SCRUM or KANBAN – The Ever Persisting Question

Agile environment is closely linked to software industry these days. Various agile methodologies are prepared with the sole aim of aiding the IT industry. But, in reality they can aid the manufacturing industry and construction projects too. Lean methodologies have been in practice in the manufacturing industry for ages. It helped them produce zero error products with minimum resource usage at the shortest time possible. Eliminating the unwanted valueless procedures and processes step by step was the key to such success. Confusion regarding whether to use SCRUM or KANBAN a more manufacture oriented agile methodology prevails in the IT industry to this date. Both the process has their advantages and disadvantages.

SCRUM

Allowing a handful of people to collaborate without confusion is the greatest strength of SCRUM methodology. It works best when there is a precise deadline. Projects handled by a number of teams together find SCRUM and sprints quite useful. SCRUM methodology is often claimed to slow down the process and burden the employees with precise logins of every minute activity in the sprints. Time consumption is higher while using the sprints. SCRUM is best used when the project has a very clearly defined deadline and work flow will unbundleitself as the project develops. Proper documentation helps in planning the modules of theproject clearly in team meetings and reviews enabling good scheduling which will make the project get released on the given date.

KANBAN

Straight forward projects which require little guidance will often feel logging every step in SCRUM a waste of time. KANBAN with its WIP column works best for such teams. For example, consider the Quality Assurance team or the QAs. They have to monitor and work on a number of already finished projects. KANBAN is great for them as they can keep tab of their minimum work logs. They can also choose to prioritize various projects as per the time schedule. Any particular module of a required project could be pulled up and tested without having to go through the process of using complicated SPRINTs. In fact, they work on already filled in SCRUM framework using KANBAN because it will not slow them down with too much data logging work. The greatest advantage of KANBAN is easy and quick process. The main disadvantage is that it needs to be worked upon another precise methodology like SCRUM at least in the software industry.

We can simply say the development teams will often prefer SCRUM even if it means overwork for them. Similarly, KANBAN is suitable for supportive teams who have to deal with a number of SCRUM based projects at a time. We cannot pin point or force a management to follow a particular methodology. Each one experiments with their comfort level and come with methods which are best of both the worlds. These experimentation resulting in hybrid methodologies are restricted to particular teams, departments or organizations based on their working style and collaboration. Creating a standard process which fits everybody is nearly impossible in the industry.