Comparison Matrix

Scrum Kanban
KPI Team velocity Cycle-time
Goal Building highly reliable and predictable teams. Building flexible and resilient teams.
Suitable For Consistent and predictable workloads.Mid-term and long-term Deliverables. Multiple teams at scale. Unpredictable and arbitrary workloads. Short-term and high-priority deliverables. Small and independent teams.
Cadence 2-Weeks Sprints3 to 5-Sprints Milestones 1-Week Beats
Roles Product Owner (PO)Scrum Master (SM)Development Team N/A
Ceremonies PlanningDaily ScrumsReviewDemoRetroScrum of Scrums Daily Stand-ups
Board Calendar-like board showing all days in sprint.Focusing on deadlines and deliverables. Kanban board showing different stages in work pipeline. Focusing on DONE as quickly as possible.
Change of Plan Current sprint plan CANNOT be changed.New stories go to backlog for next sprint. New stories can be added to beat. Number of work-in-progress (WIP) items should be limited.
Pros More predictable and reliable. Better scalability. Faster and more flexible.
Cons More management overhead.Less flexibility for urgent works. Less predictability.Hard to scale.

Both Scrum and Kanban require:

  • Definition of Done (DoD)
  • Groomed Backlog
  • Effective Standups/Scrums

The goal of planning is:

  • Understading details of what needs to be done.
  • Highlighting high-priority and high-impact works.
  • Identifying blockers, risks, and unknowns.
  • Determining what can be done in parallel and what should be serialized.
  • Laying out a plan for collaboration between team members.
  • Adopting reasonable deadlines.
  • Making feasible commitments and communicating deliverables.
  • Coming up with a Plan B!

When sizing stories in Scrum,

  • Use Fibonacci numbers.
  • Think of story size as an internal relative measure of complexity rather than time.
  • Each story should be small enough to be done in a sprint.
  • Usually, a story size bigger than 8 is a sign of not enough planning and not identifying unknowns and risks.

Scrumban tries to bring the best of both worlds while making some compromisation on both sides. In Scrumban, stories are still sized and the key metric is still team velocity, but Scrumban can take in new stories into a sprint as far as another story with similar size is pushed out. So, the total number of stories planned for the sprint stays the same.