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Beyond Agile Software Development

Scrum & Kanban – Compare and Contrast

Henrik Kniberg has put together a good article on the similarities and differences of Scrum & Kanban here: http://blog.crisp.se/henrikkniberg/2009/04/03/1238795520000.html

On the whole a pretty good article. I don’t fully agree with the section that talks about using estimates if you need predictability. Estimates are simply a prediction of the future but real predictability comes from regular, quality releases of software from the team – cycle time and other metrics should be used as a far better measure of predictability.

Unless of course your team is in the very small minority of teams that can accurately predict the future. If you want a prediction of the future why not go to your local fair and visit the resident fortune teller – they will likely be as accurate as you.

I also don’t agree fully that Scrum is a pull based system. Letting the team decide the order they work on stories and then packaging that into a Sprint seems like pushing work in batches through the system. Iterations don’t really support flow and work is not continuously pulled into the system.

Finally the last page talks about starting to do Retrospectives. My advice from a Lean perspective is don’t – set yourself up to continuously improve (kaizen) and that as you find things that don’t work or don’t seem right then sit down and identify and fix the root cause. Don’t let things fester. Continuously look for ways to improve and be better. Don’t batch things up.


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