Scrum vs Kanban; what is the difference?

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In Agile software development, there are different methodologies of work that are used. Here at Apiumhub, depending on the project we are working on, we usually use 2 frameworks. We generally either go for Scrum methodology or for Kanban project management. Also, depending on the project, we’ve used extreme programming or Featured Driven Development. Sometimes we also like to mix it up and go from Scrumban. For that reason, I decided to do an Infographic to illustrate Scrum vs Kanban.

In this post, you will find more information about scrum methodology, Kanban, some key terms used and the difference between both; Scrum vs Kanban.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile framework that is used to work on complex projects. This methodology implies working with a cross-functional self organized team and there are three roles that are assigned. The product owner has to create the product backlog which serves as a list of things that need to be done, with each item on the list having an importance and a priority ranking.

There are regular meetings that are organized to ensure successful results (5). Each sprint (usually lasts 2 weeks) starts with a sprint planning meeting and has its sprint backlog; the team will choose items that will be worked on and how it will be done. During the sprint, the team will have daily meetings to inform about the progress of the project.

The scrum master has to be sure the team is on its way to reach its goal. At the end of each sprint (usually of 2 weeks), a potential product has to be delivered, on which iterations will be done on the next sprint. To end well the sprint, the team goes through a sprint review and retrospective, pushing them to continuously improve.

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After that, the next sprint starts!

What is Kanban?

Kanban is another framework used in agile that helps teams work more efficiently together. Here, the planning is quite flexible and can regularly change the work in progress without having an impact on the rest of the team. The idea is to match the amount of work in progress to the team’s capacity on a Kanban board.

On that board, it’s very important and helpful to always visualize what has to be done (what is the workflow) via “visual cards” and to put a limit to the amount of work that is in progress. In fact, a common error is that teams over commit and end up facing a situation where they can’t deliver what was promised or planned. The board has columns that represent the different “status” of a task and every work item or task has to pass through different stages or status. For example, going from in progress, to testing, to ready for release, and finally to the released column.

Once that a task or item or card is finished, we move the next prioritized item from the backlog into the work in progress. A key to success with Kanban is to analyze the workflow to ensure continuous collaboration and improvement.

Kanban vs Scrum; What is the difference?

Both Kanban and Scrum focus on releasing software early and often. Both require highly-collaborative and self-managed teams. There are, however, differences between the approaches:

In general Kanban is much more flexible than scrum and fits very good with teams that don’t need as much management and deadlines. In fact, there is no time that is set for sprints, roles are not assigned to the team and in general the focus is more on the task that is being worked on. Of course, teams should ensure efficiency and for that, it’s important to follow the pillars of Kanban and not assign more work than what can be handled.

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In general, Scrum would be better than Kanban when it comes to projects where you need to ship a product quickly and where you have deadlines from the third party. Also, when you have a project where people from other departments and industries are working together (or people with a different background), working with scrum can be a big advantage to be sure everyone is on the same wave because of the fact that there is so many regular meetings.

Also, if you’re looking for software development companies that could help you with one of your projects, here’s a list of great software development companies in Europe, give it a look!


  1. Silvio - Veteranos da Estrada

    Very cool and valuable article! I enjoyed!

    • Lea Karam

      Thank you Silvio! Great to know you enjoyed the article. You should give a look at our section of Agile software development, you might enjoy reading another article! Here’ a link to it.

  2. Mike

    Nice work! Very specific information in there.
    When we built our tool (IC Project) we decided to base it on kanban cards because you can work scrum metodology on kanban.

    • Lea Karam

      I am glad you enjoyed the article Mike, thank you for letting us know!

  3. Robert Azañero Terrones

    Thanks a lot Lea by sharing this good article. I enjoied it

  4. Varun Kumar

    Great article! I’m a software developer and all your articles help me to improve my understanding about software development.

  5. Aminata Grut

    Great visibility and easy to access!!! Thanx!

  6. sakha

    great effort keep it up guys…!!! its so simple and easy to understand …….

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