Rup vs Scrum vs Kanban

For a presentation tomorrow, my colleague Mads decided to include this illustration that compares the number of “rules” in some of the most used software development philosophies.I think the visualization has it all:


RUP is pretty prescriptive – it has over 30 roles, over 20 activities, and over 70 artifacts. You aren’t supposed to use all of that though, you are supposed to select a suitable subset for your project. This seems to be hard in practice.

“Hmmmm… will we need Configuration audit findings artifacts? Will we need a Change control manager role? Not sure, so better keep these in just for in case.” This may be one of the reasons why RUP implementations typically end up quite heavy-weight compared to Agile methods such as Scrum and XP.

XP (eXtreme programming) is pretty prescriptive compared to Scrum. It includes most of Scrum + a bunch of fairly specific engineering practices such as test-driven development and pair programming.

Scrum is less prescriptive than XP, since it doesn’t prescribe any specific engineering practices. Scrum is more prescriptive than Kanban though, since it prescribes things such as iterations and cross- functional teams.

The main difference between Scrum and RUP is that in RUP you get too much, and you are supposed to remove the stuff you don’t need. In Scrum you get too little, and you are supposed to add the stuff that is missing.

The quote and illustration are from Henrik Kniberg’s “Kanban vs. Scrum” which is a 40 page PDF file. As you may recall from his “Scrum and XP from the trenches“, Henrik has flair for writing as well as illustrating his points.

4 Responses to “Rup vs Scrum vs Kanban”

  1. Soren Says:

    Thanks for this reference. Scrum is surely not the only answer (aka Scrum is agile but agile is not Scrum). We have also go to Lean for a more pragmatic SW development strategy. Especially service/support/action teams have had a good experience with Kanban.

    BR ~/søren/

  2. Modern Warfare 2 Says:

    Thanks for the info !!

  3. GB Pics Says:

    Thanks for this nice Article :)

  4. Ray Says:

    Hm, after I have been using Scrum for several years, I can say there is something wrong about it. It’s not Scrum itself – it is pretty simple and intuitive to be wrong. It’s the companies and people using it. In the majority of cases companies embrace Scrum like some kind of miracle and the result is usually plain zero. Almost nobody cares to change his/her mindset when starting using Scrum rather than expecting that somehow the magic will happen automatically. And, of course, the magin in such cases never happens. :)