Scrum: Hm, you’re rather small. Are you sure you want to do this?
Kanban: Bring it.
Scrum: Right. I represent a fundamental mindshift in the way that people do projects.
Kanban: So do I. My mindshift is different to yours; it feels subtler.
Scrum: I doubt that. I help teams collaborate and deliver working software iteratively.
Kanban: As do I. Unlike you, I don’t tie people down to fixed iterations; I let them find their own cadence.
Scrum: You say that like it’s a good thing! What if people aren’t even used to delivering iteratively? How can you possibly stop novices from taking weeks over their increments of code?
Kanban: Well, maybe I don’t work so well with novice teams. A high-discipline team, though, who can keep their flow consistent, will find themselves more responsive with me than they will with you.
Scrum: I help new teams get started. I give them easy, simple approaches that they can follow. You’re all about the maths.
Kanban: Actually, I’m all about the theory of constraints. By limiting work in progress, I make the bottlenecks obvious.
Scrum: I do that by focusing on getting the work through to production. What’s more, I was designed for software. You’re just the bastard offspring of manufacturing; you have no relevance!
Kanban: If I have no relevance, then why do so many people believe that I’m valuable, and fight to defend me?
Scrum: They’re in it for the money…
Kanban: Says the world’s fastest-growing pyramid scheme…
Scrum: I resent that! There are plenty of successful Scrum projects out there. We’re good people; we just want to change the world.
Kanban: I’ll settle for continuous improvement, thanks.
Scrum: We’ve got that too, except we call them Retrospectives.
Kanban: You don’t need to batch up your improvements if everyone is focused on it.
Scrum: There’s nothing to prevent us from continually improving.
Kanban: There’s nothing to prevent us from having retrospectives, if we need them, or in fact from taking on any of your valuable practices. I’m just like you, except that I have sensible limits.
Scrum: You’re not just like me. You don’t even worry about estimates half the time.
Kanban: We estimate in time to deliver, not story points. The business understand this.
Scrum: The business don’t trust my teams; they haven’t delivered successfully for a while. My planning enables them to regain that trust. You can’t even work without it.
Kanban: That’s true. Once we have the trust, though, we don’t need to waste as much time on planning and estimating as you do.
Scrum: How can you call a practice that establishes trust wasteful?
Kanban: You’re right. We value people too, you know – we work well with the Lean principles, and “Respect for People” is one of the pillars.
Scrum: Well, that’s good to know. People are the most important part of the process.
Kanban: We seem to have quite a lot in common. Thinking about it, you’d probably make quite a good stepping-stone for people learning to deliver software iteratively for the first time. I guess they could turn to me later, once the discipline is there.
Scrum: That might work. I know some people have used you in odd ways, and found value. Maybe we should just be friends?
Kanban: Let’s call it a draw.
XP: Let’s not. You may have the planning and estimation sewn up; you may be shifting your constraints and delivering responsively. Neither of you can survive without my technical practices. Get over here!