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Scrum or Kanban: which methodology to choose for IT project management

Before starting a new project, you need to define what methodology you will use to manage it in the best possible way.

If you work with Agile, you surely know the two most famous methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. In this opportunity, I tell you what are its characteristics and functionalities so that you can make your own decision when it comes to keeping one.

Scrum:

  • It has a tree of iterations (sprints) with start and end dates (on average, each sprint is usually 15 days, but it is not really strict). Therefore, a project, to be carried out, will need “N” iterations. Each project is structured in as many iterations as necessary to comply with the necessary functionalities (product backlogs).
  • Each iteration is planned in advance (according to the capacity of your team and the effort required in each task or sprint backlog to be carried out) and then uses a Kanban board to record the progress in the execution of the activities diagrammed within the sprint.
  • While flexibility exists throughout the development cycle, each particular iteration should not be changed, for almost no reason. Likewise, the project team should not vary either, since the layout to be carried out depends on its capacity.
  • It is efficient for projects in development in changing environments or with not fully defined requirements.
  • There are many other features (artifacts) about Scrum that are often used to achieve continuous improvement (daily meetings, retrospective, etc.), but they are not relevant for this analysis.

Kanban:

  • It has a board with columns or groups that represent different stages of a task. The number of columns on the dashboard depends on the workflow itself, which can vary from project to project.
  • It does not use predetermined stages for the work to be done, but works as a continuous cycle of development in which tasks move from one column to the other (from one state to another) until the cycle is completed.
  • It is ideal for the maintenance of a project, since new issues (bugs or tasks) can arise at any time, which can be added to the board without problems. Then, a card enters the list of tasks to be performed with a certain priority, goes through the flow through the different stages and leaves the finished board.

In summary, both methodologies are very useful for managing agile IT projects in changing environments, but not structured methodologies. Both one and the other aim to generate as many deliveries as possible. You only need to define the needs of your project to know for sure which one is the most suitable for your work.

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