Within project management, there are lots of buzzwords that you may hear but be unfamiliar with. Scrum and Agile are two that you often hear used together, or compared against each other. But what is the difference between Scrum and Agile, and how are they similar?
It helps to know that the word ‘scrum’ is actually a rugby term! It refers to a team that organizes together and advances down the field in unison. This illustrates why the word ‘Scrum’ works so well in project management situations.
Agile, on the other hand, is a catch-all name for a group of methodologies that share common values and ideas. For example, Scrum is a framework that suggests ways to structure work so that the end-user gets the most value.
What Is Agile Project Management?
These values and principles promote an iterative approach to software development, but can also be applied to other projects. Throughout the development lifecycle, the Agile development technique allows for project direction evaluation.
In contrast to the traditional Waterfall project management approach, Agile teams focus on iterative development. In a Waterfall process, requirements are first analyzed and documented before development begins. In Agile, requirements are fluid, and change throughout the project, but progress is mapped against a core goal. This allows for changes in the business’s requirements and objectives to be accommodated with ease.
Benefits of Agile
With Agile development, you inspect the working product frequently. In addition, there is testing integrated into each iteration as it progresses through the lifecycle. As a result, you maintain the product’s quality, and the project owner can make appropriate adjustments when a quality issue emerges.
Enhanced Project Visibility
Agile methodologies are a collaborative approach to product development. This fosters active user participation. It also provides stakeholders with excellent and clear visibility into the project’s progress and product development.
The traditional Waterfall model takes longer to create and deliver high-value features. Agile practices allow for more frequent delivery in shorter cycles. This enables providers to respond more quickly to customer demands for development.
Improving Supplier Relationships
Vendors profit from Agile adoption because customer satisfaction and retention improve. That results in more customer connections through favorable referrals. In addition, Agile helps the vendor concentrate on developing high-value features while lowering overheads and increasing efficiency.
What Is Scrum?
Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight and simple framework that is easily adaptable. Scrum addresses complicated project problems and creatively delivers a high-value result. It is not a technique or a process.
A scrum team includes key roles, such as the product owner and scrum master. The product owner is responsible for the business elements of a project, including requirements, key features, etc. The scrum master is responsible for owning the process by which that product is created and delivered. They ensure open communication so that the sprint backlog is maintained, sprint reviews are conducted.
Benefits of Scrum
Better Communication and Collaboration
One of the key features of Scrum is its daily scrum meetings and frequent sprint planning meetings. While regular meetings are usually frowned upon in most businesses, these are specifically focused and designed to be short progress updates. By meeting often, and briefly, any potential roadblocks are identified and addressed quickly, before they drag down the whole team.
In Scrum, development takes place in sprints of one, two, or three weeks. short sprints, or iterations, make it easier to break big projects into smaller tasks that can be completed in just a few days. Keeping tasks smaller and more organized works to prevent team members from getting mired down in lengthy conversations or big tasks that take weeks to complete.
As the project is broken down into iterations and tasks, user stories track the various functions that need to be created. These user stories are maintained in a backlog called Pivotal Tracker.
If you need a change or addition to the user stories, the team can make the necessary adjustments as early as the next sprint. This allows the company to embrace change without derailing the development team or wasting efforts. The Scrum methodology’s capacity to handle change is a valuable feature for nimble businesses.
Which Is Best For Your Team?
Before starting a project, you should determine whether you’ll use Scrum or Agile project management methodologies and approaches. Having a clear understanding of your approach will make it easier to build the plan and execute against it throughout the project.
While Scrum focuses on the product development team, Agile considers the entire organization and focuses on continual improvement. That includes leadership and company culture. Both are reasonably simple to begin on but challenging to master.
Many firms organize their teams using Scrum in conjunction with other Agile principles and practices. Even though Scrum appears to be a simple framework to execute, there are changes that you have to make. These changes should be on an individual and organizational level that Scrum does not address.
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