Kanban vs Scrum

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Kanban vs Scrum
H ow to make the most of both

Henrik Kniberg

henrik.kniberg crisp.se
Version 1.1 (2009-06-29)
Deprecated version! Latest version is available at
http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook

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Kanban vs Scrum – how to make the best of both (Henrik Kniberg) Deprecated version! Latest version is available at
http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook

This book has moved!
The latest version is available at InfoQ:
http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook
(Still free, but registration is required. It’s quick.)

The InfoQ version includes:
Foreword by Mary Poppendieck
Foreword by David Anderson
Improved version of this “Kanban vs Scrum” article
Detailed case study by Mattias Skarin

Why did I move it to InfoQ?
1. InfoQ is where people go to find this kind of stuff. It’s a great site! 2. They also provide a printed softcover version of the book. A physical book is more comfy than reading over a hundred pages on your screen :o) page 2 / 41

Kanban vs Scrum – how to make the best of both (Henrik Kniberg) Deprecated version! Latest version is available at
http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook

1. Introduction ................................................................................................. 4 2. So what is Scrum and Kanban anyway? ........................................................ 5 3. So how do they relate to each other? .......................................................... 7 4. Scrum prescribes roles ............................................................................... 11 5. Scrum prescribes timeboxed iterations ...................................................... 12 6. Kanban limits WIP per workflow state, Scrum limits WIP per iteration ...... 14 7. Both are empirical ...................................................................................... 16 8. Scrum resists change within an iteration.................................................... 21 9. Scrum board is reset between each iteration............................................. 23 10.

Scrum prescribes cross-functional teams ................................................ 24

11.

Scrum backlog items must fit in a sprint ................................................. 25

12.

Scrum prescribes estimation and velocity ............................................... 26

13.

Both allow working on multiple products simultaneously....................... 27

14.

Both are Lean and Agile .......................................................................... 29

15.

Minor differences ................................................................................... 30

16.

Scrum board vs Kanban board – a less trivial example ............................ 32

17.

Summary of Scrum vs Kanban ................................................................. 40

18.

Take-away points .................................................................................... 41

page 3 / 41

Kanban vs Scrum – how to make the best of both (Henrik Kniberg) Deprecated version! Latest version is available at
http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/kanban-scrum-minibook

1. Introduction
There’s a lot of buzz on Kanban right now in the agile software development community. Since Scrum has become quite mainstream now, a common question is “so what is Kanban, and how does it compare to Scrum?” Where do they complement each other? Are there any potential conflicts? Here’s an attempt to clear up some of the fog.

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Jim: “Now we’ve finally gone all-out Scrum!”
Fred: “ So how’s it going?”
Jim: “Well, it’s a lot better than what we had before...” Fred: “...but?”
Jim: “... but you see we are a support & maintainance team.” Fred: “yes, and?”
Jim: “Well, we...
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