After the popularity of my previous blog a couple of years ago, I thought it was only fair that I revisit this topic and update you on what has changed with both scrum and kanban in the meantime.
The comparison of both scrum and kanban remains pretty much the same, but in this blog I’d like to concentrate on the features that both have to offer, and the benefits your team will gain from using each.
What has changed with JIRA Agile?
Since JIRA 7, as a lot of you know, JIRA Agile has been incorporated with JIRA Core to make it JIRA Software. If you are still using JIRA version 6.x or below, it is still referred to as JIRA Agile and can be download as normal here .
With these changes come new features, as well as bug fixes. One quite obvious feature is the project summary page. This no longer produces the summary that we are all used to with Created vs Resolved charts – instead you will be presented with either the kanban board (if you have an active sprint) or the scrum board (to see your backlog).
Scrum or Kanban?
The scrum board, as explained in my previous blog, is where a team plans its work. It is used for backlog management, which a scrum master would typically use for tracking a current sprint and planning future sprints.
Scrum is more for large scale projects where the project has to be divided into small iterations to produce the end product.
With a scrum board, you no longer have “Work” mode under the Board menu – this is now embedded on the left hand side of navigation for a project, labelled as “Active Sprints”.
The same applies to Reports – this is not longer under the Board menu, but on the left hand side.
Kanban is less structured than scrum, allowing users to get on with their work and view their progress rather than wasting all their time planning (although that’s not to say that planning isn’t helpful! :-)). Kanban is suited to non-technical projects or short projects which do not split into iterations to produce the end product.
Comparison of features
Below is a list of features that both scrum and kanban have to offer to help you decide which suits your needs.
|Plan sprints||Quick filters to view certain types of issues|
|Map issues to epics using the epics panel||Configure columns to map to statuses|
|Map issues to versions using the versions panel||Swimlanes to organise issues|
|Estimate issues using either story points or the in-built original estimate feature||Constraints to limit minimum and maximum number of issues|
|Priorities backlog. created by dragging and dropping issues||Version release|
|Quick filters to view certain types of issues at a time||Create issues|
|Active sprints board (kanban board) to track active sprints||Limited reports i.e. no velocity chart, epic report etc|
|Configure columns in active sprints|
|Swimlanes for active sprints|
|Column constraints, adding a minimum and maximum number of issues|
|Active sprint board to release a version|
|Issue creation from backlog view|
|Configure working days per board|
How do you decide?
It may sound complicated, but actually it’s quite simple.
How do you know if you should opt for Scrum?
- Your project involves sprints
- You want to estimate issues
- You have a large scale project
- You want to do a lot of reporting
- You want to prioritise work
- You are using epics and user stories
- You’re looking to change your team’s habits (i.e. delivering on time)
- You want to have a clear structure of what will be delivered during each phase
How do you know if you should opt for Kanban?
- You have a small scale project
- You want to have a quick setup – just a few clicks
- You want something that is relatively easy to use
- You don’t follow an agile methodology and want a work in progress view
- You want something that is not perfect but allows you to improve your process
So there you have it – scrum an kanban in a nutshell. I hope you found this blog helpful, and if you have any questions, drop me a comment!