Differences between Scrum and Kanban

After over eight years of software product management in different industries (web portals, banking, payment, etc.), I worked with different software development methodologies – from waterfall approaches to agile models such as Scrum or Kanban. In my opinion, every approach has its right to exist and might be the best possible solution in a given situation, depending on the type of project, culture, requirements, degree of maturity of all involved people, etc. I really love working with Scrum or Kanban and recently wanted to come up with a summary of all differences between these two methodologies, since lines seem a bit blurred here in my opinion. Here’s what I come up with:

  • Artifacts: Scrum board, backlog, different types of requirement hierarchies (e.g. theme, epic, story, task), burn-down chart, velocity, etc. in Scrum vs. only a board in Kanban.
  • Iterations: Yes (sprints) for Scrum vs. no (a continuous flow) for Kanban.
  • Estimations: Yes for Scrum vs. no (items of similar sizes) for Kanban.
  • Changes: To be defined, groomed and estimated for the next sprint in Scrum vs. added to the board as needed in Kanban.
  • Roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team in Scrum vs. Team and other needed roles in Kanban.
  • Teams: Cross-functional in Scrum against teams which can be specialized in Kanban.
  • Ceremonies: Sprint planning, daily stand-up, sprint review and sprint retrospective in Scrum vs. daily stand-up, regular reviews and retrospectives on set dates and continuous planning in Kanban.

Error messages and their influence on user experience

Sometimes, errors just happen in web development as well as in any other thing that people are involved in. It’s normal – we’re all human. The question is how to communicate error messages in a way, which makes them not only “technically correct”, but also really understandable for humans and help them reach what they actually wanted to do on your website. Today, I found this article about The 4 H’s of writing error messages, which helps to write human, helpful, humorous and humble error messages. An article I really liked, check it out.

Book: “Outliers – The story of success”

Some weeks ago, a colleague of mine recommended me a book called “Outliers – The story of success” by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s about successful people and understanding why they were able to outperform in their specific field. Other studies or books focused on intelligence, ambition – the classic story of someone, who started from nothing and became highly successful just by being talented and working hard. Without a doubt, most people who excel in their field actually do have talent and work hard. But to achieve huge success, make a fortune and become popular in a specific field, there seem to be many other factors that come into play and which are not obvious at first sight. Therefore, Gladwell looks at information about their family, birthplace, or even their birth date and analyzes this data. By doing that, he revealed other factors which were essential for the success of these people in their specific field. I really recommend this book – you can find it here: http://www.amazon.de/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017930