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Agile versus Scrum: How Do They Compare?

Joydip Kanjilal
Published: July 15, 2022

Agile is a development methodology, while Scrum is a framework for implementing it. In this software development and project management tutorial, we will explore how each of these methodologies works, what their primary differences are, and how you can decide to choose one between the two.

Interested in becoming a project manager or want to earn a project manager certification? Check out our list of the Top Project Management Certifications.

What is Agile? Why is it Important for Developers?

Agile has multiple definitions; the one you should use depends on the context in which you plan to apply it and your level of commitment to its principles. Agile encourages rapid prototyping of new features for software so that you can discover what works best before going ahead with bigger changes that might take longer than expected – which would result in delays due to rework if something goes wrong later on down the road during the software development process.

Agile is a process that can be used for any type of project, while Scrum is a specific framework that is designed for software development projects. So, how do they compare? Well, both Agile and Scrum emphasize collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. They both start with a basic set of principles and then allow the team to adapt them to fit their specific needs. In addition, they both aim to deliver working software as quickly as possible.

Agile is an iterative approach that focuses on delivering value early and often. One of the main advantages of Agile is that it is very flexible and can be adapted to fit the needs of most projects.

However, one of the downsides of Agile is that it can be difficult to control scope creep since new features can always be added in as the project progresses.

You can learn more about Agile by reading the following guides:

Looking for Agile project management tools? We have some examples of Agile software in our tutorial: What is Agile Project Management Software.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is one of the several approaches to Agile development. While the Agile principles outline general practices, Scrum encompasses a specific workflow designed to develop software quickly. Although Scrum is a method, it is also a set of rules. Scrum is a management method for organizing and planning work. These rules and the roles and responsibilities defined create a blueprint for each sprint or time-boxed chunk of work.

Scrum is a lightweight yet powerful framework for managing and completing projects. It’s not a complete process in and of itself but rather a way of managing work. Development teams benefit from Scrum by understanding what they do, how they do it, and why. This enables them to maximize productivity by creating a sustainable pace that allows for predictability and accountability.

Scrum is a more structured approach that breaks down the work to be accomplished into sprints and uses a Scrum board to track progress. One of the advantages of Scrum is that it helps to keep projects on track by forcing teams to focus on a set goal for each sprint. That said, a downside of Scrum is that it is not flexible enough if project requirements change during development.

You can learn more about Scrum by reading the following guides:

We also have a great guide showcasing some of the Best Scrum Project Management Tools and Software. Dashboard

Example of Project Management Software,

What are the Differences Between Agile and Scrum?

There are a few key differences between Agile and Scrum. Agile is a philosophy or mindset, while Scrum is a process framework. Agile is more about responding to change, while Scrum is more about following a plan. Agile also has a greater focus on individuals and interactions, while Scrum has a greater focus on teams and tasks. While agile allows for more creativity and collaboration between team members, scrum focuses on delivering working software in regular increments.

Agile is an overarching philosophy that can be implemented in a variety of ways, while Scrum is a framework that follows a very specific set of guidelines. This means that Agile is more flexible, while Scrum is more regimented. Agile is also more focused on the end-user, while Scrum is more focused on the product.

Agile and Scrum are different in that Agile is a philosophy that describes how software is successfully delivered to customers, while Scrum is a method for software development teams. Agile is a set of principles that can be applied to any development process, whereas Scrum is a specific framework for implementing those principles in software development.

The Agile methodology emphasizes small steps towards completing a project. You can leverage it in projects that are volatile or unpredictable. On the contrary, Scrum is one of the numerous Agile techniques. You can think of it as more of a physical framework that teams can use to implement Agile ideas.

In recent years, Scrum has become more popular as an Agile approach. While Agile is a style used to manage projects effectively, Scrum is one of the most popular ways to implement this style. Scrum is designed for projects with short development cycles and high levels of uncertainty, where requirements may change frequently and developers need fast feedback from customers about whether their work meets business needs or not.

In Agile, the entire team works together on all aspects of the project, while in Scrum, each team member has a specific role to play. Additionally, Scrum is more prescriptive than Agile, providing more structure and guidelines for how projects should be executed.

Another difference between Scrum and Agile is the focus on short-term goals versus long term goals. While Agile focuses on iterative refinement, it has no defined process for planning out work over time and projects can be adjusted as needed based on changing circumstances. This flexibility can be great when you’re faced with new challenges but it also means that sometimes things do not go according to plan which can be frustrating.

This difference in team structure leads to significantly different working styles. In Agile, everyone is always available and can bounce around projects as needed. In Scrum, the team is locked into one project until the sprint is complete. They set goals for what they can accomplish in the sprint, and stick to them till they are complete.

Read: Best Project Management Tools for Developers

How Do Scrum and Agile Complement Each Other?

Agile is an evolving set of ideas that have created a plethora of frameworks and approaches to improve work. Iterative and incremental methods to deliver value make Scrum a part of Agile, despite predating the Agile Manifesto by eight years. Providing high-quality products quicker with faster feedback loops ensures you’re delivering the right product while driving continuous development and decreasing team fatigue. By fostering collaboration and continual improvement, Scrum focuses on producing high-quality products more quickly—values like these complement agile values.

When to Choose Agile or Scrum

Agile is a more lightweight, flexible methodology that can be used for projects of any size. It’s perfect for fast-paced, changing environments where the requirements may not be fully known upfront.

Scrum is best suited for projects with well-defined requirements and a fixed timeline. It is less suitable for projects that are in a state of constant flux.

Agile is great for teams that need more flexibility and want to be able to change their plans quickly as they work. Scrum is better for teams that need more structure and want to be able to track their progress more closely.

Final Thoughts on Agile and Scrum Methodologies

Despite certain differences between them, Agile and Scrum are two popular project management approaches that actually complement each other. Both approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs. In general, Agile is more flexible and adaptable than Scrum, but Scrum is more structured and easier to implement.

Read more project management and software development tool reviews and tutorials.