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.
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.