Both scrum and Kanban are related to each other. While scrum is a development framework, kanban is made for change management process.Scrum framework brings a greater agility with more transparency to the development environment. Similarly, kanban uses value stream mapping to bring a lean framework and introduces changes to existing software development life cycle. Now let’s have a closer look on both scrum and Kanban.

Kanban Process: Kanban follows a clear define process as mentioned.

  • Brainstorm the work items needed for the product.
  • Write out and put it on a visible wall.
  • Group all related work items in a column.
  • Provide a name to each column.
  • Order each column as per the flow of work items.
  • Each column also is known as workflow or “value stream”
  • Then define the limit for work in progress for each column.
  • Find the cycle time for each step. Cycle time = Average time to complete a work item.
  • Optimize the cycle time to improve the overall process.

Scrum and Kanban relationship

Kanban is more adaptive and there are no much-defined rules for it. I am using MORE words here as the scrum is more prescriptive than Kanban. However, both scrum and Kanban are highly adaptive.

Both Scrum and Kanban uses the visual board. It can be called as ” Scrum Board” or ” Kanban Board”. Both scrum and Kanban uses workflow. While scrum limits the work items on the basis of Sprint capacity and team speed, kanban uses WIP limit for each workflow items. So team velocity becomes the WIP limit for the sprint.

I am sure it will be definitely a good practice for organizations in adopting both scrum and kanban together. While team uses a scrum framework which has to be streamlined by WIP limits for all workflows even TO DO which will put a check on the business unit for readiness of PBI for upcoming sprints. It also supports on getting a refined release plan based on your WIP limits. -Pratap Kumar Sahoo

WIP limit in both Scrum and Kanban helps in bringing more transparency and focuses on reducing and blocking factors and so improved in delivery.

Better release plan with WIP limit

Once we defined a WIP limit for each work items, then we can also find the average time for a task to move across the workflows till delivery. This will help in defining the SLA’s and hence can predicate a release with improved estimation. A better and logical estimation as well with defined WIP limit will indirectly define a continuous delivery in an agile practice.

Together both Scrum and kanban work well in an agile environment. Kanban also knew as “Signal Card” uses both “Pull” and “WIP limit” techniques. It means a new work can’t be added beyond WIP limits and so the work items either can be pulled towards delivery or towards a downstream function. It enables rooms for accepting any new work items.

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