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What are the Difference between Scrum Board and a Kanban Board?


Scrum and Kanban boards are in general linked with whiteboards and To Do – In Progress – Done categories. Scrum and Kanban are two of the terms that often used in the same way. And sometimes wrongly thought to be just the two opposite sides of a single coin. In reality, there are remarkable differences between these two terms. And you must have a better knowledge about the key differences of these Agile methodologies, to choose which will work better for you. In this article, we will discuss every single detail about Scrum and Kanban board and compare their key features.

The basic definition of Scrum and Kanban boards:

What is the Scrum board?

This tool helps to organize the work into small and compliant pieces that a cross-functional team may complete within a sprint, that generally take 2-4 weeks to complete. This methodology relies on these following roles:

  • Product owner, who is solely responsible for preliminary planning, make it, prioritizes, and introduce the plan with the rest of the company.
  • Scrum Master is responsible for monitoring the entire process throughout the sprint periods and keeping the team grounded with scrum principles.
  • Team members; who are responsible for producing software codes and carry out each of the assigned purposes of each sprint.

A scrum team uses one of the most common terms, known as Scrum board. Which is a perceptible description of the flow of work? As per requirement, the entire workflow subdivided into pieces known as “stories,” and the to-do list got prepared as each story move along with the board. One of the most common terms used here is work-in-progress (WIP), which gives you all the details about stories up to the completion of a specific task.

What is the Kanban board?

Kanban is an Agile methodological tool that organizes the whole work for the sake of effectivity and efficiency. In a few manners, it has similarities with Scrum. Kanban also allows you to break your entire job into manageable chunks, i.e., stories and enable you to get a visual representation of how the workflow is What are the Difference between Scrum Board and a Kanban Board? 1progressing.

The main difference between these two methodologies is, while Scrum limits the time to accomplish your work, Kanban limits the amount of allowed work. The teams that can change its size and priority and that deals with numbers of the incoming request; the Kanban board is more effective for them.

Is there any similarity between these two?

You already have the basic idea about Scrum and Kanban board, let us directly dive into some terminology methodology, and then comparing the key elements of Scrum and Kanban.

Scrum boards and kanban boards allow for complicated and large tasks to divide into small manageable chunks. And both these methods provide a visual representation and helps you to track the ultimate progress of specified tasks. So that all team members can check out WIP to know what work is coming next? That means it helps develop your team and keep them focused on ensuring a faster product release rate.

Both the Scrum and Kanban boards’ give use of a provision to use sticky notes to communicate and detect the status of the work development progress. You may find several categories of the sticky note on the board:

  • New Features
  • Bugs
  • Tasks
  • Change Request
  • Technical Requirement
  • Knowledge Acquisition

Coming through the basic definitions, if you are not sure which one to start using? We will explain to you how these two boards differ from each other.

Scrum vs. Kanban Side by Side Comparison:

Here we have collected 10 points to show the key differences of Scrum board and Kanban Board.

  1. Due Dates / Delivery Timelines: In Scrum board, it limits the work in progress with iterations. One has to complete a set of tasks and make it ready for review within a set of period or sprint. And you can use all the items simultaneously from the In Progress section.

Whereas in the Kanban board, according to workflow state, it limits the work in progress. That means that deliverables and processes have to deliver continuously on an as-needed basis. And the business itself determines the entire work delivery time.

  1. Board Owner:

In the case of the scrum board, the scrum team is always the owner. This scrum team is a group of employees having all the skills required to complete all the specific tasks within the sprint. Such a team is commonly known as a cross-functional team.

But in the Kanban board, the situation is different as it is mostly devoted to a workflow; any specific team does not own it.

  1. Role and Responsibilities:

In the case of the Scrum board, all the team members have a specific pre-defined role. In such a cross-functional team, the product owner defines the objectives and goals, and the scrum master defines the timeline of delivery, and the team members execute the work within the sprint.

But in Kanban Board, there is no pre-defined role for any of the team members.

  1. Work in progress and Change philosophy:

Scrum team cannot add or update any new item in the middle of a sprint. You must set all the tasks before starting the iteration, i.e., during the planning session. But the scrum board allows us to do all the tasks at the same time.

In Kanban, there is no time frame for adding or updating a new work, as it only limits the work in progress activity. So, whenever a task from an In Progress column moves to the completed section, one can readily add a new task from the queue.

  1. Backlog:

The Scrum team can move tasks to Sprint Backlog from Product Backlog. Sprint Backlog is the list of assigned tasks to complete within a specific period.

Kanban also provides the Backlog practice, which is, in general, equated with User Story.

  1. Productivity Measurement:

Scrum Board uses velocity through the sprint to measure production. Here velocity is the primary metric.

And in Kanban to calculate productivity, the team can use the total amount of time taken to complete the entire piece of a report from day one to end. i.e., here, one uses “cycle time.”

  1. Reports:

In Scrum Board, team members can review the entire work performance in terms of velocity using Sprint Burndown chart, Epic Burndown, Velocity Chart, Sprint Report, Epic Report, Release Burndown, Version Report, etc. But in Kanban, there is no specific report.

  1. Retrospective:

In Scrum board, all the team members can hold a sprint retrospective meeting to discuss how things go and what they can do to make it better at the end of the sprint.

As the Kanban board does not have any time-bound, there is no chance to hold a retrospective meeting to discuss the workflow.


  1. Prioritization:

In Scrum board, prioritization is a must to do. This prioritizing process involves creating and modifying Product backlog, resource estimation, and setting properties. And one has to figure out what will be crucial for the NEXT sprint.

In Kanban methodology, team members do not prioritize or estimate scheme; in this method, probabilistic forecasting helps to do the project planning.

  1. Best Applications:

The Scrum methodology is best for teams with stable priorities that do not change with time, whereas the Kanban methodology is best for projects with widely-varying priorities.

Which method is better for you?

There is no answer to this question. Whereas the scrum board method asks for high control over what is in scope, the kanban method lets you dive with the flow. Both of these methods are powerful process tools. Both of these can be widely useful for your project management. You can experiment with both these methods and get familiar with different aspects of it. According to a few, the combination of these two can also be the best choice for you.