The 9th Global Project Management Survey by PMI revealed some astounding facts. 71%, which means 7 out of 10 companies, reported that they were using Agile methods in one way or another in their projects. This indicates the popularity of Agile and Scrum as a framework that companies are adopting as a proven approach to realising business benefits.
So, what is the agile methodology and why use the agile scrum methodology? We have attempted to answer some of these questions to help you better understand the agile scrum methodology meaning and its impact on organizations.
The Agile movement can trace its origin back to 2001. 17 engineers who had experimented with software development using iterative and incremental procedures got together and created the Agile Manifesto, which outlined the 4 values and 12 principles of software development the Agile way.
“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value”—Agile Manifesto
Agile is a philosophy, and a way of working that represents a culture change from the traditional project management. It encompasses a set of frameworks that focus on iterative development of a product.
The Agile methodology is a method of software development that is based on continuous iterations and incremental development and testing of a product. It follows the principle of ‘failing fast’, which helps cut losses as the defect is recognized early and corrected.
The Agile methodology focuses on 4 core Agile values that encourage fast responses to change by focusing on collaboration, continuous planning and learning and early delivery.
The Agile Manifesto lays out the four core Agile values that need to be followed during the software development lifecycle. These values outline how software development using Agile is fundamentally different from the traditional waterfall method in terms of flexibility, response to change and individuals.
The agile values lay emphasis on:
The Agile Manifesto also defines 12 principles. These principles along with the Agile values help teams and organizations successfully transition to Agile.
The 12 Agile principles are encapsulated in the image below.
The most popularly-practiced Agile methodologies include:
These methodologies may differ in the way they are implemented but they all share the core philosophies of Agile.
Scrum is a framework that uses an iterative and incremental structure for project management used in Agile software development. In other words; it delivers large projects in small chunks.
The Scrum framework has brought in immense benefits in creating, delivering and managing complex projects/products that are of the highest value.
According to Scrum Alliance, Scrum is the most widely used Agile framework.
The benefits of Scrum are not just confined to the IT sector. Industries across sectors are now realising the benefits of the Scrum approach in delivering results on time and being adaptive enough to change when needed.
Some of the industries using the Scrum framework include:
Scrum methodology refers to using the Scrum framework in the agile development process. Scrum methodology steps follow the incremental approach outlined by Agile and helps address the issues that arise when working with complex project problems.
Scrum iterations are called Sprints. Each sprint is around two-to-four weeks in duration, and focuses on coming up with a deliverable product.
With each successive sprint more features of the product get built and improved upon by taking continuous feedback from the customer.
The incremental and iterative approach of Scrum helps bring in a lot of benefits:
Scrum Project Management involves 3 roles:
Scrum requires that every sprint must have some essential activities called events.
These five events are:
Using the Scrum Process Flow, teams can minimize risks and enhance product quality and delivery.
Every event is needed for the smooth functioning of a Scrum event
Scrum handles requirements very differently from traditional project management. There are no extensive documentations prepared for requirements, instead Scrum uses product backlog items. These are placeholder requirements and living artifacts, that can be refined and improved upon through the development lifecycle.
The most common form of representing product backlog items are user stories that help convey the business requirements.
Agile is a mind-set, while Scrum is a framework based on that mind-set.
Scrum vs Agile
Agile is an umbrella-term for practices, frameworks and methods that are described in the Agile manifesto. The goal of these practices is to make teams and organizations agile with quick innovation, fast response and quality end products.
Scrum is a framework in the Agile umbrella that helps us implement the Agile philosophy through use of roles, events, artifacts and guidelines.
The Agile revolution has swept the business world, helping organizations across sectors reap the benefits of satisfied customers, better products, faster response times and motivated teams.
Scrum is the most popular Agile methodology and it is fast becoming the de facto standard for software development.
The popularity of these frameworks has driven the need for hiring competent and certified Agile and Scrum professionals who can successfully help an organization transition and become truly Agile.
Check out our agile scrum methodology tutorial if you want to pursue among the most lucrative careers of the decade.