Scrum and Kanban – a developer’s perspective

By Nathan Donaldson in Agile Development on January 26, 2010

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We’ve been using Kanban for a few weeks now on some projects, taking over from Scrum where appropriate. We’ve used the Kanban process for projects in ongoing maintenance and for those that seem more like a list of tasks to be performed (Drupal CMS integration).

Pros

Cons

Some of these cons are things that we need to work around by improving our own processes. Ideally all the tasks can be dealt with by all team members (but this is impracticable for expressing our design tasks). We also need to work towards each task being a self contained unit of work with no dependencies.

I think with Kanban we’re still finding our feet. The tools aren’t yet as mature and easy to use as the scrum tools we use. Our task descriptions and workflows are still evolving. It seems to me that the Kanban structure requires more ongoing maintenance from the project manager than scrum where the structure is set at the beginning of each sprint. As we’re still only experimenting with Kanban we haven’t found a good balance and tasks tend to pile in the completed stack for too long before being verified.

My overall feeling is that scrum is a more satisfying process to develop under – you get better and more immediate feedback. Kanban is helpful in preventing work being done when the scrum process isn’t in place – a situation that is very tempting when bugs start appearing.

Learn more

Scrum and Kanban: Less is more

The Board 22: Scrum and Kanban

The Board 34: Scrum and Kanban part 2

The Kanban game

Manage project risk by limiting work in progress