Scrumban vs. Kanban: What's The Difference?‍

Esther Cohen
December 6, 2022
2 minute read

Both Scrumban and Kanban are project management methodologies used to streamline processes and optimize workflow. For many businesses, one might seem like a better fit than the other. But which is suitable for your company? 

If you’re wondering how they differ and which one to implement in your organization, this article will help you decide what is best for your business.

What is Kanban?

The Kanban system was developed in the automotive industry. There, it was used to schedule the delivery of parts and goods to car assembly lines. The goal was to limit WIP (work in progress) to maximize flow and minimize the delay. 

Today, project managers use the Kanban system to manage workflow, increase task visualization, and focus on continuous improvement—using what you’ve learned in the past to adapt your methods and optimize work practices. WIPs continue to be limited to ensure consistent quality in the team’s output.

 

What Is Scrumban?

Scrumban is a hybrid combination of Kanban and Scrum. It is a scheduling method that includes Scrum and Kanban elements to streamline workflow and maximize efficiency. 

Scrum is the framework that promotes the submission of deliverables in two-to-four-week periods called sprints. Feedback from these deliverables can vastly affect the priorities for the next sprint.

 

The Difference Between Kanban And Scrumban

As we’ve seen, Kanban and Scrumban are both methodologies used to streamline processes and optimize workflow. Their goals are the same, but they take different approaches. 

 

 

Kanban

Scrumban

Core principle

Constant improvement, task visualization, controlling WIP

Consistent deliverables at a specific cadence

Using a board to visualize tasks

Yes 

Yes

Tasks organized into sprints

No

Yes

Agile methodology

Yes

Yes

 

Like Kanban, Scrumban uses a board to visualize tasks. However, for Kanban, there’s no specific time when deliverables need to be submitted. The important thing is that progress is constant, works in progress are limited (for quality control), and processes are continuously optimized. Meanwhile, Scrumban is time-boxed into sprints.

Teams that use Scrumban can benefit from the consistent cadence of deliverables that Agile Scrum provides and the constant progress and quality management that Kanban facilitates.

Scrumban also allows teams to take advantage of Scrum ceremonies such as sprint planning, daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives. This allows for better team alignment and productivity, coupled with the visualization that a Kanban board facilitates.

 

Which One Is Right For Your Business?

Now that we’ve explored the differences between Kanban and Scrumban, you may wonder which is best for your business. The answer is that it depends on your organizational needs. 

If your team struggles to keep up with demand, Kanban may help you keep on top of things. Kanban is excellent for managing the flow but can also be a bit inflexible. If you need to be able to change courses quickly, a Kanban-only approach may be too rigid. 

Scrumban, on the other hand, is built for just these kinds of situations. It includes the core features of Scrum – the sprint, the backlog, and the cross-functional team – but adds in the WIP element of Kanban to create a hybrid approach that offers the best of both worlds.

Rather than being competitors, Scrumban and Kanban are methods that can be used together to improve your team's operations. 

Conclusion

We’ve explored two methodologies to streamline processes and optimize workflow: Kanban and Scrumban. 

Kanban and Scrumban are excellent methods of optimizing workflow in any production environment. But they differ in terms of scheduling approach: Kanban is more of a visual scheduling approach, while Scrumban is a hybrid approach that combines the Kanban WIP element with the Scrum cadence. 

Although both methods are proven to improve workflow, Scrumban is particularly useful for situations where quick-reacting is critical.

Interested in applying Scrumban or Kanban to your workflow? We’d be happy to help you out. Book a demo with us today, so we can help you set your team up with Workamajig, the best project management tool for creative teams.

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