Scrum is an iterative process that defines a prescriptive way to get a certain process done. Scrum team members don’t have defined roles, but the team in its entirety is a cross-functional team with the members coming from various disciplines. The work is divided into segments that are allotted hours until completion while the tasks are executed simultaneously. Kanban, on the other hand, is a visual management tool that is focussed on reducing the WIP,  improving the workflow,  reducing cycle time, and increasing value to the customer, with greater predictability. 

People usually compare Scrum and Kanban understanding them to be two incompatible frameworks. However, with organisational needs changing fast, key aspects of several frameworks are being incorporated into one hybrid structure. Scrum, as it is, is falling out of favor in the light of SAFe and the newer Agile techniques. So, while Scrum and Kanban seem like two different frameworks, they share a lot of common features. Even though the differences are apparent, these can be imbued in one framework to entertain a more efficient operation cycle

With these threats in light, it is important to know that a Certified Scrum Master® (CSM®) or an A-CSMSM course will not be rendered obsolete. If anything, it’ll shed light on what is the best practice for an organisation on a case-by-case study. Therefore, an individual with a CSM trainingcan still efficiently implement a hybrid Scrum practice in the organisation. Understanding the differences, and thereby extracting useful aspects is key to doing that.

Scrum and Kanban: Differences and Commonalities

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    In Kanban, there are no fixed roles or responsibilities. While there may still be a project manager heading the team, each member is encouraged to participate and chime in. In Scrum, however, the PO will dictate the scope and requirements, the PM will oversee budget while the SM will take care of the timelines and smooth functioning of the team in its entirety. This rigidity can produce a certain amount of static nature to the entire framework while adding to the budgetary overheads. Imbuing the ideas of Kanban in to Scrum produces a more flexible style where a project manager can take care of the requirements while an SM takes care of everything else. Everyone else would count as a stakeholder  and would be treated as such under the principles of Scrum or Kanban.
  • Timelines and Due Dates

    While in Scrum the due dates are determined by the length of the Sprints, Kanban follows a strict as-needed policy. These due dates are intimidated by the clients or the businesses themselves basing on the need. While on one hand, Scrum’s policies produce inflexible rigidity, Kanban’s policies produce inconsistent periods of work and, therefore, unwarranted interruptions. A combination of these two frameworks can create one that would suit the business the most. But even in such a scenario, the role of A-CSM trainingwould be paramount because the Scrum Master would have to take care of the timelines and the deliverables. Therefore, even in the hybrid framework, an A-CSM coursestill has benefits.
  • Productivity and Prioritization

    In Scrum, productivity is measured in terms of the speed with which a particular activity is completed. Kanban, on the other hand, measures productivity in terms of the time taken to finish one full piece of task. In other words, when new tasks have to be taken, each of the cross-functional department representatives ‘pull’ one particular task. Kanban has a limit on the number of tasks that can run simultaneously. Scrum, on the other hand, ‘pulls’ in an entire batch of tasks to be conducted simultaneously. As far as changes are concerned, Kanban allows iterations during the tasks while Scrum allows changes only after a sprint. Both of them present their own problems, and a qualified Scrum Master would be well-equipped to address these issues.
  • Applicability

    Kanban is generally used where the projects start off with uncertain goals and therefore priorities vary over time, while Scrum is useful for relatively stable projects. To say that an organisation deals with only one of the two is wrong. For that purpose, a hybrid framework enables an organisation to meet the needs diligently and without stoppages

Creating a Hybrid Framework

It is important to note that Scrum users can use Kanban and vice-versa. It improves efficiency by eliminating those tasks with the most priority and subject to varying goals. A Scrum Master needs to be well-equipped to deal with these dynamic requirements of a project and guide their Scrum team accordingly, something that an A-CSM training course would assist them in.

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