Agile vs. Scrum: What’s the Difference?

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The world of project management is vast and complex. A project requires hundreds of decisions, and project managers need to fulfill various roles and responsibilities. They have to create a project plan, assess and manage risks, and work within their constraints. However, before everything gets set into motion, project managers need to choose a project management methodology. Their project methodology is a project approach that guides and coordinates their efforts in leading the project through its stages.

There are numerous software development methodologies to choose from, but the choice is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. You just need to do a thorough assessment of your project and find the one best suited for your type of work. In the world of software development, two of the most common choices are Agile and Scrum. While they may seem similar to the untrained eye, Agile and Scrum are two different methodologies that entail different workflows. However, both lead to the same goal: the successful completion of projects through efficient structure and communication.

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What is Agile?

Some say that Agile is a practice, others that it’s a methodology, and there are also those who prefer to define it as a philosophy or framework. All definitions are on point and capture Agile’s essence. Agile is a flexible project approach or framework often used in software development settings to facilitate the effective accomplishment of tasks. The Agile Manifesto defines principles meant to create an early and measurable ROI, and it focuses on adaptive and simultaneous workflows. It embraces an iterative approach and requires continuous involvement with the client to respond to the unpredictability of software development. The process is based on incremental and iterative work segments called sprints.

In other words, Agile methodology breaks products into small tasks and encourages communication between members of a cross-functional team. When adopting the Agile framework, all parties involved in product design, including developers, stakeholders, customers, etc. work together based on a collaborative approach towards the end product implementation. The Agile approach makes it easier for the project manager to adapt to any changes that may arise during the process.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile methodology that focuses on specific rules and principles. Thus, Scrum can be considered a subset of Agile philosophy and a process framework that allows project managers to identify the work ahead, delegate tasks, identify processes, and set deadlines. It relies on cross-functional teams that focus on delivering products and services in short cycles also known as sprints. A sprint is composed of user stories which are individual tasks that encapsulate a testable portion of functionality. A sprint includes user stories from the product backlog, sprint backlogs, and sprint goals. Each sprint facilitates function definition, development, and testing. The entire process for a single sprint can last anywhere from one to three weeks.

The advantage of working with Scrum is that any code change required along the way is easier to identify in a sprint backlog than if we were to start combing through the entire software development lifecycle. Scrum methodology allows the team involved in the project to deliver software regularly and in the shortest time possible, while still delivering something functional and testable. Any unpredictable change or requirement can be easily dealt with due to the iterative nature of the methodology and team accountability. As soon as a sprint reaches its end goals, team members and stakeholders meet up for sprint review, sprint retrospective, and the next step of the project. Scrum facilitates a faster return on investment by allowing a continuous delivery of project sprints along the way instead of delivering the entire project at the end of the process. The client can assess the project value while the team is working in real-time and has the possibility to intervene on spot.

Agile vs. Scrum – differences and scopes

Agile and Scrum may look the same and have similar project management workflows based on an incremental approach, but they are different. In simple words, Scrum is derived from Agile, but Agile isn’t inherently better than Scrum. While Scrum is an Agile method and encompasses its principles and iterative project approach, Agile is a complex framework for development and testing in the software development process.

Both rely on incremental builds for projects, but Agile delivers the software regularly and focuses on the end product whereas Scrum breaks down the project into sprints and small deliverables. Scrum may be considered a more rigid method, and it doesn’t have the same flexibility provided by Agile. A Scrum team focuses more on business value in a short amount of time and is ideal for teams who take the creative or experimental route towards the result and are looking for rapid delivery. Agile is a better choice for smaller teams focused on a clear design and execution.

The Agile process is based on leadership and encourages collaboration between members of different cross-functional teams. On the other hand, Scrum is all about self-organizing teams and specific roles, such as product owner, development team, and Scrum master. Moreover, Agile promotes face-to-face interactions between team members while Scrum methodology requires a daily scrum meeting and sprint planning.

Agile is often the go-to choice for a software development project whose design and execution should be straightforward. A development team that favors daily scrums to meet project requirements often chooses the innovative path towards the end goal. Scrum doesn’t entail the use of any software development methods being merely a framework and not a strategy.

The Agile methodology works best for software development projects with a strict scope and requirements. A Scrum approach is a better choice for projects that benefit from sprint planning, have no clear requirements, and are likely to be exposed to changes and frequent testing. However, the focus of both methods is the efficient delivery of high-quality software.

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18Techs makes the most of Agile and Scrum Methodologies

You can rely on the 18Techs project managers and developers to know the difference between Agile and Scrum processes and apply the methodologies flawlessly. We work with specialists who have extensive experience in project management and product development and are ready to commit to your project whether it’s a long-term initiative or a short-term endeavor. 18Techs professionals are always ready to put their technical knowledge to use and prove why they have been chosen to work with Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders.

Agile and Scrum frameworks are an intrinsic part of our team’s activity and the foundation of its project management and software development education. They can help you better understand the pros and cons of each process and recommend the best methodology for your needs and goals. Our development team knows that the best methodology is the one that can be executed perfectly, and they are ready to rise to the challenge. Always looking for continuous improvement, the entire team shares the same values that gravitate around customer satisfaction and the delivery of impeccable results.

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