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Created May 5, 2020 01:40
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scrum vs Kanban

IMHO, Kanban and SCRUM attempt to achieve the same goal, throughput. However they put systemic pressure on different points of organizational breakdown.

SCRUM takes the stance that communication is where throughput suffers. Without effective communication, via iterative planning, efficiency is lost.

Kanban believes focus is the point of efficiency loss. By moving tasks through work limited stages a team gains laser focus which should encourage high throughput.

That doesn't mean that SCRUM doesn't value focus. It utilizes story points and velocity to encourage tightly focused iterations.

Nor does Kanban ignore communication. Boards communicate work status and well designed work in progress limits on your board should encourage communication and collaboration amongst team members.

I personally like SCRUM because Conway's law tells us that communication is the most important tool for success. However I think there are great situations where Kanban could be highly effective. I think the curriculum team could benefit greatly from work phases and WIP limits.

The biggest problem I see is that barely anyone actually does Kanban. Tons of people use boards, but boards without work in progress limits are not Kanban. As well most board software does not give you flow analytics. Measurement of flow is intrinsic to how Kanban works (like velocity in SCRUM.) True Kanban in practice seems like a unicorn.

My own guess is that Kanban works great in small organizations. Constant communication is unavoidable in that environment. As organizations grow it becomes easier to fragment, so putting systemic pressure on communication seems valuable.

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