As a startup, Fortune 500 business, or a business anywhere in between, having well-designed software that drives revenue, reduces costs and streamlines your interaction with clients is fundamental to your business' growth. As a small business owner, having personalized software to meet your business' needs can give you the limitless potential for scaling up your company and gaining an edge over your competitors.
To create customized business software that maximizes productivity, companies need to work in tandem with software developers or tech companies, usually using Agile software development methodology to turn a vision for a business need into a software solution. Agile can be best described as a simple and effective process of developing software that employs regular team collaboration (between the business owner and the developer) and encourages a flexible response to change. Agile manages the software development process for businesses by breaking it into stages that require constant stakeholder collaboration and continuous improvement at every step.
Software developers usually use one of two Agile methodologies—the Kanban approach or the Scrum, also known as the Sprint approach, to maximize efficiency and get the best software possible for a business. Both methods have merits and demerits, and knowing which one to use at any given time is crucial in developing efficient software for your business.
In certain instances, people have mixed the two approaches to getting work done. We'll focus on the difference between the two methods, and by the end of this article, you can evaluate them from both a business and a developer's perspective. You should also be able to identify which situations would require any of the two approaches. But before we can delve into this, let's first examine what these approaches stand for and their similarities.
What Is The Kanban Method?
To start with, Kanban is a Japanese word that means "visual board." Using visual impressions to track projects is a part of the Kanban method as it is for the Sprint method as well. Overall, the Kanban method visualizes workflow to reduce the total amount of time spent on the project. The Kanban philosophy says, "start with what you do now and use continuous improvement to achieve evolutionary change." It requires that teams keep optimizing their Kanban board as situations change. Thus with Kanban, the team works on one item at a time before proceeding to the next item without setting any strict weekly goals to meet. Hence, team members cannot predict when certain tasks will be completed. This method is simpler than Scrum and is fast and flexible though it is unpredictable.
What Is The Scrum Or Sprint Method?
The Scrum method works on the principle that dividing projects into short segments is the best way to maximize productivity. It is used to divide work into smaller parts within a prescribed period termed as a Sprint. Thus, Scrum is a large set that can contain several sprints. Sprints refer to a short, fixed time frame within which a Scrum team has to complete a specified amount of work with milestones that they need to achieve or track. A sprint generally lasts 2-4 weeks.
Let's now look at some similarities and differences between the two methods.
Similarities Between Kanban and Sprint
The two methods both share Agile values used to organize work between collaborating team members. For instance, in developing software, the product owner, scrum master, and the development team must work together. Kanban and Sprint methods both provide frameworks within which team members—whether clearly defined or not, must act to make workflow more efficient to yield the best result possible. Both are centered on self-organized teams that break down work into smaller pieces. They both encourage openness and transparency to improve every step of project execution.
Critical Differences In Using Kanban Versus Sprint In Software Teams
The most fundamental difference between Kanban and Scrum is that Kanban gives team members the flexibility to go with the project's natural flow, without time limits, while Scrum uses sprints. Sprints give teams fixed deadlines to meet specific functionalities to prevent distractions, while Kanban seeks to increase efficiency using less defined times for meeting particular goals.
Secondly, with Kanban, roles played by team members are not clearly defined and not required to be cross-functional. Contrarily, the Scrum method requires clearly defined roles. A team would typically have a Scrum Master, Product Owner and Team members.
Another point to note is Scrum philosophy's limitations, which do not allow for changes to occur before a sprint ends, making a Sprint very inflexible. On the other hand, the Kanban method is flexible and will enable changes to be made at any time.
When To Use Kanban vs Scrum?
While Scrum/Sprints are great for every team type, they are recommended for more experienced teams that are quite good at planning and working in Agile as tasks must be completed within a specified period/sprint.
Kanban is the best option for less experienced teams, as it is easier to use and adopt. Consequently, teams usually start with it and move to Scrum when they get better at planning. You can also try your hands on the two methods to find the right fit for your team.
From a developer's perspective, the Kanban method can create insecurity in some team members. This insecurity can occur because software developers often construe the lack of a roadmap for completing a project as an indicator of uncertainty. The developers might think that there aren't enough jobs for them to do daily and presume that they're expendable to the team.
A vital component for every successful business software development project is the team at the helm of affairs. You need to carefully choose who to hire to translate your business' needs into a software's design. Choosing the right team and adding a little planning would go a long way in reducing avoidable mistakes. It is essential to work with the best software development practices.
Both methods come with advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of development approach would depend on the specific business needs and the level of your team's experience and most importantly, the type of product you are building. For instance, the approach required for building a marketing website is different from that required for developing an accounting software. When torn between the two methods, you could let your team vote, reach a consensus, or consult an expert software developer.
Zibtek is a custom software developing company with on-demand industry veteran developers who can help your business capture a worldwide audience's attention with optimized business software, security and advisory solutions. We're highly experienced in equipping businesses with the right tools and have some of the best tech specialists you can find worldwide. You can never go wrong with Zibtek, or at least that's what our clients say. Want to boost your business with personalized software solutions? Get in touch with us today.