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Difference Between Agile and Scrum 

Agile and scrum are the two important management practices or concepts related to the project management and software development for the organizations or firms.


What is Agile?

Agile is an approach to project management or software development. Under Agile, the requirements and solutions evolve through the iterations and collaborative efforts of the multi-functional self-organized teams and business users. Agile welcomes the changing requirements, even in the later phases. The clients, business stakeholders, and developers work together throughout the project. Agile teams adjust their behavior according to the changing project needs.

Agile is a philosophy or orientation (Griffin). Agile broadly serves as the guiding orientation for approaching project work. Agile methodology emphasizes the iteration of the development as well as testing in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Agile breaks a whole product or project into the smaller builds. In Agile methodology, the development or testing takes place concurrently. Agile supports teamwork as well as direct communication.


What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework for managing a project or  a software development. Scrum is one of the agile processes.  Scrum focuses on providing business value to business users in the minimum time. The projects are divided into the sprints that typically last one to three weeks. Scrum has three main roles, namely scrum master, product owner, and team members.

Scrum stresses self-organization and shared ownership among the team members. It considers project management as a shared value creation process; and emphasizes on collaborative work and Iterative development to manage the changes efficiently and build better products to satisfy customer needs. Scrum regards time as a limiting constraint. It emphasizes time-boxing and uses daily sprint planning and review meetings.


Similarities between Agile and Scrum:

Agile and scrum, both are related to project management and software development. As Scrum is one of the ways to implement Agile, they both have a number of similarities. Both stress on the optimum use of the resources. Both emphasize on managing various tasks effectively and efficiently.

Agile and scrum, both aim to deliver the maximum value to business users. They try to ensure the delivery of the product or project to the business users during the minimum possible time. Both stress on the continuous improvement, collaboration, open communication, etc.


Differences between Agile and Scrum:

  • Nature of Agile and Scrum:

Agile is the development methodology and based on an incremental and iterative approach; while Scrum is one among the many implementation frameworks or processes of agile methodology.

Scrum provides the incremental modules to the customer in every week or fortnight.

  • Scope of Agile and Scrum:

Agile is the philosophy, whereas Scrum is the process to implement the Agile philosophy. Agile is the umbrella term that also includes other processes such as Kanban, Extreme Programming, etc. Scrum is limited in scope as it is just one of the various frameworks to implement the Agile methodology. Thus, Scrum is Agile; but Agile is just not Scrum.

  • Planning of Agile and Scrum:

Agile methodology intends to deliver and update the software on a regular basis. Under Scrum, the next sprint is planned after the team has completed the current sprint activities.

  • Design and Execution for Agile and Scrum:

Agile emphasizes on keeping the design and execution simple. Under Scrum, the design and execution may be experimental and innovative.

  • Work Environment involved in Agile and Scrum:

Agile methodology is very suitable to the stable environment that has a small and expert development team; while Scrum is suitable to projects where the work environment is dynamic or the requirement is changing rapidly.

  • Flexibility:

The key advantage of the agile methodology is the flexibility as agile adapts to changes quickly; whereas Scrum has a somewhat rigid and structured approach or style.

  • Collaboration:

Agile emphasizes on the collaboration as well as direct interactions or communications between team members; while Scrum achieves collaboration through daily meetings with well-defined roles to the scrum master, business user, and various team members.

  • Communication:

Agile methodology gives priority to the direct communication and related techniques to attain the various objectives. Scrum does not place too much emphasis on the direct communication.

  • Organizational Change:

Agile may require various organizational changes and many development processes in the beginning or before the start of the main project itself; while Scrum may not need many organizational changes in the project implementation.

  • Delivery of Agile and Scrum :

Agile involves frequent deliveries to business users to get their feedback; whereas, Scrum delivers a build to clients to get their feedback, after each sprint.

  • Timing of Delivery:

Agile usually involves the delivery of the product after high value addition or in the advance stage of development to business users, and thus delivery usually tends to be towards the project end. On the other hand, Scrum delivers a build to clients after each sprint, delivering maximum business value from the beginning of the project and then continuing throughout.

  • Team Management:

In the Agile methodology, the project head handles various project tasks. But in Scrum, there isn’t a project head. Therefore, the whole team handles the various project related issues.

  • Leadership Type for Agile and Scrum

In the Agile methodology, the leadership of the project plays a crucial role; while the Scrum process fosters a multi-functional and self-organized team. In a way, every team member is involved in the project.

  • Monitoring of Agile and Scrum:

Agile monitors the software development life cycle stages continually, e.g. requirement, analysis, design, etc. On the other hand, Scrum provides the demonstration of the functionality at the end of every sprint in order to get a regular feedback from business users before the next sprint.

  • Feedback:

Agile encourages regular feedback during various processes from business users so that the final product is more useful. While, Scrum conducts the sprint meeting on daily basis for reviewing and getting feedback to determine the project progress in the future.

  • Priority:

Agile gives the priority to satisfy business users by providing continuous delivery of the project modules or software. Scrum gives priority to the empirical process control.

  • Measure of Progress:

Agile methodology considers the working software as the basic measure of progress. Scrum does not stress on the working software as a basic measure of progress.

Agile vs. Scrum:


Summary of  Agile and Scrum

Agile and Scrum both are important for project management and software development. Both Agile and Scrum follow a systematic approach in order to get the best results or outcomes. Both aim to deliver the maximum value to business users through the optimum use of the resources. Both stress on the iterative processes, accommodating change, continuous improvement, collaboration, open communication, etc. They also complement each other in some respects.

However, there are many differences between Agile and Scrum. Agile is the philosophy, whereas Scrum is the process to implement the Agile philosophy. Scrum is limited in scope as it is just one of the various frameworks to implement the Agile methodology. Agile refers to a set of principles for building software through iterative development. Scrum is a specific set of rules to practice when implementing Agile software development.

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References :

[0]Griffin, Joseph. "Agile vs. Scrum: A Project Manager’s Guide." northeastern.edu. Northeastern University, 24 Jul. 2017. Web. 8 Feb. 2018. < https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/agile-vs-scrum/>.

[1]" Agile software development." Wikipedia.com. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2018. .

[2]" Scrum (software development)." Wikipedia.com. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2018. .

[3]Image credit: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2018/02/12/13/58/devops-3148393_960_720.png

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scrum_diagram_(labelled).png#/media/File:Scrum_diagram_(labelled).png

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