Scrum, Kanban, or XP? Navigating Agile Frameworks in Project Management

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on September 13, 2023

Full Comparison: Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall vs Kanban

The requisites of global enterprises have perpetually undergone evolution. To adapt to this dynamic landscape, institutions have relinquished conventional paradigms governing work and software development. Instead, they are diligently seeking avenues to infuse greater agility into their software development processes, thereby enhancing their competitiveness within their respective industries.

Some software development methodologies abound, each offering a potential route to fortify your team’s agility and yield superlative product quality. Foremost among these frameworks stands Scrum, widely acknowledged for its efficacy. Nonetheless, alternative approaches such as Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP) merit contemplation.

Within this instructional exposition, we shall scrutinize these four distinct methodologies, elucidating their merits and appropriateness for your esteemed organization.

What is Agile?

Since a functional piece of software won’t be obtained until late in the software development lifecycle, the traditional method of software development involves a lengthy plan with requirements and designs. Projects usually exceed schedules and budgets as a result of this. With the adoption of the Agile methodology, the responsibility for finishing the project on schedule and within budget was divided among the team members.

Agile is a theory that was developed to enhance the software development process. The Agile approach to software development places an emphasis on quick and flexible reactions to changes in requirements, client needs, and technological environments. The word “Agile,” which implies quick and flexible, served as its inspiration.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile methodology that employs planning, development, testing, and evaluation in a time-boxed cycle to produce high-quality products quickly and advance with each sprint. Cross-functional, self-organizing teams working within the goals of their product owner are the main focus of Scrum. Utilizing their collective knowledge and skill sets, the team selects how to work together most effectively to finish the task within each sprint in order to produce significant outcomes through experimentation.

Continuous improvement is the cornerstone of the Scrum methodology. You work in a team environment and there are multiple incremental steps to creating a project. The main distinction between Scrum and other Agile frameworks is that Scrum bases its project management methodology on sprints. This implies that a defined objective or deliverable must be completed with each project iteration (or sprint). The flexibility of Scrum, its emphasis on ongoing improvement, and its capacity to foster better teamwork are all advantages.

What is Kanban?

Workflow management with Kanban is mostly used in the software development industry. Using sticky notes on a board called a Kanban board, you move your work from one stage to the next to keep track of it when using Kanban.

Unlike Scrum, which uses sprints and iterations, Kanban does not. Instead, you decide on your cadence based on how usually you want to roll out new features or products. Depending on the requirements and goals of your team, this cycle can range from daily to quarterly releases.

Therefore, Kanban developers work on whatever tasks are available instead of setting deadlines and pushing them out like Scrum does. Kanban is therefore better suited to tasks that follow a workflow.

In addition to creating cadences, Kanban allows you to control inventory levels by setting a limit on the number of backlog items that can be active at once (often referred to as WIP limits). Offering teams the freedom to prioritize what they need next in light of shifting project requirements and market conditions, helps reduce overwork.

The Kanban approach places an emphasis on visualizing work, restricting work-in-progress, continuous delivery, collaboration, and increasing efficiency and waste reduction. The work that needs to be done is divided into manageable chunks and listed on cards nailed to a board.

The cards are moved in accordance with the stages that the job is in (such as ready, in progress, ready for review, etc.). For teams with limited resources or when each item requires input from each team member, the work-in-progress rule is beneficial. The average time it takes to complete a task (also known as the “cycle time”) is tracked and optimized in order to make the process as efficient and predictable as possible.

As opposed to other agile frameworks, Kanban uses a pull-based method of project management, which is a key distinction. This results in work being pulled into the sprint just when it is required, reducing waste and keeping projects on schedule.

The advantages of utilizing Kanban include its emphasis on ongoing improvement, its capacity to foster better teamwork, and its adaptability (it can be made to work with any size or type of project).

What is Lean Development?

A simple option for teams to enhance their development processes is to employ the lean framework, which focuses on continuous improvement. Continuous change and improvement are the main goals of lean development. The Toyota Production System, which Toyota has employed since the 1950s to encourage continual improvement in their manufacturing processes, is the foundation of Lean. Lean is based on these principles:

  • Efficient flow of value
  • Harmonious work environment/li>
  • Respect for people and teamwork/li>
  • Continuous improvement/li>

The ability to quickly and efficiently identify and reduce waste is one of the advantages of lean. Delivering high-quality products and adding value for the customer are its main priorities.

What is XP (eXtreme Programming)?

The book Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change by Kent Beck and Martin Fowler presented the software development process known as Extreme Programming (XP). The major objective of XP is to reduce development time while maintaining frequent releases in order to increase the quality of software projects.

Extreme Programming was created to be a simple approach. It emphasizes simplicity, developing automated tests to direct code design, and frequent releases (as often as once per week), rather than providing any particular tools or procedures for putting its ideals into effect.

XP advocates pair programming, which involves two developers working together at one computer keyboard so they can more readily examine each other’s work, as well as continual refactoring, the process of rewriting code without altering its outer behavior to keep it simple to read and understand.

These procedures allow teams utilizing XP to receive feedback on their code more often throughout development than most other methods allow, as opposed to only testing after each significant work has been completed.

Conclusions Regarding Agile Frameworks

Although the origins of these agile frameworks differ and they each focus on different parts of the development process, they all maintain the values outlined in the Agile Manifesto and support teams in producing high-quality software rapidly. The maturity of your organization and the method you wish to use for product development will determine which Agile framework you choose. For instance, Kanban might be a better choice if you’re a start-up. However, Scrum or XP can be a better option if the team has experience with agile methods.


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