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Agile vs Scrum Methodology: Major Differences to Consider

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Agile and Scrum are two familiar names when it comes to software project management methods. Today, these lightweight methods are no longer limited to IT segments but rather more adopted in other business functions. So do you know the key differences between Agile vs Scrum Methodology? If you want to improve your knowledge of these approaches, this Designveloper article is the right place for you.

What Is Agile?

The Agile methodology is a philosophy that instructs companies to conduct projects in small increments. When working in Agile settings, teams break whole projects down into iterative chunks or tasks and conduct them within short timelines. 

Unlike traditional methods which aim at having a one-time launch, the Agile analog allows companies to produce continuous releases. This lightweight approach accordingly boosts the speed of feedback and adaptation to new market conditions.

Also, it promotes the involvement of not only developers but also business people and other stakeholders in the process. Accordingly, this mitigates misunderstandings about client requirements and ensures the high quality of final outcomes.

When to Use Agile

When exploring agile versus scrum methodology, understanding when to use Agile is crucial. Agile methodology is particularly effective for companies that frequently encounter new situations and expect changes. This makes it ideal for ongoing projects or those that don’t necessitate detailed plans and extensive documentation. Agile’s suitability lies in its ability to adapt quickly to evolving project requirements and market conditions. Here are the list of pros and cons of this methodology to consider:

ProsCons
Faster Feedback Loop: Agile allows for continuous releases, which means that feedback can be obtained and incorporated quickly. This leads to improved product quality and customer satisfaction.Requires High Customer Involvement: Agile requires the customer to be involved throughout the project, which may not always be feasible.
Flexibility: Agile teams can easily adapt to changes in project requirements or market conditions, making it a flexible approach to project management.Lack of Documentation: Agile focuses on working software over comprehensive documentation, which can sometimes lead to a lack of documentation.
Collaboration: Agile promotes the involvement of all stakeholders, including developers, business people, and customers. This collaborative approach helps to mitigate misunderstandings and ensures that the final product meets the client’s needs.Not Suitable for All Types of Projects: Agile works best for projects where the requirements are expected to change. For projects with well-defined requirements, a traditional approach might be more suitable.

In short, Agile is most beneficial when project requirements are not entirely clear at the onset and are likely to evolve. It’s a perfect fit for projects where continuous customer involvement is possible and beneficial. While Agile is commonly associated with software development, its principles can be applied to any project where flexibility and collaboration are key. Teams should carefully consider these factors to determine when Agile is the most appropriate approach, effectively leveraging its strengths in the context of agile vs scrum methodology.

What Is Scrum?

What Is SCRUM And How Does It Work?

Scrum is a set of principles and tools used to provide customers with business values within the shortest timescales, commonly called “sprints”.

Briefly, this framework helps companies handle unknown or able-to-change requests. Accordingly, releasing parts of software depends on market changes to meet immediate needs. 

In the Scrum setting, one sprint often lasts from one to four weeks, typically two weeks. Accordingly, a whole project is divided into smaller builds that are continuously conducted over a series of sprints. For this reason, a Scrum team is relatively small, around ten people. Particularly, they include the product owner, a Scrum Master, and those in charge of development tasks. These members constantly communicate during such important events as Sprint Planning or Daily Standups to track work progress and fast adapt to changes.  

When to Use Scrum

Scrum is designed for projects that are prone to changes. If project requirements are fixed or clearly defined from the start, Scrum may not be the best approach. In such cases, traditional methods like Waterfall or PRINCE2 are more suitable. It is commonly thought of as a subset of Agile, a matter of confusion that will be debunked later on in this article.

Scrum is characterized by its adaptability to changing requirements and market conditions, making it ideal for projects where change is anticipated. It promotes efficiency by breaking projects into smaller, manageable segments, allowing teams to focus on high-quality development and collaboration. One of its key benefits is faster product delivery, as Scrum enables incremental release of software, prioritizing the most valuable features first. See below for an extended list of strengths and weaknesses of choosing Scrum.

ProsCons
Adaptability: Scrum allows for quick responses to changes in market conditions or project requirements. This adaptability makes it a powerful tool for projects where requirements are likely to change.Requires Experienced Team Members: Scrum requires a team that is familiar with the Scrum principles and practices. Without this, the project can easily go off track.
Efficiency: By breaking down a project into manageable chunks, Scrum teams can focus on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration.Not Suitable for Every Project: Scrum is not ideal for projects with a clear and unchanging set of requirements or for projects with certain types of resources, technologies, or risk profiles.
Faster Product Delivery: With Scrum, parts of software are delivered incrementally, ensuring that the most valuable features are delivered first.Dependent on Clear Communication: Scrum relies heavily on communication and collaboration, both within the Scrum team and with stakeholders. If communication is unclear or if team members are not fully committed, the project can suffer.

Scrum’s strengths include transparency through regular meetings, early and frequent stakeholder feedback, and risk reduction via regular reviews and incremental development. Scrum is most effective when project requirements are unclear at the beginning and expected to evolve. While it’s commonly used in software development, Scrum can be applied to any project where flexibility and collaboration are essential.

Comparison with Agile

Comparatively, while Scrum is a specific type of Agile development, not all Agile development follows the Scrum framework. Scrum is more structured with defined roles and ceremonies, whereas Agile is a broader philosophy with various methodologies. Both prioritize flexibility, collaboration, and customer satisfaction, but their approaches differ.

FURTHER READING:
1. How to apply Scrum to your Software Development Company
2. The Importance of Scrum to a Software Product

Are There Any Differences Between Agile and Scrum Methodology?

Here are some noticeable differences between Agile vs Scrum methodology:

1. Concept

Agile is a philosophy of managing projects in a state of flux. In addition, it doesn’t define certain processes, events, or tools. Meanwhile, Scrum is a framework that teams follow to conduct agile projects.

2. Core Values

Looking at the table below, you will see how Agile’s core values differ from that of Scrum:

AgileScrum
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.
1. Courage: Team members have the courage to do the right thing and solve challenging problems
2. Focus: Everyone focuses on sprint increments and the team’s goals
3. Commitment: Members commit themselves to achieve the team’s goals
4. Respect: Members show respect for each other and strive to become independent, capable people
5. Openness: All members and stakeholders are open about requirements, work, and difficulties over the sprint.

Accordingly, Agile focuses on interactions between members and collaboration with end-users. Hence Agile teams are encouraged to produce frequent releases to get quick feedback from customers. 

Meanwhile, Scrum teams pay more attention to workflow, ultimate objectives, and adaptation to changes. Thereby, they focus on rules, artifacts (i.e. Product Backlog), and events (i.e. Sprint Planning or Retrospective) to help them do so. For this reason, Scrum is considered more restrictive than Agile. 

3. Team Members

A Scrum team typically includes a product owner, a Scrum Master, and developers. Which, a Scrum master acts as a servant leader who helps everyone understand input parameters, duties, and workflows. A Scrum team is self-organizing and has no leaders accordingly.

Meanwhile, various Agile teams now have project managers plan, organize, execute and monitor the work. They function as team leaders who ensure all members understand requirements and follow guidelines. Such teams either follow other Agile frameworks (e.g. Kanban or Spotify) or have been experiencing Agile transition enterprise-wide.

Facts Behind Scrum: Is Scrum Truly Part of Agile Methodology?

Is Scrum Truly Part of Agile Methodology?

In short, based on the given concepts, you may find various similarities between Agile vs Scrum methodology:

  • Have short-term delivery cycles;
  • Facilitate quick responses to changes;
  • Emphasize communications and interpersonal cooperation.
So, is Scrum an Agile framework, as believed by various people? 
So, is Scrum an Agile framework, as believed by various people?

Coming back to the history of these two methods, Scrum was originally developed in the early 1990s by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Also, it acts as a lightweight process that helps minimize production costs and maximize effective development time. 

Until 2001, representatives in “light” methodologies (including Scrum, XP, and more) gathered and coined the umbrella term “AGILE” to refer to those approaches. So, in superficial terms of definition, Scrum can be seen as an Agile framework. 

But reality seemingly doesn’t support that statement. “Scrum is not agile,” said Steven A. Lowe, a Product Technology Manager at Google. Dennis Weyland, a software engineer at Google, also shared the same point on his private blog. 

Looking at Agile values, we see they primarily concentrate on individuals and interactions over processes and tools. In comparison, the Scrum Guide highlights how roles, artifacts, and events are bound together to build expected deliverables for the market. Besides, its values mainly focus on workflow and goals. Particularly, members’ commitments to Scrum rules help shape their relationships and communications.

What is Designveloper’s Application?

At Designveloper (DSV), we excel in custom web development by skillfully blending Agile methodologies, specifically Kanban and SCRUM. Our choice of these frameworks stems from their flexibility and adaptability, essential for responding to evolving client needs and market trends. This approach showcases our commitment to delivering responsive and client-focused web development solutions.

Our team’s expertise extends beyond technical skills to include a dynamic and innovative UI/UX design team. This team is crucial in creating products with engaging and intuitive interfaces, enhancing user experience significantly. Additionally, our professional credentials in SCRUM project management, such as Professional SCRUM Master and Professional SCRUM Product Owner, distinctly set us apart. These certifications represent our deep understanding and effective implementation of SCRUM within the broader agile vs scrum methodology.

Our proficiency in agile frameworks, coupled with our specialized SCRUM certifications, positions us as a professional and reliable choice in custom web development. We pride ourselves on integrating agile flexibility with the structured efficiency of SCRUM, ensuring high-quality, market-responsive web development services for our clients.

Final Words

Moreover, Agility is defined as the ability to “move quickly and easily”. But one problem of such lightweight approaches as Scrum is that teams find numerous projects hard to be conducted fast or with ease. Therefore, the Agile Manifesto was introduced to give high-level instructions to help “lightweight” teams avoid its potential pitfalls. 

So given the nature of Agile vs. Scrum methodology, the former is understood as a philosophy that supports Scrum teams to work more productively and deliver values faster in changing complex environments.

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