Agile development | Scrum | Kanban | Blog

Jan 02, 2014 Aathira Nair

Agile development has been gaining popularity particularly due to today’s outsourced mode of technology development. Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. As per the Agile Manifesto which was laid out in 2001, by 17 software developers at Utah, there was a certain need to build lightweight development methods which will uncover better ways to developing software.

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools

Working software over Comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation

Responding to change over Following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.


Scrum is another commonly used term alongside agile development. This is an agile framework, which is based on a flexible holistic product development strategy. A key principle of Scrum is its inherent understanding that during a project the customers can change their requirements, and the team is focused on delivering quickly and responding to emerging requirements on the go. The Scrum alliance, which was founded much after 2001, brought about the Certified Scrum Master programs, which helped individuals to improve the quality and effectiveness of the Scrum.

A scrum master acts as a buffer between the team and any impediment on it path. The role requires the master to ensure that he is present on all the meetings to help and challenge the team to improve. A scrum master is built on experience and immense practice of the various rules of Scrum. The scrum master plans the sprints, a basic unit of development in Scrum, and decides the optimum duration of the sprint based on his understanding of the team. Each sprint is started by a planning meeting, where the tasks for the sprint are identified and an estimated commitment for the sprint goal is made, and ended by a sprint review-and-retrospective meeting,where the progress is reviewed and lessons for the next sprint identified. Scrum emphasizes a working product outcome at the end of each sprint, which is further improved upon in the following sprints.


Is Kanban really agile development?

Not really.

Kanban is a process improvement methodology which has been implemented in many software development projects. Kanban works on the principle that the different processes/ activities are displayed to the team members, and the members pull work from the queue and proceed with it. Kanban believes in visualizing the work on the board to observe the movement patterns and understanding the nature of bottlenecks. To improve the flow of work, Kanban implements a Work – in – Process limit, aiming to clear the bottlenecks and convert in-process works to completed works, prior to starting on new tasks.

Scrum and Kanban in Software development

Scrum and Kanban play distinctive roles in the process of agile development of software products. Scrum helps to plan iterative delivery in small sprints, with a working product delivered at the end of each sprint. The end of a sprint marks a demonstration to the client of the new features, and planning for the next sprint. During the course of a Sprint, a Kanban board can help in visualizing the tasks allocated and in process. Following a complete Kanban process would mean driving a particular task to completion before moving on to the next. This might not result in delivering a working product at the end of every sprint. Hence, looking for the bottlenecks and aligning the tasks using Kanban, within a sprint, helps to keep the entire sprint in view. Focusing on Flow using Kanban can result in better productivity and a highly efficient scrum team.

Distributed agile development teams

In a global distributed product development environment, Nalashaa offers agile development best practices to ensure a smooth and risk free delivery model. Distributed Agile development brings in scalability and predictability to quality and product release based on tool-based measurement and management of metrics. At Nalashaa, we build and develop software with an aim to accelerate time-to-market and reduce engineering costs.

To know more about our Distributed agile software development.

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Aathira Nair

An engineer by education, foraying into a medley of activities - content, social media and marketing.

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