What’s the difference between Kanban board vs Scrum board in Jira?

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Kanban, scrum, agile, board, todo-inprogress-done. If you’re one of the regular folks, you might treat the aforementioned keywords almost the same – as if they were referring to the same thing.

And in reality, they somehow do. They all relate to the process of getting things done in a systematic manner. In this case it is managing tasks in Jira.

And while working alone or in a very small group of people you can get by using them interchangeably quite without any problem, when working in a well-established company or a team, things can get pretty messy when you use one term instead of the other in a wrong time.

This is why in this article I’ll explain what is the difference between these two really similar terms and to which things they refer to.

What’s the same

Very simple way to learn a difference is to learn what is the same and then derive the particular difference. Let’s have a look:

  • Kanban board
  • Scrum board

So from the above we can see, that the word board is the same for both.
In this case board is a project management tool and in particular a visual representation of Jira issues.

What’s different

Now, we are left out with the two different terms:

  • Kanban
  • Scrum

The two terms refer to a different framework or a project management style.

And this is also a very simple answer to the question as what’s the difference.

The difference is in the project management framework that is used within the project.

Kanban vs Scrum

Knowing that the difference between Kanban board and Scrum board lies in the underlaying framework, let’s briefly have a look at the two frameworks.

Scrum

  • software is shipped in regular intervals (a week, 2-week, 30-days…)
  • scrum team adopts specific roles (scrum master, product owner, team member)
  • the team holds regular ceremonies (standups, retrospectives)

Kanban

  • is a continuous flow of work with a goal to maximize efficiency and reducing making the tasks go from start to finish
  • does not have required time intervals, roles and ceremonies as scrum

To better understand the differences, have a look at the comparison table below:

Scrum vs Kanban comparison table (source Atlassian.com)

Kanban board vs Scrum board

Knowing that two boards refer to the different underlying framework, it means there is going to be a slight difference in how they look like in Jira.

Conclusion

In this article I explained the difference between Kanban board and Scrum board in Jira.

The difference lies in the underlying framework (Kanban or Scrum) that uses the board. The subtle differences in the visual display on the boards at not that important.


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