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Kanban vs. Scrum

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  • Michael Hedgpeth
    I am starting a two person project and am trying to define an initial process. Since it s only two people, I am the Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and lead
    Message 1 of 224 , Oct 27, 2008
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      I am starting a two person project and am trying to define an initial process.  Since it's only two people, I am the Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and lead developer.  We have been doing Scrum(but) for the past two years on another product, but both want a change to a more agile approach than we have taken.

      The recent InfoQ article on Kanban got me looking at that to see if I could learn anything new.  I also read this article from the Scrum perspective as a good introduction.  Here's what I've come away with:

      Positives of Kanban
      • Reduces overhead of Iterations (planning meeting, demo, retrospective) by not having iterations
      • Reduces overhead of backlog by not having (an official) backlog (which to them is a liability just like an inventory)
      • Reduces overhead of multitasking by working on one story at a time
      • Allows you to focus on the actual Work in Progress (WIP) rather than the process/overhead, which gives you the retrospective you need for effective agile
      • Everything immediately goes into production so an "iteration" is effectively one feature at a time
      • Easier for management to understand it by relying heavily on a manufacturing model and the Toyota Production System
      • Easier to adopt on day 1 for a non-agile team (who would need to be coached on good developer practices, see below for negatives)
      Negatives of Kanban
      • No story points and backlog means no forecasting (to which they provide wave planning as a solution)
      • Does not stress good developer practices (unit testing, refactoring, etc.), so the development team should already understand those (it would probably help if the team has done an agile project before).

      Am I missing something?  Is there something about Kanban they don't tell you that makes pure Scrum obviously superior?  Are there any counterargument papers with which you are familiar?

      Thanks,
      Michael Hedgpeth
    • Doug Swartz
      ... XP differs from kanban in many of the same ways as Scrum. It is batch pull, not continuous pull. Instead of a sprint, XP calls it an iteration. In XP, like
      Message 224 of 224 , Nov 19, 2008
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        Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 3:05:08 PM, Dillon Weyer wrote:

        > In this case how is XP different to Kanban then?

        XP differs from kanban in many of the same ways as Scrum. It
        is batch pull, not continuous pull. Instead of a sprint, XP
        calls it an iteration. In XP, like scrum, but not kanban, each
        story has a high level estimate attached to it during release
        planning, which is similar, but somewhat different from
        backlog grooming in scrum.

        Doug Swartz


        > aacockburn wrote

        > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com> , Graeme Matthew <scrum@...>
        > wrote:
        >>
        >> Whats the difference between a product backlog and kanban they both
        > act
        >> as signaling system to trigger action?
        >>
        >>

        > The kanban is continuous pull, the backlog is batch pull.

        > With the backlogs, each month you *promise* how much you'll do, and
        > pull a *batch* of items from the product to the sprint backlog.
        > You're now locked.

        > With kanban, you pull directly from the product backlog to the
        > work list, one at a time. There is no work estimate attached to the
        > item - you just work on it till you're done, then pull the next.
        > Some teams put size limits on the work list, so you can't work on
        > more than e.g. 5 items at a time.

        > That's quite a difference.

        > Alistair
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