What is exact difference between Kanban methodology vs Kanban Board?

Last post 09:17 pm June 26, 2019
by Yuval Yeret
2 replies
08:20 am June 26, 2019
04:37 pm June 26, 2019

Mariam, if I were to draw a distinction between the two:

  • The Kanban Board establishes visibility into work items as they proceed through an existing workflow.   This promotes transparency, effectively radiates information, and supports tracking of work items against set WIP limits.
  • The Kanban Methodology includes concepts like value streams, system flow, and beneficial metrics like Cumulative Flow and Cycle Time to improve efficiency and ability to deliver

Now, that is my take on it, but I am by no means an expert in Kanban.   The bottom line though in my opinion is that neither are fully valuable without the other.

09:17 pm June 26, 2019

Mariam, in the Scrum.org Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams we define Kanban as a strategy for optimizing flow. this strategy relies on a couple of key practices - 

  • Visualization of the workflow
  • Limiting WIP
  • Active management of work items in progress
  • Inspecting and adapting definition of "Workflow"

Those practices leverage a Kanban board for implementing the kanban strategy. You could see that as an approach for optimizing flow. 

The Kanban Method refers to an approach that leverages Kanban Boards and similar practices to pursue evolutionary change from your current process towards a more flow-oriented process/system, with minimal up-front changes other than visualizing the flow and limiting WIP. 

In the context of combining Scrum with Kanban we use the kanban strategy - our goal isn't to move away from Scrum - it is to still do Scrum and complement it with a kanban strategy.