Kanban Boards vs. Scrum Boards: What They Are and Similarities and Differences

Summary: “Kanban vs. scrum” is a discussion about two different strategies for implementing an agile development or project management system. Kanban methodologies are continuous and more fluid, whereas scrum is based on short, structured work sprints.

Basic task management is the first step in project planning, and the two best tools are the Kanban and the Scrum task board. The Kanban is more open and fluid with less structure, whereas the Scrum board is more structured with clear goals and deadlines. Their approaches and ideologies are what set them apart. Going back to the fundamentals is a wise choice because there are so many different ways to organize a project. It will ultimately depend on the project’s size, foreseeable scalability, and your team’s adherence to some fundamental rules as to how to choose between these two foundational building blocks of project organization. This article outlines the key distinctions between the two before outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each approach.

Scrum vs Kanban – What’s the Difference? + FREE CHEAT SHEET

How does a kanban board work?

A kanban board typically has three categories, but your team can customize it with as many as necessary categories based on your team’s projects and overall goals. The three most commonly used categories are:

You can have as many items in the queue as you like when using a kanban board, but there is a limit to how many items can be in the “in progress” category at once. By concentrating only on the tasks at hand right now, your team is able to finish the work items more quickly. For instance, if your team is allowed a maximum of six “in progress” items, a team member cannot remove a new item from the queue until there is room in the “in progress” column.

Since there is no deadline for completing items on a kanban board, you can continuously add items to the queue, complete them, and then move them to the “complete” column. As a result, the team’s workflow for completing and delivering tasks is consistent.

What is a kanban board?

A kanban board is a visual tool that organizes a team’s work efforts using columns to make them more productive. Each day, a group of team members consults this board to keep track of the work that has yet to be started, is currently being done, and has been completed.

What is a scrum board?

Another visual tool that aids teams in monitoring overall progress and breaking down work items into more manageable tasks is the scrum board. Scrum boards keep track of work in brief intervals, so a team’s use of the board has a clear beginning and end date. This period of time is called a “sprint,” and each sprint typically lasts two weeks, but it can also last up to four weeks.

How does a scrum board work?

Similar to a kanban board, a scrum board makes use of columns with various categories to arrange the progression of their work. Although you can add additional categories to meet the needs of your team, the general columns are as follows:

The number of tasks that must be finished before the sprint can start must be decided by the team because a scrum board follows a specific amount of time from beginning to end. Due to the urgency of your product goal, it is impossible to add new items to the “tasks not started” column once they have been started. But unlike the kanban board, you can always add as many items as you want to the “work in progress” category.

Kanban board vs. scrum board

Although they both serve as visual aids and have a similar objective, there are a number of differences that make them distinct:


On both boards, team members complete all the tasks. The completion of projects on kanban boards requires a team, but there are no clearly defined roles for each member. Once a task is marked as “in progress,” everyone works together and assists one another with it. Scrum boards have defined roles within the team to aid in organization and task completion. These roles consist of:


Kanban boards have no set beginning or end date. Throughout the procedure, it is acceptable to add new items to the queue, resulting in a fluid product delivery. In contrast, scrum boards emphasize the importance of giving the board a strict deadline in order to finish the products by the end of the sprint. Both boards keep the team engaged and concentrated on their overall objective, despite the fact that they schedule the work in different ways.

“In progress” tasks

Both boards place a high value on streamlining the entire work process, but they approach it in different ways. When using a kanban board, you are only permitted to have a certain number of tasks in the “in progress” column at any given time. This helps the team stay focused on a manageable number of tasks at once. On the other hand, a scrum board gives team members unlimited freedom to move as many items from one column to the next.

Adding additional work to a board in progress

A kanban board has no set end date, so it is possible to continuously add new tasks, allowing for a steady output of products to be finished. With a scrum board, however, the number of tasks allotted during the sprint is predetermined before the project starts, so you can’t add new items to the “tasks not started” column once the sprint has started.

Making changes to the board

On a kanban board, changes can be made at any time, such as who is handling a particular task or how long it will take to complete any item on the board. This enables the overall output of products to be continuously improved. Contrarily, once a scrum board has begun, you typically cannot change anything because all items and time frames were predetermined when planning the sprint.

Completion/release methodology

Each task on a kanban board has no set due date, resulting in a continuous flow of the products. With scrum boards, it is anticipated that a product will be delivered at the conclusion of the sprint.

Reflecting on the process

Because the kanban boards are constantly in use and updated with new tasks in the queue, there isn’t time to consider how to improve the project. However, with scrum boards, there is sufficient time for the team to reflect and talk about what went well and how to improve after each sprint is finished.


What is the difference between Kanban and Scrum boards?

Kanban is a project management technique that aids in task visualization, whereas Scrum is a technique that gives the team and schedule structure. The project management methodologies Kanban and Scrum emphasize continual improvement while completing project tasks in small steps.

Is Kanban better than scrum?

For continuous flow work, such as support and services, Kanban is preferable. The scrum team establishes WIP limits for each sprint, and new work is only taken on after all previous work has been finished. If teams need a sense of accomplishment/completion/closure, use scrum.

What is the difference between agile Scrum and kanban?

Agile focuses on adaptive, simultaneous workflows. Agile methods break projects into smaller, iterative periods. Kanban is primarily concerned with process improvements. Scrum is concerned with getting more work done faster.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *