What Does Agile, Scrum, and Kanban Mean?
These days when we talk about software development, we hear a lot about the words like “agile,” “scrum,” and “kanban,” and these are mostly not used in the right context.
SO, in this article, I’ll try to ease down the confusion and clarify these terms.
Agile development has become quite a trend in the IT environment in recent years. Although the term agile can be used for a wide variety of business processes, its techniques are found especially useful in software development.
“Agile” is actually an approach to the development process that follows agile principles.
Agile principles include continuous delivery, excellent team communication, and swift reaction to changing needs. You might already be using an agile approach if you use these principles in your work already.
So, agile in itself is not a methodology, it is a set of different techniques, frameworks, and methodologies that follow the same principles.
All of them have one thing in common that they promote iterative development strategies. It means that they break down the project into series of smaller activities which allows the work to be carried out more flexibly and be scalable.
All these methodologies have their own strengths and weaknesses and out of these, you have to decide on an agile way of working that fits you the best.
The two most used agile frameworks are Scrum and Kanban. Both of them have different approaches and may work differently for different projects.
So, here is all you need to know about both of them and then make your decision whichever works best for you.
Scrum is most of the time used interchangeably with agile. Scrum is actually a type of agile approach having its own methodology.
The main factor that defines the scrum is its ‘sprint’ format which is a kind of compressed cycle of work where every cycle produces working software at the end.
It works on the principle of continuous feedback and correction under the shadow of a Scrum Master.
Why Use Scrum?
Scrum methodology is one of the best project management tools for every business and can even be used in general life.
Using Scrum means making your development process more agile and having a quick response from your team on the sudden changes whenever required.
Moreover, Scrum eases the complexity in work and makes the information more transparent.
This helps the team to introspect and adapt quickly to the changing environment instead of continuing on the basis of predictions. It also enables team members to find out and address the errors as and when required.
When to Use Scrum?
Scrum methodology is used in a rapidly changing environment. It’s most useful when the requirements of the project are not rigid and can be scaled with time.
It works on the principle of self-organization and cross-functioning of the team. It works best for the kind of projects where the conditions are likely to change and everything is not pre-defined during the start of the project.
Only the low-level requirements are fixed and defined at the beginning and everything else is flexible and keeps on changing with time. Optimization of products, requirements and processes are the key factors of Scrum.
Kanban is quite a different methodology than Scrum. It was designed by an engineer at Toyota in an attempt to improve efficiency.
It is a method that initially aimed at just-in-time manufacturing strategies without overloading the team members, but has proven to be highly effective in the software development process as well.
It resembles Scrum in order to deliver maximum value at the end of the process but is way more flexible than scrum. It is mainly based on workflows and schedules, keeping the central focus on a board that visualizes the project’s workflow and keeps the track of every individual task at every stage.
Why Use Kanban?
Kanban methodology enables you to view the entire project at a glance and see progress at any point in time.
It encourages possibly decreasing the number of tasks that are being done simultaneously and move the process from ideation to completion swiftly.
This method is mainly designed to meet minimal resistance and continuous incremental changes. In fact, the key factors of Kanban methodology are continuous delivery and improvement.
When to Use Kanban?
Kanban method is used when you require visual management of the software development process at every stage.
This helps to keep the track of work in progress and understand complex information and identify the risks associated with it. Kanban reduces the amount of workload stress on project managers and enables their productivity.
What Works Best for You?
Scrum and Kanban are known to be the widely-used agile frameworks but there are many more methods out there that can be tried for your business as well.
The matter of fact is that every project is different has its own requirements and processes and so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s all upon a project manager to determine what works best for his team.