Kanban and Scrum are often accepted as project management methodologies. But this is not so.
I will try to explain in a little more detail and as much as possible in understandable language what Scrum and Kanban mean and in what cases it is appropriate to implement and use them in a company.
What is Kanban
Let’s start with Kanban. The system was developed in Japan and serves to organize the production process using various cards (think of square sticky notes) on which the tasks to be performed are described. Reference: “Kanban, Scrum, and Lean in Agile projects“, https://ossalumni.org/kanban-scrum-and-lean-in-agile-projects/
The slips are arranged in different columns/columns, most often on a whiteboard, which provides a visual representation of which task is currently in which stage, and for each stage (column/column) what current tasks there are. I would define Kanban as a process that we encounter very often in everyday life, but we never think about it as a kind of organizational process.
As an example, I immediately give the doners. We place an order and pay, and the cashier issues a receipt and a note (To Do), which we, in turn, take to the “counter”, where it is taken by the person who prepares our doner (In Progress). After everything is ready and we take the prepared food, the same person sticks the note on a skewer with a pad where the orders completed for the day/shift are accumulated (Done). Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: similarities and differences“, https://www.policymatters.net/scrum-and-kanban-similarities-and-differences/
This is a fairly basic example, but if we stand outside the fast food shop and look at the process itself, we will find how well organized the work is. All the customers stand and wait with a note in hand, and every once in a while, the person making the doner takes a few notes, prepares the food, cancels the order, and then takes more notes. Reference: “Kanban or Scrum as a project management methodology“, https://www.islandjournal.net/kanban-or-scrum-as-a-project-management-methodology/
The person takes as many notes as they can carry out – by no means all currently active. That way, there is order and everyone knows when what is happening. We can find the same thing at car repair shops, although in a different form. We leave our car in the parking lot after we have given a repair request, then it goes to the appropriate cell/hall where it is repaired, then testing is done and the finished car is moved to the parking lot where we receive it. Well, even in simpler words, I would define Kanban as a system for a visual representation of the stages in performing some work or task. Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: Differences and Similarities“, https://www.powerhp.net/scrum-and-kanban-differences-and-similarities/
When used, it gives a pretty good view of the current state of the workflow. Kanban can be adapted to an organization by considering the stages and accordingly the teams that use the system. Thus, in a given organization, Kanban may have 3 stages, and in another, 5-6 stages.
What is Scrum?
Scrum, on the other hand, is a framework or way of managing projects that use Kanban as a visual means of presenting the current tasks at a given Sprint stage. The Sprint stage is created by the whole team based on all the tasks on the project, choosing as many tasks as the team can do in a certain time without burdening people, and the goal is that at the end of the Sprint, the customer will get a result, which is higher than the previous Sprint. At the end of each Sprint, the team stands in front of a clean board and again chooses from the cards/tasks to be worked on. Reference: “Differences between Scrum and Kanban in Agile”, – https://www.kievpress.info/differences-between-scrum-and-kanban-agile/
Kanban or Scrum
From the use of Kanban or Scrum, we can only win, as the entire production process will gain greater transparency and at any moment we will see in which department there is a backlog of tasks (with Kanban) and what we need to do to optimize the process and remove obstacles.
Let’s not forget that no matter how good it sounds in words, the implementation of a system leads to a change in habits and ways of working, and for it to work successfully for us this must happen with the desire and participation of everyone in the company. Reference: “Lean thinking and implementation of Agile management“, https://wikipedia-lab.org/lean-thinking-and-implementation-of-agile-management/
Kanban is quite familiar, but no one has thought about it, and would not define it, as a kind of process. People are used to seeing it in their daily life without even suspecting that it is a kind of Kanban (not even visually represented). Reference: “Lean and Agile software development”, https://mpmu.org/lean-and-agile-software-development/
My advice is to start with the integration of Kanban, as a way to organize the stages of the work, to get the teams and the people themselves accustomed to its use, and at a later stage to implement Scrum, which will also help us to improve the quality of our products for our customers, as well as improving and optimizing many moments in the company’s work.
- Reference: “Lean training and integration in organizations”, https://stc-montreal.org/lean-training-and-integration-in-organizations/
- Reference: “Strategy for Lean Thinking and Learning in Organizations”, https://customessaysonline.net/strategy-for-lean-thinking/
- Reference: “Lean integration in organizations – a real example“, https://mstsnl.net/lean-integration-in-organizations-example/