What is Agile Methodology?
An agile management methodology is an iterative approach in which, from time to time, incremental steps are taken, and changes are made accordingly at every stage. Many Agile Project Management Methodologies are used to build a better product that gives customer satisfaction, efficient results, and better teamwork. Over time, cross-functional teams work on iterations of a product that are arranged into a backlog, and the entries are then prioritized according to business values.
In agile, the main aim is to achieve full customer satisfaction, which is done by adding iterations. This is done when stakeholders and developers decide on what increments are to be added before every meeting. As opposed to the waterfall methodology, agile focuses on speed, flexibility, and continuous modifications, which provide better products.
Agile Project Management is the category that includes Kanban and Scrum, but it has distinguished features from that of the typical waterfall project management.
Agile has distinguishing features from other project management methodologies, such as incremental working and adaptability.
1. Incremental Work
This is a unique feature of Agile methodologies. They divide the work into smaller incremental portions, which mostly work better for software-related user testing and revision projects. While in the waterfall, the work goes in one flow, and no changes are made once the requirements and specifications stages are cleared.
As agile methods use incremental and iterative approaches, they are more flexible and allow the developers to make changes and adjust the workflow accordingly. They encourage the teams to improve the workflow at any stage and adapt following the flow. Agile’s adaptability is particularly well suited to projects whose requirements or limitations are likely to change. At the same time, such changes should be avoided if feasible; agile approaches allow teams to adapt their processes to accommodate them.
What is Scrum Methodology?
Scrum is basically a part of the larger Agile methodology as it uses an iterative approach and is concerned with getting more work in less time. Sprints, which span one to two weeks, are fixed-length iterations that allow the team to ship software frequently. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members gather to discuss the next actions. In these sprints next iterations are decided and what elements should be added to the scrum product backlog. With Scrum, your team commits to delivering some useful work by the end of each sprint. Scrum is based on empiricism, with small increments of work that allow you to learn from your clients and better inform your next steps.
Scrum has different parts to it, which are given below:
Scrum divides work into two-week sprints. These sprints are prepared ahead of time, then carried out and evaluated at the end of the two weeks. The team develops a sprint backlog during sprint planning. During these sprints, the decisions are carried out, and the developers make improvements before the next scrum meeting.
2. Scrum Master
Although the Scrum teams are self-organizing and scrum methodology encourages teams to manage their own productivity, the scrum master helps them get the job done correctly. Scrum master is not a typical project manager, but he helps connect the Scrum Team with the product owner and removes any hindrance in the project completion. The product owner and Scrum master take decisions for the requirements and then, with joint efforts, help the Scrum team in planning the sprints.
3. Burndown Charts
Scrum uses these Burndown charts to help the Scrum Team get a visual representation of the work done. Instead of showing the completed tasks and progress of the project, these charts display the tasks that are to be completed, and these charts should be updated continuously to help the Scrum team members manage their workflow.
What is Kanban Methodology?
Kanban is a visual framework, and like Scrum, it is again a subset of Agile Project management methodology. It visualizes what is to be produced, how much is to be produced, and when it is to be delivered. It encourages small incremental changes to your project and does not necessitate any special setup or procedure, which means you can overlay Kanban over other management workflows which are already there. Kanban aims to better organize and balance work based on worker capacity and bandwidth. It follows the Agile approach concepts outlined above but does it in a unique way.
Kanban has its own set of unique features, and the parts are known as given below:
1. Kanban Board
This used to be traditionally a physical board that visualizes the work to the developer’s team, like tasks to be done, tasks in progress, and tasks to be completed. The team can add more categories if they want just to make the workflow more efficient and better.
In recent years as more software-related and online tools are available, Kanban boards are also available in the shape of online tools, and they have the same features as any physical one. A Kanban board consists of distinguished lanes and columns, whether online or physical; the most basic board has at least three columns that show work to be done, work in progress, and work completed accordingly. For example, Backlog, ready, coding, testing, approval, and done columns may appear in a software development project.
Kanban cards (like sticky notes) are usually used to represent work, and each card is placed in the lane that represents the job’s status on the board. At a glance, the team assesses the progress of the work, and you can use different colored notes for different details, like a red-colored card for representing a task.
2. WIP Limits
Work in progress (WIP) Limits set limits to the amount of work to be done in the Agile Project Management. The amount of cards in any active-work column is limited by the teams. Once the limit has been reached, no further work can be added to the column until a job has been finished and moved to the next column. Once again, this system helps teams identify blockages and encourages individual contributors to band together to resolve them; it is easier to identify the inefficiency in the team.
3. Continuous Progress
Kanban assists in the gradual and continuous incremental progress of the project. The team gets together and meets to decide the new changes to be made from time to time. Also, the Kanban board greatly contributes to visualizing the progress of work, making the process more efficient and smooth. These sessions, when done regularly, assist the team in continuously correcting and adjusting their strategies. This improves workflow without requiring any drastic adjustments, making Kanban implementation simple for almost any organization.
You can point out differences between Scrum and Kanban easily. Still, as both project management methodologies are types of Agile Project Management Methodologies implementation, the difference between Kanban and Scrum can be that Scrum is built on short, controlled work sprints. In contrast, Kanban approaches are continual and more flexible. Both frameworks help develop a better product with fewer problems and better planning. Now it depends on the type of your project that you can decide which methodology you would like to go with. As both methodologies are flexible and adjustable, it is hard to decide which one is better.
True Scrum is a far bigger transformation than Kanban, so keep that in mind. It will be mandatory for the team to learn about the ceremonies, specialized responsibilities, and iterations. Kanban, on the other hand, encourages little steps forward. Its concepts apply to whatever process you already have in place, including Scrum. Kanban does not require any major changes. Scrum may be more appropriate if your team or company is stuck and needs a major change. Kanban may be a better option if you currently have a process in place that you’re comfortable with but want to make some minor tweaks.