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Scrum Vs Agile

Agile and Scrum are terms that just about everyone in software or project development would have heard of. Agile’s iterative and incremental approach has allowed companies to adapt to volatile environments with ease, moving miles ahead of the competition and coping with—and even thriving— in the face of adversity. While the terms are often used interchangeably, Agile and Scrum are far from being the same. In this blog, we’ll help you understand the differences between them and find out how they are similar.  Agile and Scrum definitionsAgile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.—Agile Alliance Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems—Scrum Guides What Is Agile Methodology?Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.—Agile Alliance Simply stated, Agile is a mindset and philosophy that responds and adapts to change. It works in short, time-boxed iterations that are subject to frequent inspection and adaptation—the reason behind its ability to readily incorporate change. Agile methodologies work to deliver high quality products, with frequent delivery of small chunks of functionality. They take into consideration regular feedback from the customer and incorporate course correction as needed. In doing so, Agile deviates from the traditional top-down ‘Waterfall’ methods of project management. If there is an Agile vs Waterfall debate in your organization, then to help you make up your mind, here are some advantages of Agile! Helps adapt faster to changing requirements A continuous improvement is built-in Higher project success rates are ensured There is efficient communication leading to more customer satisfaction Removes roadblocks to scaling and agile development processAgile methodology comprises of 6 phases: Concept — the end goal is envisioned and priorities are sorted. Plan — Initial requirements and methods to approach tasks are discussed.  Iteration — The coding teams starts building the product.   Testing — Quality testing is conducted simultaneously to ensure that the product is bug-free and ready for deployment. Deployment — The code is deployed and working software is delivered to the customer. Maintenance — Continuous improvement is implemented by gauging customer and market reactions/feedback. Work performed in previous stages is continuously evaluated and improved upon. In an Agile project, the client and stakeholders are closely involved at every stage, which means that they know exactly what is happening at any point of time and are able to give their feedback. As their expectations are aligned to the progress of work and they are able to see frequent releases, customer satisfaction is guaranteed. While Agile started out as a software development methodology, today it has been found to have profound impact and benefits across a range of industries and sectors, making it applicable to disciplines as diverse as manufacturing, healthcare, marketing and product development. Agile has at its core four values and twelve guiding principles, which together inform all the processes and events. Agile is an umbrella term that has spawned many flexible project management methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, Crystal and many more. While each framework is different, they are rooted in the idea of flexible processes that respond to change. What is Scrum Methodology?Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. -Scrum.org While Agile is a philosophy or a mind-set, Scrum is the most popular methodology followed by Agile practitioners across the world. The 15th State of Agile Report highlights Scrum as the most popular Agile framework, with 66% of respondents identifying it as the approach their company prefers to follow closely.  Scrum lays out the process that will be followed from concept through completion of the Agile project. It is a lightweight framework that is flexible and follows the cadence set by time-boxed iterations called Sprints.  Scrum lays a lot of emphasis on planning, and the achievement of short term as well as long term goals is critical to project success. Scrum ceremonies or events, such as the Daily Scrum, Sprint planning, Sprint reviews and Retrospectives allow for focused planning, collaboration and communication between the team members. Scrum defines three accountabilities; the first being that of the Scrum Master who is the leader of the team (note that prior to 2020 the Scrum Master was said to be the ‘servant leader’) and steers them through complexities. The second accountability is that of the Product Owner, who stands proxy for the customer on the team and maintains the product vision. The Developers are the team members who execute and implement the work. Differences between Agile & ScrumGiven the many similarities between Agile and Scrum, it’s easy to understand why the terms are often confused. The core difference is that Agile is a philosophy, while Scrum is a framework based on this philosophy. Scrum, essentially, comes under the umbrella of Agile.  FeaturesAgileScrumWhat it isAgile is a mindset and philosophy.Scrum is a framework that follows agile principles.PlanningAgile is planned around releases, iterations and face-to-face meetings on a daily basis.High-level Scrum planning follows Agile planning. But on a micro-level, Scrum is planned around sprints. Each sprint is planned after the previous one is completed.FlexibilityAgile is very flexible and adapts to changes very quickly.While Scrum follows the flexibility of Agile, the framework itself is a bit more prescriptive, but only to the extent that processes are clearly defined. The entire Scrum approach allows for adaption.MonitoringTracking & monitoring happens after every design milestone.Monitoring takes place after every individual feature, rather than the design milestone.Design and executionUsually, simple.Innovative and experimental.LeadershipA leader is clearly defined, and is accountable for the work of the team.There is no rigid team hierarchy.Scrum teams are self-managing.CommunicationCommunication happens regularly, but each framework follows its own schedules.Communication is done daily, and at the beginning and end of every sprint.Schedules of DeliveryThere is continuous delivery of valuable software.An incremental build is delivered at the end of every sprint.Customer FeedbackFrequent feedback from business users is encouraged. Feedback schedules can vary.Regular feedback is taken from end users during the sprint review at the end of every sprint.Similarities between Agile & ScrumAs Scrum is essentially an approach that is based on the Agile philosophy, it can be safely said that Scrum is Agile, but Agile is not always Scrum. Scrum will always follow Agile principles and values, but different frameworks in Agile might have their own approach that is quite different from Scrum. Difference between Agile & Other MethodologiesAgile has been around for just about two decades now, but before that there were many other project management methodologies that were commonly practiced. The most common among them was the waterfall methodology. Here’s a look at how Agile differs from Waterfall, and also how it compares to Kanban, another popular Agile approach. Agile and Waterfall: How are they different?Waterfall is a traditional approach to project management that is linear and non-flexible. Goals, scope and schedules are laid out in the very beginning, and if there are any changes in requirements or scope they are not implemented before the end of the project.  This means that waterfall is more suited to small projects of fixed duration and with clear end-goals that will not change. Stakeholders are not involved till the very end, and feedback is requested or implemented only after the product is released. All this is in direct contrast to Agile’s flexible and adaptive nature, where frequent feedback is crucial to fine-tuning the build.How does Agile compare to Kanban?Kanban project management, like Scrum, comes under the umbrella of Agile. Workflow visualization plays an important role in Kanban, and a tool called a Kanban board is used to improve the work progress. Cards or sticky notes represent tasks which are moved between columns that indicate the stage of work. Cards keep moving between columns till the tasks are completed, when they get taken off the board. The core difference between Kanban and other Agile frameworks is that in Kanban there is typically a limit to the number of tasks that can happen simultaneously. This because, to keep things simple, there is a maximum number of stories allowed in any column at a given time. However, as there is no time-boxed sprint length, a new task is added as work progresses and the board continues to flow. Kanban vs ScrumScrum and Kanban differ in the way they are carried out. While either one of them is chosen, often the best practices from both are combined and used as Scrumban. Choosing the Right Project Methodology: Agile or Scrum?Agile vs Scrum: which is better for your needs? As Scrum is an Agile approach, this question really should be split into two. First, you will need to decide whether an Agile approach suits your needs, or should you fall back on the time tested and proven Waterfall methodology? And if you’ve decided to go the Agile way, should you choose Scrum, or should you choose a different Agile approach such as Kanban or XP?  Scrum embodies all the values and principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto. It follows an incremental and iterative approach to software development. These iterations are of fixed length and are called sprints. Scrum brings in all the advantages of Agile, such as: Quality Transparency Cost control Risk Control Flexibility Speed to market Satisfied customers Quality end-product Each methodology comes with its own pros and cons. Over the past two decades, Agile has had a remarkable journey with its ability to forge ahead in the midst of uncertainty and has catalysed innovation and change across industries. And with Scrum being used by most Agile organizations worldwide, it is the approach that has been proven to work! When exactly to use Agile?Agile methodology follows a collaborative approach to software development, where the end vision is clearly laid out, but the requirements and solutions evolve over the course of the development. This is a flexible process, where each iteration results in a potentially shippable product increment. If we think about Agile vs Waterfall, then the basic difference comes down to how each method handles time, cost and requirements. In the waterfall method, requirements are fixed with a view to controlling time and cost; while Agile fixes time and cost in order to control requirements. Agile is of great value… When change is needed When there is less time to plan When changing requirements are anticipated, or When requirements are not clearly identified.When exactly to use Scrum?Scrum too, like Agile is carried out when: Requirements are not clearly defined More changes are anticipated during development The solution needs to be tested The team is self-organised The scope is open to change. When to use a Hybrid Approach?Waterfall or Agile Scrum, that’s a question that plagues most project managers. Many teams tackle this question by opting for agile-waterfall hybrid project management. This new management style takes the best of both worlds, helping to improve product delivery and hastening time to market. The hybrid approach used will depend on the project and its complexity.   You can plan your project using the waterfall method and deliver using the agile method. In this case, the project is time-boxed into sprints and an iterative and incremental approach is used to deliver the product to the customer.   Alternately, you can Agile for some phases and waterfall for others. It is best to apply agile for changing aspects of your project and waterfall for deliverables that are fixed.   60% of the companies surveyed use hybrid project management all or most of the time—PMI Pulse of the Profession, 11th Global Project Management Survey.   The hybrid approach is used for large, complex projects that need the flexibility and adaptability of change but also require the stability to hit long term goals.    Wrapping up Whichever approach you decide to follow, what is important is that it should be embraced in its entirety, by understanding the core principles and thinking behind each practice or process and by wholeheartedly supporting the implementation. For a project to be successful, there must be efficient teamwork, effective communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities—and these competencies are required irrespective of the approach you choose to follow.
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Scrum Vs Agile

Susan May
Blog
30th Apr, 2021
Scrum Vs Agile

Agile and Scrum are terms that just about everyone in software or project development would have heard of. Agile’s iterative and incremental approach has allowed companies to adapt to volatile environments with ease, moving miles ahead of the competition and coping with—and even thriving— in the face of adversity. 

While the terms are often used interchangeably, Agile and Scrum are far from being the same. In this blog, we’ll help you understand the differences between them and find out how they are similar.  

Agile and Scrum definitions

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.—Agile Alliance 

Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems—Scrum Guides 

What Is Agile Methodology?

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.—Agile Alliance 

Simply stated, Agile is a mindset and philosophy that responds and adapts to change. It works in short, time-boxed iterations that are subject to frequent inspection and adaptation—the reason behind its ability to readily incorporate change. 

Agile methodologies work to deliver high quality products, with frequent delivery of small chunks of functionality. They take into consideration regular feedback from the customer and incorporate course correction as needed. In doing so, Agile deviates from the traditional top-down ‘Waterfall’ methods of project management. 

If there is an Agile vs Waterfall debate in your organization, then to help you make up your mind, here are some advantages of Agile! 

  • Helps adapt faster to changing requirements 
  • A continuous improvement is built-in 
  • Higher project success rates are ensured 
  • There is efficient communication leading to more customer satisfaction 
  • Removes roadblocks to scaling and agile development process

Agile methodology comprises of 6 phases: 

  • Concept — the end goal is envisioned and priorities are sorted. 
  • Plan — Initial requirements and methods to approach tasks are discussed.  
  • Iteration — The coding teams starts building the product.   
  • Testing — Quality testing is conducted simultaneously to ensure that the product is bug-free and ready for deployment. 
  • Deployment — The code is deployed and working software is delivered to the customer. 
  • Maintenance — Continuous improvement is implemented by gauging customer and market reactions/feedback. Work performed in previous stages is continuously evaluated and improved upon. 

What is Agile methodology?

In an Agile project, the client and stakeholders are closely involved at every stage, which means that they know exactly what is happening at any point of time and are able to give their feedback. As their expectations are aligned to the progress of work and they are able to see frequent releases, customer satisfaction is guaranteed. 

While Agile started out as a software development methodology, today it has been found to have profound impact and benefits across a range of industries and sectors, making it applicable to disciplines as diverse as manufacturing, healthcare, marketing and product development. 

Agile has at its core four values and twelve guiding principles, which together inform all the processes and events. 

Agile is an umbrella term that has spawned many flexible project management methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, Crystal and many more. While each framework is different, they are rooted in the idea of flexible processes that respond to change. 

What is Scrum Methodology?

Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. -Scrum.org 

While Agile is a philosophy or a mind-set, Scrum is the most popular methodology followed by Agile practitioners across the world. The 15th State of Agile Report highlights Scrum as the most popular Agile framework, with 66% of respondents identifying it as the approach their company prefers to follow closely.  

Scrum lays out the process that will be followed from concept through completion of the Agile project. It is a lightweight framework that is flexible and follows the cadence set by time-boxed iterations called Sprints.  

Scrum lays a lot of emphasis on planning, and the achievement of short term as well as long term goals is critical to project success. Scrum ceremonies or events, such as the Daily Scrum, Sprint planning, Sprint reviews and Retrospectives allow for focused planning, collaboration and communication between the team members. 

Scrum defines three accountabilities; the first being that of the Scrum Master who is the leader of the team (note that prior to 2020 the Scrum Master was said to be the ‘servant leader’) and steers them through complexities. The second accountability is that of the Product Owner, who stands proxy for the customer on the team and maintains the product vision. The Developers are the team members who execute and implement the work. 

Differences between Agile & Scrum

Given the many similarities between Agile and Scrum, it’s easy to understand why the terms are often confused. The core difference is that Agile is a philosophy, while Scrum is a framework based on this philosophy. Scrum, essentially, comes under the umbrella of Agile.  

FeaturesAgileScrum
What it isAgile is a mindset and philosophy.Scrum is a framework that follows agile principles.
PlanningAgile is planned around releases, iterations and face-to-face meetings on a daily basis.High-level Scrum planning follows Agile planning. But on a micro-level, Scrum is planned around sprints. Each sprint is planned after the previous one is completed.
FlexibilityAgile is very flexible and adapts to changes very quickly.While Scrum follows the flexibility of Agile, the framework itself is a bit more prescriptive, but only to the extent that processes are clearly defined. The entire Scrum approach allows for adaption.
MonitoringTracking & monitoring happens after every design milestone.Monitoring takes place after every individual feature, rather than the design milestone.
Design and executionUsually, simple.Innovative and experimental.

Leadership

A leader is clearly defined, and is accountable for the work of the team.
  • There is no rigid team hierarchy.
  • Scrum teams are self-managing.
CommunicationCommunication happens regularly, but each framework follows its own schedules.Communication is done daily, and at the beginning and end of every sprint.
Schedules of DeliveryThere is continuous delivery of valuable software.An incremental build is delivered at the end of every sprint.
Customer FeedbackFrequent feedback from business users is encouraged. Feedback schedules can vary.Regular feedback is taken from end users during the sprint review at the end of every sprint.

Similarities between Agile & Scrum

As Scrum is essentially an approach that is based on the Agile philosophy, it can be safely said that Scrum is Agile, but Agile is not always Scrum. Scrum will always follow Agile principles and values, but different frameworks in Agile might have their own approach that is quite different from Scrum. 

Difference between Agile & Other Methodologies

Agile has been around for just about two decades now, but before that there were many other project management methodologies that were commonly practiced. The most common among them was the waterfall methodology. 

Here’s a look at how Agile differs from Waterfall, and also how it compares to Kanban, another popular Agile approach. 

Agile and Waterfall: How are they different?

Waterfall is a traditional approach to project management that is linear and non-flexible. Goals, scope and schedules are laid out in the very beginning, and if there are any changes in requirements or scope they are not implemented before the end of the project.  

This means that waterfall is more suited to small projects of fixed duration and with clear end-goals that will not change. Stakeholders are not involved till the very end, and feedback is requested or implemented only after the product is released. 

All this is in direct contrast to Agile’s flexible and adaptive nature, where frequent feedback is crucial to fine-tuning the build.

How does Agile compare to Kanban?

Kanban project management, like Scrum, comes under the umbrella of Agile. Workflow visualization plays an important role in Kanban, and a tool called a Kanban board is used to improve the work progress. Cards or sticky notes represent tasks which are moved between columns that indicate the stage of work. Cards keep moving between columns till the tasks are completed, when they get taken off the board. 

The core difference between Kanban and other Agile frameworks is that in Kanban there is typically a limit to the number of tasks that can happen simultaneously. This because, to keep things simple, there is a maximum number of stories allowed in any column at a given time. However, as there is no time-boxed sprint length, a new task is added as work progresses and the board continues to flow. 

Kanban vs Scrum

Scrum and Kanban differ in the way they are carried out. While either one of them is chosen, often the best practices from both are combined and used as Scrumban. 


Scrum vs Agile vs Kanban

Choosing the Right Project Methodology: Agile or Scrum?

Agile vs Scrum: which is better for your needs? As Scrum is an Agile approach, this question really should be split into two. First, you will need to decide whether an Agile approach suits your needs, or should you fall back on the time tested and proven Waterfall methodology? And if you’ve decided to go the Agile way, should you choose Scrum, or should you choose a different Agile approach such as Kanban or XP?  

Scrum embodies all the values and principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto. It follows an incremental and iterative approach to software development. These iterations are of fixed length and are called sprints. 

Scrum brings in all the advantages of Agile, such as: 

  • Quality 
  • Transparency 
  • Cost control 
  • Risk Control 
  • Flexibility 
  • Speed to market 
  • Satisfied customers 
  • Quality end-product 

Each methodology comes with its own pros and cons. Over the past two decades, Agile has had a remarkable journey with its ability to forge ahead in the midst of uncertainty and has catalysed innovation and change across industries. And with Scrum being used by most Agile organizations worldwide, it is the approach that has been proven to work! 

When exactly to use Agile?

Agile methodology follows a collaborative approach to software development, where the end vision is clearly laid out, but the requirements and solutions evolve over the course of the development. This is a flexible process, where each iteration results in a potentially shippable product increment. 

If we think about Agile vs Waterfall, then the basic difference comes down to how each method handles time, cost and requirements. In the waterfall method, requirements are fixed with a view to controlling time and cost; while Agile fixes time and cost in order to control requirements. 

Agile is of great value… 

  • When change is needed 
  • When there is less time to plan 
  • When changing requirements are anticipated, or 
  • When requirements are not clearly identified.

When exactly to use Scrum?

Scrum too, like Agile is carried out when: 

  • Requirements are not clearly defined 
  • More changes are anticipated during development 
  • The solution needs to be tested 
  • The team is self-organised 
  • The scope is open to change. 

When to use a Hybrid Approach?

When to use a Hybrid Approach?

Waterfall or Agile Scrum, that’s a question that plagues most project managers. Many teams tackle this question by opting for agile-waterfall hybrid project management. This new management style takes the best of both worlds, helping to improve product delivery and hastening time to market. 

The hybrid approach used will depend on the project and its complexity.   

You can plan your project using the waterfall method and deliver using the agile method. In this case, the project is time-boxed into sprints and an iterative and incremental approach is used to deliver the product to the customer.   

Alternately, you can Agile for some phases and waterfall for others. It is best to apply agile for changing aspects of your project and waterfall for deliverables that are fixed.   

60% of the companies surveyed use hybrid project management all or most of the time—PMI Pulse of the Profession, 11th Global Project Management Survey.   

The hybrid approach is used for large, complex projects that need the flexibility and adaptability of change but also require the stability to hit long term goals.   

 Wrapping up 

Whichever approach you decide to follow, what is important is that it should be embraced in its entirety, by understanding the core principles and thinking behind each practice or process and by wholeheartedly supporting the implementation. For a project to be successful, there must be efficient teamwork, effective communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities—and these competencies are required irrespective of the approach you choose to follow.

Susan

Susan May

Writer, Developer, Explorer

Susan is a gamer, internet scholar and an entrepreneur, specialising in Big Data, Hadoop, Web Development and many other technologies. She is the author of several articles published on Zeolearn and KnowledgeHut blogs. She has gained a lot of experience by working as a freelancer and is now working as a trainer. As a developer, she has spoken at various international tech conferences around the globe about Big Data.


Website : https://www.zeolearn.com

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