For those people who are not yet familiar with project management, choosing the right methodology might be confusing, especially since so many terms are used. So if you are just at the start of your project manager career, it is high time you devote some time and effort to studying various techniques and methodologies which will later on help you conduct all the processes successfully.
Agile approach is considered extremely popular while speaking of project management methods. But alongside agile characteristics you will also hear such terms as Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming and many others. Are these totally different systems or do they share any similarities? If it is agile vs Scrum, what would be perfect in current situation?
We suggest to discuss agile approach in detail, discover the prospects of practising agile as well as the reasons it became so widespread. As we discuss agile, various techniques of implementing it are worth mentioning, and Scrum, being such a widespread feature, is definitely among them.
Iterative and incremental approach is the base for agile processes. Multiple other approaches include thorough project scheme which is created before it even begins. Agile implies a different approach as it is open to changes which would be actual to project stage. Users’ feedback should be considered and incorporated while iterating the ways of product creation. Changes are implemented with the aim get a working result.
Cross-functional groups of workers cooperate in agile product creation, sharing obligations and organizing their own schedule. Main priorities include customer values which offers flexibility in changes when demands become different.
Agile methodology leadership values group cooperation as well as interpersonal discussion and accountability. It is not solely developers’ or manager’s responsibility to produce the ideal product, it includes both sides working together with a goal to align the result with customer’s requirements.
Agile approach also includes working in shorter cycles, compared to such methodologies as Waterfall. This is also more beneficial for both clients and vendors, as it provides continuous users' reviews and offers a possibility to alternate the working process regularly.
The Agile Manifesto became the basis which states the main techniques used in agile methodology. It was created in 2001 by several IT workers who gathered to address various development approaches. Their discussion resulted in a publication of a Manifesto for Agile Software Development which includes 12 principles:
Agile approach might be implemented using various approaches. There are several methods which are chosen regularly for this purpose.
Scrum is extremely famous if we speak of implementing these techniques. It includes software models with strict responsibility division as well as regular meet-ups. Such way also uses sprints which help groups of workers’ to show results regularly. Such sprints usually have a duration of several weeks. As you can now understand, it is not Scrum vs agile. The main question is whether Scrum suits your needs the most or would be more preferable consider other options.
Visual frameworks which are used in agile implementation are called Kanban. Such approach has a basis of petty regular changes. Several main principles of Kanban can be noted:
The technique has the aim of delivering high quality products which correspond to the requirements provided by a business stakeholder. Its main features are openness to iterations with the base of feedback and simple development process.
This is the perfect choice for a team of up to 8 workers. Being located in the same space provides Crystal Clear users with the most efficient communication which allows to reach the goals successfully. Usable code is frequently delivered to customers in this approach.
Lean Software Development bases are derived from Lean manufacturing and IT principles. There are seven main features of LSD:
This is agile implementation method which addresses the main issues of IT development. Some of them are missed deadlines, going over budget and no user involvement in the process. It is a very business-focused approach which doesn’t compromise on quality or timelines and demonstrates control. At the same time it offers openness to change and continuous communication.
As we aimed to discuss what is the difference between Scrum and agile we will now study Scrum more precisely. As it was already mentioned before, Scrum is a popular technique which allows to implement agile processes in project management.
Scrum is an iterative scheme. To allow developers present working software regularly sprints are incorporated into the work process. That means tasks are completed fast. Sprints only last within one or several weeks. Each of such timelines ends with a meetup for developers and customers where they can come up with the further plan.
The tasks are fixed divided between developers in a group. A schedule with a demo and a retrospective is created for a sprint. Such plans include day-to-day stand-up meetings as well as those happening when the term is over. There are several ways which allow to track progress in Scrum. For that purpose various boards and charts are implemented.
The fixed set of roles Scrum implies includes:
Scrum Flow also includes the following steps:
Even though Scrum feels like an extremely prescriptive method of implementing agile it definitely has multiple benefits. Some of them include:
It is definitely worth remembering that even though there are so many benefits Scrum management can offer, it also includes drawbacks. Those are important to consider as knowing about them only helps to make the project more efficient.
Altogether it is now understandable that question of agile vs. Scrum shouldn’t be placed in such way. Deciding to implement agile methods while mamboing a project it is also important to come up with the best tool to choose. Scrum is only a single choice among other options. It might seem overwhelmingly popular, but the choice should also consider the exact case. Both benefits and drawbacks must be taken into consideration while making this decision. But nevertheless Scrum remains an extremely successful agile management method especially since it is extremely transparent to both sides of the product development process.