Scrum – Kanban – Scrumban… What’s the difference?

Scrum Kanban Scrumban .. sounds like a crazy mixture. Are you struggling with defining the difference across all these methodologies?
One of the most popular requests is to explain project management methodologies. I can understand why. When you are not using some methodology on a regular basis, or if you are just starting your career it can be challenging to differentiate them. Let’s talk about agile and define what is the difference among Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban.

Adaptive Frameworks: Scrum Kanban Scrumban

First of all, let’s make is clear. I have mentioned adaptive frameworks and I have done this on purpose.

If we talk about the methodologies in general, there are two global project delivery methodologies: predictive and adaptive.
OR classical Waterfall & modern Agile.

And underneath Agile we have a lot of other flavours OR frameworks. Specifically, as per the topic Scrum and Kanban are the frameworks and both of them are covered by Agile.

But what about Scrumban?
Well, this is a hybrid of both Scrum and Kanban.

The reasonable question is why would we do this and why do we need to mix frameworks or methodologies?

The short response is it would be beneficial for the project. There could be multiple reasons, starting from the stakeholders preferences and ending with the project constraints.

BTW, let me know in comments if you would like me to explain HOW to choose a methodology for a project.

Now, when we know what Scrum and Kanban is, let’s define the differences so that you can easily see what the project is on. Is it Scrum, is it Kanban, OR it is a Scrumban??


Let’s starts with SCRUM. What are the general attributes of this methodology?

Scrum is one of the most structured and formal framework in Agile. Therefore, it is pretty easy to define if you are on Scrum by checking the shared Scrum features.

1. The most common attribute of Scrum is Roles. In Scrum we have the following roles in place:
– Product Owner
– Scrum Master
– Development Team

If you hear them on a project, this is a first sign the project is using Scrum practices.

2. Vocabulary or attributes. These are the components we use in Scrum to determine the delivery process. The specific words you can hear in Scrum teams are:
– All the roles we hav
e listed
– Sprint
– Product Backlog
– Sprint Backlog
– Retrospective
– Increment

3. Ceremonies or Events. This is the third most popular Scrum attribute. With ceremonies Scrum structures the project delivery flow, disciplines the project team and provides the results on a project.
The common Scrum ceremonies are:
– Backlog Grooming
– The Sprint
– Sprint Planning
– Daily Scrum
– Sprint Review
– Sprint Retrospective

If you know project users the three component above, the project is managed based on the Scrum practices.

Make sure to check the tutorial on how to set up Scrum Project in Jira


What about KANBAN?
Kanban is also Agile. How to determine the project is on Kanban?

BTW, if you are not subscribed yet, this is a right moment to take a second for tapping the big red button below. Also, do not forget to like this video and to tip the notification bell – this way you will receive notifications every time I am sharing value.

To define is it is Kanban in front of us we will look into details of the project delivery process and will try to fine the common assets and Kanban best practises in it so that it would point out if the project is on Kanban.

What should we pay attention to?

1. The most famous Kanban attribute is a Kanban board.
I am sure you all saw it in the task tracking tools. Should it be Jira, Trello, Asana or what ever.
Kanban board is common for the development teams, therefore, it is really popular in the tools we use.

In a couple of words, Kanban board is a tool for workflow visualization. It gives an opportunity to clearly see what status the task is in and how many tasks are in the same status simultaneously. And Statuses in Kanban are paramount. With Kanban statuses is one of the key tools to track the progress.

2. Oposite to Scrum in Kanban we do not have prescribed roles. The leadership is usually shared which helps the team mates be more involved into the project delivery. Thus, if there is no roles but people respect their responsibilities, chances are it can be Kanban.

3. The next common Kanban feature is eliminating bottlenecks and limiting the work in progress. As originally Kanban came from manufacturing, the purpose of this approach was to streamline the production. Which means, it was called to remove blocks and obstacles from the delivery process. From the development perspective, too much work in progress for one person can be considered as a bottleneck. Therefore, in Kanban we are limiting work in progress and trying to speed up the throughput.
In other words, the sooner as take task from point A to point B the better. And to do this we need to focus on one task only.


Now we know how to differentiate the Scrum and Kanban.
But what about SCRUMBAN? What the beast is that?

Scrumban is a hybrid of both Srcum and Kanban which admits the benefits of the both approaches.
Mainly, we take the best we have in Scrum and Kanban, put it together to built Scrumban.

In the perfect world we take structure, discipline and routines from Scrum and put them together with the flexibility and efficiency of Kanban. This could be dictated by the project needs, or as an option to transition from one framework to another.
Thus, if you see the signs of both methodologies on the project most likely the team is using a hybrid , OR Scrumban for the product delivery.

I hope that was helpful and now you can easily determine what framework is used on the project. Do not forget to like this video if you have learned something new, or dislike if that content was not useful. Let me know in comments if you would like to dive deeper in any other methodologies.