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Scrum vs. Kanban vs. Scrumban: Iterations, Work Routines, and Scope Limits

As agile methodologies become more popular, there sometimes is confusion on what exactly they mean and how they differ. In this blog post we compare three methodologies and show how they differ across several dimensions.

While there are some other agile approaches as well, we compare here the most common ones – Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban – as these are the ones that are used the most commonly.

Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban: Agile Task Board



Iterations are predefined timeframes, during which a portion of work or a task is done. In Scrum, the teams typically work with 1-4 week sprints, during which the tasks are done before a deadline.

Kanban, on the other hand, does not have predefined iterations. Instead, teams work continuously, using releases shorter than one week, or bigger iterations like goals.

Scrumban combines the two approaches into one. Continuous work is used along with short iterations for planning, and longer cycles are used for release. 


Work routines define how the tasks are distributed among the team members. The push principle implies that tasks are assigned to the team members in a centralized way. The pull principle means that the tasks are “pulled” or chosen by team members themselves.

Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban are all agile methodologies, which use pull principle – whereby the team members choose the tasks they would like to work on. In Scrum, the tasks are chosen early by the team members. In every sprint, the tasks are chosen – or bound – by the team members before the sprint starts.

Kanban and Scrumban both use late binding – whereby the tasks are chosen during the work process. Once the current task is finished, the team members are free to choose further tasks they would like to work on. This is called late binding of tasks to the team members.


Scope limits define how the workload is limited in the agile methodologies.

In Scrum, the workload is limited with each sprint. The tasks cannot exceed the amount of work that can be done in one sprint. If the task cannot be completed within a sprint, it is typically split into smaller tasks, that can then fit within a sprint.

In Kanban and Scrumban, the work in progress limits define the scope of work. Therefore, if the maximum number of tasks in progress is three, the team members cannot work on more tasks than three at the same time.

In the next blog post we will cover planning routines, estimation, and performance metrics for each of these methodologies.

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Post-It Notes: Beyond The Task Board

When talking about sticky notes at Eylean, we typically have in mind a Scrum or Kanban board, filled with colorful sticky notes with tasks on them.

Apparently, this thinking is very limited. In creative hands, Post-It notes can turn into artwork, pranks, conference decorations or just casual entertainment in the office. Below are 20 most creative uses of sticky notes – enjoy!

1. The Simpsons. 

Post it notes Simpsons


2. The “To-Do” board.


3. The office redesign.

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PassAlong Founder: Agile Is Not a Panacea

Today we are talking with Gedas Mitkus, who has worked with a number of projects, big and small, and has recently founded a word of mouth marketing start-up PassAlong. Gedas shares his views on managing development projects and when agile is the right choice for a project – and when it is not. 

You have a lot of experience in managing various IT projects, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what projects have you been involved in so far?

I have done a number of agile projects ranging in duration from 3 months to 3.5 years as technical lead/architect or as project manager with budgets from £20K to £5M.  Most of projects were about launching new or building on top of existing web platforms, many with ongoing refactoring. The team sizes ranged from 3 to 40, with teams located in different time-zones. I have worked both with start-ups and established corporates.

What are the most typical problems or challenges you encounter in organizing the work?

As long as technical team is competent and with enough experience in technologies the product is being built on, I found the biggest challenge to be in aligning the Big 3 in a company – key business stakeholders, product, and technical teams. In many cases I found that inherent ambiguities in High level business requirements tend to translate into broad or unclear Product requirements, thus making technical development decisions and work challenging. This especially becomes a problem when due to business forces High level requirements change with ripple effects on Product and Technology development during a project. I saw lots of miscommunication arise within teams or even between team members when large portions of Product requirements change in midway. This can be further complicated when team members are not geographically collocated, work on different platforms, or team cultures vary.

Can you tell us what project management approaches did you use to solve these issues?

Different project management methodologies prescribe their own approaches. Waterfall and Agile have their own pluses and minuses. Agile is not a panacea, especially in big organizations, where multiple vendors and teams are involved in building complex projects. I think Agile is more appropriate for development of what is called Existing Evolving Assets in an organization – usually company’s main Product and closely related platforms, and usually built internally over a long period of time.

So you do not agree to the opinion that agile will help to deal with most project management problems?

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Busyflow Co-Founder & CEO: Our Development Process is “Chaotic Agile”

BusyFlow integrates cloud applications into one dashboard, helping teams collaborate and work together more efficiently. The company works with numerous APIs, codes in Python and has just launched their Android app. We are talking with their CEO Jaro Satkevic on their development process – and how they adjusted it to make developers happier.

Tell us about yourself. What does your company do and what is your role?

I am the CEO and co-founder of BusyFlow. Busy Flow is app that integrates different productivity and collaboration tools, like Dropbox, Trello, BaseCamp, Google Drive and other tools into one workspace where people can see the changes, act on them and collaborate together. I am a co-founder and I manage the developer team.

Are you a developer yourself?

Yes, I am. But at the moment most of the time I am doing other activities in our start-up.

Can you tell us how big is your team? How many people and how is it organised?

At the moment we have four people. We also have two more people related to our company – a designer and an iOS developer – who help us when needed. So actually it is me and three other developers in our team.

Can you tell us about your development process? How does it typically work?

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How Bentley Systems Uses Project-Based Approach to Stay Agile

Bentley Systems is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in 50 countries, more than $500 million in annual revenues, and since 2003 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. We are very happy to talk with Justas Belevičius, software development manager at Bentley based in Melbourne, Australia, about their development process.

Tell us about yourself. What does your company do and what is your role?

Bentley Systems is one of the leading software providers for the world’s infrastructure. Our comprehensive portfolio of software products and services consists of hundreds of globally recognized names, including MicroStation, ProjectWise and AssetWise as our flagship products and technology platforms.

I take a role of Software Development Manager in Structural Group department where I currently lead development of Bentley’s Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM) software platform. ISM allows to integrate, i.e. connect different stages of structural project workflow. Simply speaking, ISM can be perceived as an intelligent versioning control system for structural data, though it is only a part of its functionality.

Can you tell us about the development team? How many people do you have and how is it organized?

Sure. Bentley Systems is currently has more than 3,000 employees and over a thousand of them are directly working on research & development. Most of our products are actively developed and maintained for multiple years, however development itself is organized in small short-term chunks – projects. The end result of the project is typically a new version of the shared technology, product or a new product. Teams working on most projects are less than 20 people. The work in each project is further split into iterations and organized adhering to SCRUM principles to some extent.

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Development at LinkedIn: Build Your Process In A Way Where You Can Change It Easily

LinkedIn is a company that needs no introduction – with over 187 million users in more than 200 countries, it is one of the most important internet companies on the planet. Today we are very lucky to speak with Jim Brikman, staff software engineer at LinkedIn, about their development process.

Can you tell us about yourself? What is your role at LinkedIn and what do you do?

Sure. I have been at LinkedIn for a bit over three years. I am a software engineer and have worked on a number of teams, including the monetization team and the platform team. My current job is on our Presentation Infrastructure team. We are developing the infrastructure and the technologies that we actually use to build the site – the rest of the company builds and runs their code on top of our code. I also run several other programs at LinkedIn – the monthly HackDays, our [in]cubator programopen source, and the engineering blog.

Sounds good. Can you tell us a bit about the development team at LinkedIn? How many engineers do you have and how is it organized?

Good question. The company has grown enormously since I have joined – I don’t know the exact number, but it’s probably between 500-700 people in technology. The exact organization varies often as technologies and requirements evolve, but at a high level, you can break it down into roughly 6 groups. The Applications & Mobile Applications teams work on the user-facing products, features, and APIs. The Systems and Infrastructure team defines and builds the processing, storage, caching, and distributed systems solutions that are used by the Apps teams to serve and scale the site. The Front-End Engineering team works on the client-side pieces, including JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. The Tools Team builds the internal tools and processes, including how we store code, the build system, automated deployment, monitoring, and so on. The Data Team works on how we make sense of our huge data sets, including search, data mining, and machine learning. Finally, the Test Team figures out how to make our code robust, bug-free, and performant.

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Screach CTO: Do Not Be Afraid To Change Things

Screach is an award-winning Newcastle-based company that delivers interactive experiences between digital screens and mobile phones, such as a trivia quiz in a pub or an awesome mobile-controlled game on a digital billboard. We are speaking today with their CTO David Challener on how the team manages its development process.

Tell us about yourself. What does Screach do and what is your role?

Screach delivers interactive experiences with digital screens. The easiest example is the following: Imagine an interactive quiz running on a screen in a pub, and people using a mobile app to answer the questions in real time. We set up that interactivity between the mobile app that we call Screach, and the digital screen. We have done quizzes, crowd voting and interactive games, to name but a few. We did one experience for insurance firm SwiftCover in which a course was shown on a big screen, and passers-by were challenged to steer a car along it using their phones as a joypad.
We’ve also built a hardware product called ScreachTV, which allows venues like bars and restaurants to put targeted, relevant and engaging smartphone-compatible experiences such as quizzes, messages, offers and games on their TVs. They’re in around 100 UK venues already as well as some in New York, and that’s increasing all the time.

And you are the CTO of the company, right?

Yes. So anything technical basically goes through me and my team.

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YPlan Co-Founder & CTO: Hire Very Smart People And Let Them Loose

YPlan event app has launched in London just three weeks ago – and has already received rave reviews both from the media, customers and Stephen Fry himself. We are talking today to their Co-Founder & CTO Viktoras Jucikas on how they organize their development process. 

What does YPlan do?

YPlan is tonight’s going out app. We are helping people to discover events to go to, for the same night. We give the consumers a beautifully designed app where they can see a short, curated list of events, select the ones they like, pay in two taps, and go to the event on the same evening. There is no need to make any phone calls, print any paper tickets, go to any third-party website – you pay what you see on the app. It is a very smooth and slick experience for the user, and you just get to see the show you like on the very same evening.

What is your role in the company?

I am a co-founder and CTO of YPlan.

How big is your development team? How is it organized?

At the moment the whole YPlan team is 17 people. We grew from two founders four months ago to 17 people now. It has been pretty manic in the first two months, when I would basically onboard two new joiners every week. In the development team we currently have three dedicated developers, myself as not so dedicated developer, one UI designer, one on-and-off UX designer, and a contractor who does our website bit.

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Ovelin CEO: Take Time To Plan Before Acting

Helsinki-based startup Ovelin has developed two wildly successful guitar-learning games – becoming #1 music game in 34 countries with their games WildChordsGuitarBots, and guitar tuner app GuitarTuna. We are talking to their CEO Christoph Thür on how they organize their development process.

Tell us about yourself. What does your company do and what is your role?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Ovelin. We are making learning to play the guitar fun and motivating with computer games. You can play our games with a real guitar on your laptop, and you do not need any kind of special guitar or special equipment. The microphone on your device listens to what you play and then the game gives you real-time feedback if you do well or not – just like a guitar teacher would. The game is packaged in a fun way, so it is easy to approach, simple and step-by-step – and if you do well, you unlock harder levels.

How big is your development team? And how is it organized?
We are eight people on the development side. We have a visual artist, a 3D artist, an audio signal-processing expert, the lead programmer, and two additional programmers – one of which works on the game side and the other one – on the server side. We also have one person who is making the game content – the exercises, the tutorial material and the music. And we have a musician.

The team is based in Helsinki, except the audio signal-processing and the music guys, who are based in Tampere. They are coming here every week for one or two days, and then we have the whole team together.

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Draugiem: We Deploy Multiple Times A Day

Draugiem is one of the few social networks that compete with Facebook heads on – and are still winning. We are very lucky to speak today with Ingus Rūķis, their development team lead, about the way development process works at Draugiem.

Tell us about Draugiem. What does your company do and what is your role?

Draugiem is the largest social network in Latvia, we are still ahead of Facebook here. Draugiem was started in 2004 – at the same time as Facebook was started in the United States. We used to have a decent market share in Hungary as well, but we have lost that market and we are currently focusing on Latvian market only. Draugiem has around 500,000 daily active users in Latvia, and probably around 800,000 monthly active users.

I am software development team lead and I have been doing web development for seven years at Draugiem, after which I moved to this management position. I am also responsible for the social gaming part of Draugiem – talking to game developers, making contacts, and so on.

How big is your development team?

The development team is very small. We have historically kept development team under 10 people – we currently have nine developers and two system administrators plus a couple of mobile developers. It is basically the commitment of the people that has taken Draugiem so far. We also do not have separate positions of back-end developers and front-end developers, every developer is doing both front-end and back-end. The only position that is separated is the dedicated C developer, who is only doing the social graph and various other serverside services. Everyone else is multitasking.

Draugiem has been acting quite long as a startup, thus we did not have any project managers, and the team was self-organized and self-directed – the developers used to decide what they want to do and just did it. In the past couple of years, however, we have moved a bit away from the startup culture and introduced a couple of project managers who are working to direct the team.

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