeks), thus providing a sense of completion and satisfaction both to the team and to the client. For each period (sprint), the productivity of the team is measured in points (story points). At the end of each sprint, there is an opportunity to demonstrate working functionality to the client. Reference: “Kanban or Scrum for project development“,

Advantages of Scrum

Instead of a large group spending a long time building something big, you have a small team building something small in a short amount of time. But integrate constantly to see the whole picture. Also, you have the opportunity to continuously optimize processes, shift priorities according to the wishes of the customer and adapt more quickly to the ever-changing needs of the customer.

There is no one-size-fits-all workflow for all teams. The organization needs to understand the current work and then weigh the characteristics of the two work processes and choose accordingly which one would be most suitable. In case the team is unsure at first, they can always adopt one of the workflows first, see if it fits the team dynamic, and what flexibility it offers, and then figure out what works for them. Read more: “Scrum and Kanban: similarities and differences“,

Like any other tool, Scrum and Kanban are neither perfect nor comprehensive. They won’t tell you explicitly everything you need to do, they just give you some limitations and guidelines. For example, Scrum will impose a time limit (sprints) and allow you to group your employees into small but multifunctional teams. Kanban will require you to use visual boards and limit the size of tasks that are in development. Read more: “Kanban or Scrum as a project management methodology“,

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that using the right tools will help you succeed, but it will not guarantee you success. It is very easy to confuse the success/failure of the project with the success/failure of the tool being used. A project can succeed because of a good tool, but also a project can succeed despite a bad tool. A project can fail because of a bad tool, just as a project can fail despite a good tool. Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: Differences and Similarities“,

My personal opinion is that you don’t need to make the decision yourself whether to introduce Scrum or Kanban, and whether to introduce a new process in general. The idea of both processes is to build self-managing mini-teams.

By Samantha Rhine

Samantha Rhine, Editor-in-Chief of

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