Scrum Vs Agile? Here’s What You Need to Know

The terms “Scrum” and “Agile” are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. Additionally, there’s a lot of confusion out there about scrum vs agile. What’s the difference? Which one is better? And what do they have to do with software development? In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between scrum and agile, so that you can make an informed decision about which methodology is right for your team. We’ll also go over some of the similarities and differences between the two approaches.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology is a set of values and principles that guide the development of software. It emphasizes iterative, incremental work cycles, early delivery, and constant communication between stakeholders. The Project Management Institute defines Agile as producing early, measurable ROI through iterative development of products. The iterative approach of Agile means continuous involvement with the client is necessary. This will help make sure expectations are aligned and allow the project manager to adjust to changes.

Agility is the ability to adapt and respond to change… agile organisations view change as an opportunity, not a threat”. 

  • Jim Highsmith  

The Agile Manifesto, which was published in 2001, outlines the four main values of agile methodology:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

4. Responding to change over following a plan

There are many different ways to implement agile methodology, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Scrum. But the most popular framework is Scrum.

Now, what is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework for developing and delivering products in an iterative and incremental way. Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps teams work together more effectively. It includes roles, responsibilities, and meetings that help keep everyone on track. Scrum is not a methodology or a set of rules, but rather a set of principles that guide how we work. The key principles of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

In Scrum project management, the team consists of a product owner, Scrum master, and other cross-functional members. The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value created by the team while the Scrum master is accountable for making sure that all team members follow the process and the scrum values. 

The Scrum methodology is characterised by shorter phases or “sprints”, during which project work primarily occurs. During sprint planning, the team identifies a specific part of the scope to complete during the upcoming sprint, generally 2-4 weeks in duration. At the end of the sprint, the work needs to be done and ready to go. At this point, there will be a sprint review and retrospective. This cycle is repeated throughout the project lifecycle until all of the scoped work has been completed.

The main difference between Scrum and Agile is that Scrum is an agile framework for managing work, while Agile is more of a general approach to working. Scrum provides a structure for how work should be organized and done, while Agile focuses on the values and principles that should guide our work.

While both approaches have their advantages, Scrum may be a better fit for teams who need more structure and guidance in how they work.

Agile & Scrum: Differences decoded 

Agile and Scrum are both frameworks for managing work. The only similarity of Scrum & Agile is to help you get more done by focusing on one task at a time and implementing an efficient system to organize your operations. Essentially, the agile approach will help you build a set of guiding principles for your projects, and Scrum is what we use to make sure those principles are carried out efficiently. However, there are some key differences too.

1. Agile is a philosophy, whereas Scrum is a type of Agile methodology 

2. Scrum involves shorter sprints and smaller deliverables, while in Agile everything is delivered at the end of the project 

3. In an Agile project, members come from various cross-functional teams, while in a Scrum project team includes specific roles such as the Scrum Master and Product Owner

Scrum is a framework for managing work that is focused on delivery. It emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and constant feedback. Agile is a general term that can refer to any number of frameworks or approaches to work management.

Some people say that Scrum is a subset of Agile, but others argue that they are two distinct approaches. The main difference between the two is that Scrum is more prescriptive than Agile. That means that there are specific roles, events, and artifacts defined in Scrum, whereas with Agile the team has more freedom to decide how they want to work.

The biggest difference between Agile and Scrum is the focus. Agile focuses on why, while Scrum focuses on how.

Agile vs. Scrum: Choosing the Right Project Methodology

As you’ve now gained a clear understanding of Agile and Scrum, you can start to think about applying them to your projects. 

When it comes to deciding if Agile is right for your business, you need to look at the specific requirements and constraints involved. However, with a strict scope and rigid timeline, an Agile approach will not be the most efficient way to manage your project.

If you decide that your project will benefit from an Agile approach, it can be tough to determine which methodology is best for your specific needs. While there are many different Agile approaches to choose from, Scrum tends to be the most appropriate for projects that do not have clear requirements and require frequent testing.

Agile is all about adaptability. The focus is on delivering quickly and responding to change. This makes it ideal for projects that are likely to experience scope creep or require frequent changes. Scrum, on the other hand, is a more structured approach. It uses fixed sprints to help teams stay focused and on track. This makes it better suited for projects with well-defined requirements that are unlikely to change.

So, which methodology should you choose? It depends on the nature of your project and your team’s preferences. If you’re not sure, try out both methods and see which one works better for you.

Wrap up: 

In a modern workplace, teams are only as good as the system they have in place. It’s easy to see why many people confuse Agile and Scrum, or use them interchangeably because they follow similar ideals. However, Scrum is a DevOps approach that focuses on handling specific steps in a clear process for software development, whereas Agile is more about optimizing teams and facilitating collaboration.

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