What is Scrumban? The Differences Between Scrumban, Scrum, And Kanban?

What is Scrumban? The Differences Between Scrumban, Scrum, And Kanban?

Teams in different industries have projects that they work on and have to finish. However, companies must implement different project management systems to ensure a seamless development process. But how to choose a management methodology when there is such a wide range of options?

For example, should you choose Scrum, Kanban, or Scrumban? Keep reading this article to learn more about these three different management methods so you can decide.

Understanding Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework that helps to develop, deliver, and maintain complex projects. Initially, methodologists developed Scrum for software development. However, other industries often adopt this methodology too.

Scrum is an empirical and undefined process for managers to develop plans based on teams’ feedback and experience. Scrum enables companies to implement individual roles for better transparency within teams. Every employee knows their roles and understands assigned tasks.

Some of the main roles under Scrum are:

  • Scrum master (manager);
  • product owner;
  • development team.

Scrum also requires having daily 15-minute meetings followed by sprints (work periods). Once the project is done, teams gather for a sprint review to discuss their experiences and give feedback to the Scrum master.


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Understanding Kanban

Kanban stands for the Japanese word billboard. Kanban got this name because visualization of the project and its processes has the main role. Teams use visuals of in-progress and incoming work items (or tasks) that keep them updated.

Kanban boards help with the visualization of the team’s work and the standardization of workflows. Kanban helps track any bottlenecks or difficulties so the manager can easily resolve issues early on.

The simplest Kanban board consists of three-step workflows:

  • to do;
  • in progress;
  • completed.

However, companies are encouraged to make adjustments based on different factors, for example, the size of the team and project, the duration of the project, etc.

What is Scrumban? The Differences Between Scrumban, Scrum, And Kanban?

What is Scrumban?

So, what is Scrumban? Scrumban is a hybrid project management methodology. It uses a Scrum framework and a Kanban system within that framework. It’s an agile methodology development method applied by teams who prefer using a pull-based system instead of batch work.

A pull-based system is when a team starts a new project only when there is a demand (pull) for the job. Scrumban is essentially a hybrid of Scrum’s structure and Kanban’s visual appeal. However, the system aims to help teams create something unique. Moreover, Scrumban is a rare project management system that enables teams to change work details without causing chaos.

This isn’t the only reason why companies prefer Scrumban. Some businesses have applied Scrum methodology but prefer to switch to Kanban and vice versa. Given the difficulty of the switch from one methodology to another, companies prefer to implement Scrumban and then switch to the desired system.

Scrumban Vs Scrum and Kanban: main differences

First things first, Scrumban is a combination of both Scrum and Kanban methodologies. So, Scrumban is similar and different from these project management methods. Let’s figure out what Scrum’s and Kanban’s elements Scrumban incorporates.

These are Scrum’s elements incorporated into the Scrumban methodolog:

  • Iteration planning at standard intervals, combined with employees’ reviews.
  • Figure out how much work teams can pull from the product backlog into the sprint regarding the work’s difficulty level and the length of the sprint.
  • Demand (or pull) prioritization. It provides teams with the best option to work on next.
  • Guarantee necessary analysis before starting development (as in Scrum’s Definition of Ready).
  • Using the “ready” queue (between Backlog and Doing) for planning and organization workflows.

So, these are Scrum’s elements. As for Scrumban vs Kanban, the latter adds visualization, better process improvement, and more valuable metrics. Scrumban methodology uses the following Kanban elements:

  • A pull system and non-stop workflow. Pull items into the “Doing” as soon as the team has the capacity.
  • WIP limits. This feature sets a limit on how many items can be in progress.
  • No clear specification of individual roles within the team.
  • Short lead times. Focus on the “just-in-time” type of analysis and planning. It’s the opposite of batch-processing for iteration planning estimation.
  • The usage of process buffers and flow diagrams to spot weaknesses and find opportunities to improve.
  • Prioritization of cycle time, not the burndown. The methodology states that if cycle time is predictable, so is the burndown.
  • Implementation of policies to make process step transitions more transparent and easy to understand.

Simply put, the Scrumban methodology combines the advantages of Scrum and Kanban. However, this methodology also has pros and cons.

Scrumban method advantages and disadvantages

The Scrumban methodology has multiple benefits. However, it doesn’t mean that Scrumban is a perfect choice. Like any system or methodology, it has its flaws. Let’s check Scrumban’s pros and cons.


One advantage is starting projects only when there is a demand for work. However, the methodology has a few other benefits:

  • Saves time. The management doesn’t have to gather weekly to make plans. Managers start planning only when there is a demand for work.
  • Offers simple fragmentation. Larger projects consist of processes, and processes require employees to complete tasks. Scrumban enables easy project fragmentation. Moreover, managers can prioritize smaller tasks within a large project to maximize efficiency.
  • Spot bottlenecks. Workflow bottlenecks slow down work processes, mess with schedules, and waste resources. A Scrumban framework enables project managers to spot the most important tasks and address bottlenecks early on.
  • Offers transparency. Scrumban uses Kanban boards, so all employees can easily understand at what stage their project is.
  • Simplicity when adopting the methodology. Scrumban is easy to understand; thus, companies have no difficulties adopting the system. Your company needs the right software, and you can easily implement the new methodology.

Companies that adopt the Scrumban methodology can choose tasks using the “pull” principle to maximize the team’s efficiency. Teams can easily focus on tasks with the highest priority levels.


Scrumban has many advantages, but it’s still a new management system. It has some flaws that need to be addressed before adopting it. Scrumban has the following drawbacks:

  • It doesn’t have strict practices to guide the methodology. It may benefit the company since they can adjust the system, so it fits perfectly. However, when teams create practices from scratch, it may not benefit specific projects.
  • Difficult to track team members’ progress. Teams don’t meet daily with managers, so it could be challenging to spot each individual’s progress.

Overall, teams benefit from Scrumban, but managers face difficulties. On the one hand, the manager’s task is easier since they need to schedule projects and determine their priority. On the other hand, team members decide how to handle projects. So, managers might have a hard time controlling projects.

Key takeaways

So, what is Scrumban? Scrumban combines elements of Scrum’s and Kanban’s structures. Scrumban is a great option for teams who want to benefit from Scrum’s structure and Kanban’s flexibility. Moreover, a company may use Scrumban as a transition stage from Scrum to Kanban or vice versa.

Overall, Scrumban is another efficient example of a project management method. The team’s success will depend on how the company implements the system. When done right, the company receives multiple benefits.

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