October 13, 2014 / by Daniel Huchthausen / In Methods

Scrum vs. Kanban Part 1/3 - Intro

+++This post was migrated from our former blog about SCM-Manager Universe. Therefore, the design is slightly different and some information might not be 100% applicable to Cloudogu EcoSystem. So don't be alarmed; enjoy reading.+++

During the last years it became common to use agile methods in software development. The most widespread ones are Scrum and Kanban. The 2013 “State of Agile” survey found that a vast majority of companies (~60%) uses Scrum or Scrum hybrids. The second place is held by Kanban and “Scrumban” with more than 10%. Compared to the survey from 2012, Kanban experienced the highest increase in usage. That is why we want to compare those two methodologies.

This post will be about Scrum and Kanban in general. For detailed information about the tools visit for example www.scrum.org or http://limitedwipsociety.ning.com/.

Why Agile?

What are the reasons to use agile approaches in projects? Let’s answer this question with some figures: The 2013 “State of agile” survey found that the greater majority of people using the agile approach had a faster completion time (~73%) whereas only 6% claimed that ptojects took longer. Before people start working with agile tools they have expectations about the benefits, and after the projects completion they can say whether their expectations were met, or not. The following image shows the importance of several aspects and whether they improved by using agile methodologies or tools.

Based on the graph above it is important for 75% of the participants of the survey to accelerate the “time to market” (blue bar). For 83% of projects this aspect improved by using agile methodologies (yellow bar). This behavior can be seen for all of the shown aspects: important aspects improved for the vast majority of projects. What the survey didn’t talk about, are the reasons why for some participants those aspects didn’t improve.

The Agile Manifesto

There are a lot of agile methodologies and tools that have similarities and differences. All are based on the same principles, which are written down in the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”. The manifesto states that certain aspects are more important than others and that it is necessary to internalize those facts.

For example the manifesto says that responding to change is more important than following a plan. An important factor for the success of agile projects is that the participants have the right mindset to work in an agile project environment. Another important advice is that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one tool. Combine aspects from different tools that fit your needs, but be aware of the fact that you are combining several tools.

Bottom Line

There is a large number of agile methodologies. Many of them have quite similar approaches and use the same principles. Some of them use a lot of restrictions, others leave a lot of free space. The Agile Manifesto states the basic principles and each methodology uses it’s own set of tools and rules. The challenge is to find the methodology and tools that best fit your needs. The second part will help you to differentiate Scrum and Kanban by showing the similarities and differences.

With kind regards,
your SCM-Manager Universe Team

Daniel Huchthausen

- Consultant -

When he is not exploring the wilderness, Daniel keeps himself busy with topics such as quality assurance, testing and PM methods.

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